You’re In My Sights

The Story Behind the Painting

Australian magpies are a beautiful, intelligent birds and very fun to watch, but they get a bad reputation around nesting time. This one was photographed at the back of the BBQ area at Possum Park and had no interest in me in the slightest.

However a few months later every time I stepped outside the cottage to do some gardening or try and ride my bike I was in it’s sights. Luckily it was all bluff and never came within a few feet of my head where as other magpies have actually taken chunks out of my bike helmet as a warning.

Noisy minors always seem to keep them in check and have often driven them away while they were attacking me.

My Painting Process

I’m still trying to perfect my out of focus backgrounds, or bokeh effect. This seems to work with saturated watercolour paper and am slowly getting them to look more realistic.


A basic undercoat on the magpie to get a sense of light and dark areas.


The best part of the painting in my opinion is the eyes and beak, this gives the bird character. Also I add a little more detail to the ground adding stones and twigs.


Adding the fine details and shine to the magpies feathers, I use a little blue mixed in with the white.


Last to finish off I start painting the foreground flowers and start adding some shadows on the ground. Towards the end of the season this was one of the most popular artworks on a postcard and greeting card.

Have you ever been attacked by an Australian magpie ?


Gouache and Watercolour Paper

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 www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

2 Comments on “You’re In My Sights

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