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ursulav

Blue Jayfowl

Digital, Painter 11, photo reference from the Maryland College of Natural Resources

I really wanted to paint chickens with markings from other birds. Tiny goldfinch chickens! Cardinal chickens! The noble Bald Chicken, symbol of our nation, coming in for a landing at the nest!

Bluejays are the most distinctively colored birds I could think of, so I started there. And I think the color bit works, but I kinda shot myself in the foot with the pose on the rooster.

See, I wanted to make a rooster that looked a bit like it was scolding, sort of like a bluejay, so I went for crowing and yelling roosters. And that…well…roosters are noble, lovely birds when they pose, when they strut, even when they sit.

They are damned ugly when they stick their necks out and crow. They develop all these lumps and bumps and weird protrusions. The smooth line of the neck and back turns into a strange set of not-at-all-intuitive curves. And I tried to capture all that faithfully…which left me with a weirdly lumpy chicken. Which I attempted to smooth out a bit, but…well…there you are. The end result is not graceful.

Sometimes reality sits oddly on the eye, and you gotta try to work around it. With varying success.

Anyway! Prints available, as always, and despite my dissatisfaction, I’m glad to get the idea off my chest.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

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I once did a painting featuring the full frontal face of a yowling wolf, authentically duplicating the improbable looking gape of jaw from my reference photograph. Everyone who saw the painting said that the jaw was unrealistic.

But... but... but...

Ah well. 'Twould have been better to have trusted my instincts than be faithful to reality.

(Actually, that's not a bad tenet to live by.)

I study game design, and I've found it's usually that it's more useful to replicate people's *perceptions* of reality, than reality itself. Even if people have never seen/done something, they *know* how it should work.

For example: "These dragons handle like trucks!" Ok, exactly how *should* a dragon handle?

Gorgeous! Man, I would LOVE to get hold of some natural blue rooster tailfeathers; they'd look great in a hat.

And because you like chickens, here's a pic I took last month at a shrine in southern Japan that took care of animals. It was out in the forest and, other than the priest and a couple of monks, seemed to be solely inhabited by the chickens-- there was even a statue of them, as there was of a cow and a goat. ^__^ Fine looking birds, I have to say, and the biggest rooster posed for me without complaint or threat (thank gods; lookit those spurs!)

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Kinda hard to cross two roosters..

Speaking as the owner of a Fat Green Chicken (aka Cody the Red-Lored Amazon Parrot), I would KILL for a print of a chicken "dressed up" as a parrot.

These are great, although the goldfinch-chicken idea cracks me up almost as much as actual silkie chickens, which are just hilarious looking.

I want a Silkie so badly. They're just hilariously like Muppets, and I must have one!
~Jessica

I like it, it's creepy but cool.

chickens can be kind of awesome.

As an owner of a flock of 19 chickens, this is spectacular. I can't help but grin at this pair of birds.

What a neat idea! I love the concept and think it's brilliant!

To someone who has chickens, though, rather than being seen as not graceful, it's recognized as crowing. In a second that weird blue rooster will sit up straight, preen, and then try to hump the hen while on the branch, because the pose is just that realistic.

This makes me feel so much better, I can't even tell you...


In my mind, there is a microphone just out of the picture, and that rooster is about to close his eyes and start crooning the blues...

So, Cardinal Rooster would be based off a friar fryer?

"For heavenly good fried chicken, try Cardinal Roosters!"

Edited at 2011-11-14 07:04 pm (UTC)

Another easily recognizable colouring would be Robin Redbreast? (My favourite local birds. So quiet.)

I dunno -- I think he looks like, well, a jay. They do this funny bobbing thing sometimes when they're yelling at the squirrels.

On first glance, I thought it was supposed to be an elderly couple. The rooster kinda looks like he is yelling at those damn kids to get off of his lawn. Which is kinda what you were going for, so good job!