Australian Magpie

The Story Behind the Painting

Well this is one of my favourite birds purely because of there comical antics they get up to if they like you. Be warned however if they take a disliking to you they can be pure evil, I’ve had both scenarios. I have been attacked while walking around town and also riding my bike, to and from work.

This one however was very nice and sung beautifully and followed me around the archery park at Gympie.

My Painting Process

I decided to tone down the bright green grass for something a little more Australian and the dry climate where I’m currently living.

I also thought that a light monotone background would make the magpie stand out more.

Having wet the background I started with a nice light raw umber wash that also over lapped the birds wings. This would show through the feather looking like the bird was a little dusty and more fitting into this new environment.

The magpies feather were fun to paint with different strength of black and the nice orange eye, looking straight at you.

Once all the feathers were added I started painting with a little white and blue to add some sun glints and shine to the magpies feathers.

After the highlights were added I also painted a little more dirt and the legs of the bird hiding in the grass.

The lower feather were a little harder to fan out and make them look softly blowing in the wind.

My painting hand at work, adding fine details to the magpie, and the green tape is to stop the paper from buckling and blowing off the table in the wind. Sometimes the wind gust are strong as I leave the front door open to my gallery so I can see public enter.

Final painting with some shadows under the bird and a slight impression of the magpies feet in the dry grass.

I really enjoyed painting the magpie and I’m sure I’ll paint a few more in the future as I’ve just taken some more good photos of them this week.

Gouache Colour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Gouache on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

3 Comments on “Australian Magpie

  1. Love the Magpies and the butcher birds, it a pleasure to hear there songs, had one storking me through the kitchen window waiting for his bacon rind

    Liked by 1 person

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