I found this Nene (or Hawaiian Goose) at the Washington DC Zoo and was captivated by it's interesting plumage. Broad feather fringes on the wings and back were reverse-patterned on its breast and flanks with soft warm tones on the head and neck contrasting sharply against the dark head. I liked the way that when the bird tucked it's bill into the scapulars, gaps opened up on the neck feathers creating interesting patterns so that is how I painted it. Most zoo animals and birds are quite approachable which is perfect for sketching, drawing and getting up close to view those oh-so-elusive details that can be hard to see in the wild. Because this bird was so tame, I initially spent quite some time doing accurate drawings before starting the watercolor, which was done in many thin washes of color onto smooth Arches paper. Completed some time ago, this painting is now in the private collection of a friend. The size is 7 1/2" X 11".
They keep coming back - Yesterday a smaller flock of Waxwings came back to the same park……. The last 7 or 8 days has been a Waxwing extravaganza.
6 hours ago