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Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? My daughter snapped a picture of him or her at the Lowry Park Zoo this spring.  He is about knee-high to an adult and she begged me to paint him because he followed her around and cocked his head like this to look up at her. He has a feather on the top of his head that bob’s as he walks and he is gray to grayish brown in color. I googled lowry park animal photos and found him on one photographer’s site, but he didn’t have a name next to him; just a photo# and I didn’t pursue it. I really pushed the cartiera magnani paper this time to see what would happen if I scumbled in a background and built up some layers. I lost that glow of transparency I had with the flamingo #15 and the meerkat, but am not at all displeased with how the paper responded to the scumbling and layering.

Thank-you to LittleLynx.  She knew that this bird is a red-legged seriema!


  1. Sorry, I can not ID the bird–but I enjoy the way the blue tones contrast with the orange-red. “HE” sort of shimmers in certain light. His tilted head captures his ‘curiosity’. Someone else posted recently about a bird on the beach–Colleen in Cairns I think. Hmm, birds surfacing here and there…

    • Thanks 47. I guess it really doesn’t matter what he is does it? Birds have caught my attention a lot, lately.

  2. This bird is wonderful, Leslie! I love the cock of his head! It really makes him have personality!

    • Thanks, Beth. I honestly think he was looking at my daughter’s camera.He probably was hoping for treats!

  3. I can barely keep up with your posts, you are so prolific. And don’t ask me about birds. If it isn’t a pigeon, I don’t know what it is.

    But your bird is terrific. I like the cocky tilt to her head and the greens in the background contrasting with her bright colors.

    • Thank-you for saying something about those scumbled greens in the background, Carol. That was truly an experiment with this paper and I kind of fought it all the way. Sometimes the paper and the paint show me a thing or two. That is how I’ve learned a lot about watercolor.

  4. Could the bird possibly be a Red-legged Seriema? If you send me the picture you used as a reference I can find out. If it is, I really like the colors you used as opposed to the mostly grays of the bird.

    • YES!!!!!!You go girl? How did you know that? I googled red-legged seriema and there the bird was. Thank-you for liking my colors. My reference photo was a family pic complete with shadows all over so he/she looked mostly gray to me. My daughter really wanted me to paint I did what I could. Thank-you so much!

      • Haha, I’m a big animal person (plus I looked at the list of birds they had on their website). Keep painting!

  5. I like the bird a lot, Leslie, but I can’t keep my eyes off the background. The colors are mixed so beautifully. That’s the color I’m trying to paint on my bedroom wall.. 🙂

    • Thank-you Deva. I can see that you would want a pale green on your walls, nature lover that you are. Loved your peacock photo!

        • Deva
        • Posted August 20, 2009 at 6:11 am
        • Permalink

        Thanks. Yes, I don’t think I can get away with being anything else. I haven’t moved out in the woods yet, though 😉

    • severnyproductions
    • Posted August 19, 2009 at 10:44 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    great peice,sorry i dont know

    • Hey Kokot, thank-you. It’s a red-legged Seriema. did know.

  6. You’ve captured great character in this bird, whatever he is! Another good one Les.

    • Thanks Tracey. He’s a red-legged seriema. I put a link to the blog that knew what he was and a link to his wikipedia site.

  7. At first I thought it was a road runner remembering those cartoons I saw before. The composition of the bird with its cocky head is interesting to look at.The background is great and works well with the orange beak and legs.

    • Thanks Raji. I did push the paper a little to the max on this. I agree with you that he has a roadrunner look about him. I think he looks a little more cartoonish than my flamingo or swamp thrush earlier on my blog. Hey, just so you know……seeing your city scape got me started on another. I’m working hard on it. I’ll post it when I get it finished.

      • I saw the swamp thrush painting and I absolutely love that painting.

  8. Hi Leslie – I like the colours in the bird – nice and bright – your background is also really good, I like the glow

    • Thanks, Stephen.I tried something new here to get that grayish blue. I used D Violet, some sap green and added small amounts of naples yellow as I painted. While those colors were still wet on him, I dropped in washes of antwerp blue. I can’t believe I took that much time with it, but I really wanted to go for the grayish blue I saw and all other grays are so flat looking to me. I overworked the background with multiple washes of many of the colors I used to create him. I picked up on the fact that I could do this when I read Don Andrews book about figures. His backgrounds don’t look as scumbled as this, but I thought it was interesting.

  9. What luck to have a mother to paint such wonderful creatures !! It is so beautiful, and fun too !! Love the colors !!!

    • Thank-you, Isabelle. I’m pretty lucky, too. My daughter is constantly looking for pictures to take for me to try and then helps critique the paintings as I’m working on it. It’s an area where we have mutual interest.

  10. A beautiful painting, Leslie, and I love what you did with the colors.

    That quizzical look is precious. Good on you and your daughter!

    • Thank-you, Kate. I’m lucky to have her and am sorry she doesn’t have the time right now to draw and paint with me. We started art classes together before granddaughter #1 came along. In a few years we all three may be painting together. #1 likes to paint but demands 100% attention while doing so.

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Yellow Tabby Cat « Leslie White on 25 Feb 2010 at 10:48 am

    […] This is not to say that the paper can not be pushed furthur. I have pushed the cold pressed furthur here. I found that I had to plan the colors well as I knew I would pick up the previous layer with […]

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