Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken

Chickens are a lot of fun to draw and paint. They come in a variety of shapes and colors and they are great subjects for depicting form and gesture. They are also difficult to capture due to their odd features, quirky movements, and unsettled nature. Try sitting to sketch, or even photograph, these birds and you will end up with pages of 5 second gesture scribbles and blurry photos. Because of this, chickens are one of those subjects where it is usually necessary to work from multiple references. In the case of the top image in this post, I was forced to look at several different chicken photos to "fill in the details" of areas that were not clear in my main reference. This included referring to an actual Wild Turkey leg/foot that my brother had given me (he's a hunter). I know that there are probably differences between the turkey leg and a chicken leg...but it helped! If this was for a technical or scientific illustration I would have had to do more research, but for a painting where EVERY detail is not meticulously rendered, it works. The top piece (13 x 13) was painted three weeks ago as an acrylic demo in my RIT class. The bottom piece (acrylic, 9 x 12) was painted about three years ago in another class from a friend's great photo reference.