Trio of Birds

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle

Trio of Birds

Golden Fluid Acrylic on Ampersand Clay Board

This was a fun little painting to do.  In the reference photo, the birds were on a man, picking at his shirt.  I made up this little fantasy setting.  Here is how it all started…

I painted the panel with black gesso, then when dry, I drew my lines in with watercolor pencil.  I then painted in a base coat and after it dried, I wiped off the pencil lines with a damp rag.  There are a bizzilion layers of acrylic on the finished painting.  I say finished, but seeing it here in the monitor, I can see where I may need a few more layers.  It’s amazing what a scanner picks up that I don’t see with the naked eye.  🙂

About Aristotle

Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher who is considered one of the most influential thinkers in history, wrote a number of books about science, poetry, and ethics. He was born in 384 B.C. in Macedonia. He studied with Plato in Athens and later tutored Alexander the Great. His death in 322 B.C. was rumored to be caused by hemlock poisoning.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ambiguousartistry
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 13:57:14

    Wow such a vibrant piece Beth, looks like a lot of work. We get beautiful birds like that here, I used to visit my aunt who lived in a small rural town and I’d always be so fascinated by them.


    • Beth Parker
      Jul 12, 2010 @ 14:07:12

      Thank you! I think these birds were in a zoo in Florida. I wish we had them here, but it’s too cold in the winter for them.


      • ambiguousartistry
        Jul 12, 2010 @ 15:52:52

        I’m sure you must have many of your own interesting and beautiful animals there. We have lots of types of birds here, my grandmother used to have a pet cockatoo and she was always feeding galahs and magpies.

  2. lesliepaints
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 11:20:19

    I really like the build up of acrylic that you do. I remember trying acrylic and mine never looked finished. I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I like your birds and the line thing you do is one of those signature things you do that I attribute to Beth Parker so I like that, too? If you change this at all. would you post the results? I’d like to see what it is you change. Love the three birds!


    • Beth Parker
      Jul 12, 2010 @ 11:29:08

      Thank you so much, Leslie! The things I wanted to change is another few layers of color on the bird feathers and the branch. The paint is still a little translucent in those areas. I also struggled with acrylics until I learned to paint with a more fluid consistency. I was painting too thick and it just seemed to glob up on the brush. And the brushes never felt right. The Don Tiller workshop I attended in Washington last year really helped me.


  3. CarolKing
    Jul 12, 2010 @ 08:27:46

    OMG! You wrote that in the reference photo the birds were on a man, picking at his shirt and I read they were pecking at his eyes! I like your version of the birds on branches much better.


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