The Details Of Birds

Illustrating birds is a specialty of mine, and understanding just how detailed they are is part of that. That’s what makes the work fun, because there’s no end to the variety of detail with so many bird species.


inner workings of a feather

This diagram gives a great illustration of how a feather is put together. Birds groom themselves often to keep their feathers in good condition, thus keeping the interlocking ‘barbs’ looking neat.


pretty feathers
pretty feathers


There is nearly no end to the combination and patterns of feather colors on birds. Iridescence, scalloped, vividly, or earthy tones can all be observed in the world of birds. Parrots and other tropical birds tend to possess the most brightly colored plumage.


bird beaks
bird beaks
bird feet
bird feet

Beaks are adapted to the bird’s diet, whether it be cracking seeds and nuts, or tearing meat from prey. Feet are similarly adapted to the diet, suited specific to the environments where the food is found.



birds-eye birdEyeZ animal-animals-background-bird-birds-brown-eyes

Eyes are as varied as feathers. Tropical, woodland, and predatory birds all have eyes suited to there environmental niches. Bird eyesight is many times better than human vision. They can see in the ultra violet spectrum, and polarized light( which is said to aid them in migratory flight).

Parrots in particular have a funny thing they do with their eyes called ‘pinning’. They can shrink and expand their pupils rapidly according to mood, and other behaviors. It can be a sign of excitement, or impending attack dependent on how the bird is perceiving the situation.


All images borrowed from google search. I do not own them, and I’m only using them as examples here.

Quick Update

Sorry for the long hiatus, but I’ve been working at a regular job. It often leaves me tired, and unfortunately, caused me to neglect this blog for a while. I will continue posting, but it may be sporadic, as I’ve warned before.

Sadly, Squirt the toad died a few months ago. I believe she may have had some sort of infection, and I was treating her for it, but she didn’t pull through. I suppose it’s just as well that she didn’t survive, since her life was never the same as a wild toad’s would’ve been. She is buried in my backyard near some pretty bromeliads. That was all I could do for her at the end.

In the meantime, my art production has gone down considerably. With working, and also hitting a motivational dead end, things haven’t been good for art flow. I don’t have the time or energy to devote to a full time artist career, and negative experiences with past clients have left me less than impressed with the idea of investing much in it’s creation or sale.

Sadly, this is a reality most aspiring artists end up having to face. It’s hard, but money is money, and bills are bills. Art is a luxury item, and usually the most serious buyers aren’t to be found at every turn. Most people these days are passive, if not down right casually dismissive about dropping money on artwork. I can understand, considering the current economic factors, and more important individual concerns people have. Not many are willing to pay for the work you’ve done, nor do they care about how much you invested in it. You can’t really expect them too, either.

Maybe in coming years things may improve a bit, but I don’t know. I still enjoy doing my work, and I still will when I have the time. As it is with many others, it is both a gift and a curse to have any creative talent. I don’t want to sound like I’m making artists out to be martyrs, because I don’t think they are. Creativity in almost any form can be difficult to possess as a strength considering the fields that use them are so restricted to only established ideas, and/or members. Newer ideas, and new people are kept out for some time before ever getting close to recognition. I just have to say how much it feels like some sort of cosmic joke that someone can have such creative potential in a world that couldn’t care less about it.

Besides that nonsense, I did manage to create a landscape piece. Slowly improving skill set on that front, hopefully.

“River at Sunset”

14″ x 17″

River at Sunset