American Kestrel work in progress

I photographed this falcon at a flying display at the Yorkshire Show and always intended to paint him. He was such a petite but beautiful bird I was determined to try and capture him. My only dilemma was to come up with an appropriate, ie American looking, background.

I have photographed the painting at various stages and you can see how it developed. I chose my favoured combination of acrylic and illustration board to be able to portray the level of detail I wanted to achieve.

The first picture shows the drawing with the initial background work.

The work on the bird began with the eye or eyes of my subject as they somehow set the tone for the rest.

stage 1stage 2

More to follow.