Friday, January 27, 2012

Painting The Ring-necked Pheasant

So why is a die-hard fly fisherman painting something other than a fish?  Quite simply, sometimes you have got to deviate from the norm and test your skills on other subjects.  As a avid outdoor enthusiast I see fowl like these Ring-Necked Pheasants as beautiful majestic birds.... as well as a great source of material for fishing.  Whether you are hunting them, watching them on the hiking trail, or using their feathers to catch fish, these birds are great creations.
I have only painted feathered creatures one other time but never is such great detail.  Honestly I have always been a bit intimidated by the level of detail and accuracy it takes to paint these birds well.  Even as I started working on this bird I was unsure how it would turn out.  Would it be a frame worthy piece or would it be a good decoration for the trash bin.

As I began to build up the color with rich browns, golden colors, and the classic red head of this pheasant I also added a but of iridescent additive into the paint.  I don't usually use this but when I broke out my Pheasant cape from my desk and began to study it I felt that this would be the perfect painting to have this additive.  Like the true colors of the actual Ring-neck Pheasant, the colors of this painting now have a subtle sparkle and shine as the light catches it.

Some of the people that stumble on this blog may now be wondering why I have a Pheasant cape in my house.  Others of you that frequent my blog understand that as a fly fisherman the pheasant cape, pheasant tail, as well as many other birds feathers are a key part to our sport.  Now, knowing this key piece of information, painting this bird doesn't seem so out of the realm of the fly fisherman artist in me.
As I came to this point in the painting I thought about calling it good.  I was extremely proud of how this turned out and thought, 'why spoil it with a bad background job'.  I mulled it over and took some time away from it for a bit but eventually settled on the idea that it just needed that little something extra to put this over the top.
In the end I was very pleased with how this turned out. The colors turned out great, the feather detail was a pain in the butt but ended looking spot on, and even the simple grass turned out great.  Who knows, maybe you will begin to see a few more birds on this blog.  Maybe a California Quail or a Wood Duck perhaps?

"Ring-Necked Pheasant"
@ 9"x 11"
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
For Sale Here

On a lighter note, I was reading the paper the other day and came to one of my favorite parts of the paper - the Comics!  Seriously, I usualy have to page through the entire paper to find this section but it is always worth it.  I think that they set it up that way because once you get depressed from all the poor news and the state of our country, you need the comics to end your morning paper with a high note.  This Peanuts strip made me chuckle.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful painting.

Clif said...

That looks really great. I look forward to more birds on this blog.

Darren MacEachern said...

You've been busy. Looks wonderful!

Brk Trt said...

A beautiful portrait of a regal bird.
Well done

Mark Kautz said...

I like the picture and the simple logic of Peanuts.


Lefty Angler & Flies said...

Nice painting! I love Ringneck. That's where my COYOTE came from. Jack Gartside wrote Ringneck is tyers' friend. Indeed sir!

TexWisGirl said...

fabulous!!! more, more!!! encore, encore!!!

Passinthru Outdoors said...

Another beauty Joe. One of the most beautiful birds for sure and your painting does it justice. Keep them coming.

Fly Waters Edge - Kevin said...


JMP said...

Looks great Joel...

Sanders said...

Love those pheasant...well done!

Richard said...

Wow, incredible. I love how you always post the process pics. Interesting to see materialize.

Unknown said...

G- Thankyou
Clif- Already on it
Darren - You have no idea, thanks
Brk Trt - Many thanks
Mark - Schulz was a great cartoonist and observer of life
Satoshi - Thanks for the visit and yes - that is why I so many feathers of this bird on my bench and on my Tenkara flies
TexGrl- Only taking a page from your book, I love your birds as well.
Passinthru - Thanks so much for passinthru and dropping the very kind words
Kevin and JMP - Thanks for the visit and comments
Sanders - how could you not? Such a multi useful birds
Richard - If I can remember to take pics when I am flipping paint I try to post them but sometimes wonder if the professional artists out there aren't looking at this blog and saying to themselves 'that dude hasn't got a clue'.
Thanks for all the comments and as for the painting being for sale---- It is no longer available. This one was picked up very quickly by a fellow blogger. Just another few Washingtons to pad the olsfly fishing budget...