spur-winged plover paintings

last week I finished up a series of paintings of the Spur-winged Plover (Vanellus miles) – which is a relatively common bird species where I live in Auckland. Last year I did a small painting of a Spur winged Plover chick, and thought I would add to it by painting an adult and an egg.

All were painted in acrylic using a sort of watercolour wash method:

spur-winged-plover_acrylic-SIG

the adult- with distinctive yellow wattles

baby-plover_acrylic-withSIG

 

the chick

spur-winged-plover_egg_acrylic-SIG

 

and the egg!

Interestingly this species is one of only 2 NZ native bird species that have no legal protection – it was removed in 2010 after so many public complaints about the species as a nuisance bird (mainly due to crop damage and “interactions” with aircraft).

I am planning on compiling these illustrations- together with some small habitat drawings I also have just finished- into a small poster showing the life stages and common habitats of this species (such as roadsides, airports and sports-fields), and the ways in which this species is threatened by people because of the proximity it lives to us.

If you are interested in reading more about using acrylics, specifically to paint birds, I can recommend Capturing the Essence- Techniques for Bird Artists by William T. Cooper as a wonderful reference guide- you can check out my review here.

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BLOG update: If you’re a regular reader you may have noticed a couple of small changes to my site. I have updated the Useful Resources page- it now has more of a visual overview of the books I recommend. If you have a goodreads account, you can add them to your own reading list by clicking on the books image. I have also removed my portfolio page and the link above now directs you straight to my official portfolio site. Also new is the Categories drop-down list in the right side bar (under the about info), so if you are looking for posts on a certain subject hopefully that makes things easier to find! I am hoping to do a full blog re-design at the end of the year so stay tuned for some bigger changes in a few months time.

till next time,

emma

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magpie moths project- finished!

Hi everyone,

Today I thought I’d post the final illustrations for the New Zealand magpie moth project I had been working on for the masters thesis of Cassandra Marks (University of Auckland).

The project involved illustrating diagrams of the male and female moths, showing the sexual dimorphism (especially obvious in the antennae) as well as dorsal and lateral illustrations of the caterpillar. These illustrations were fun to do because they were the first entomological illustrations I have done in watercolour- and it was fun to add some colour to these pretty little moths!

Here are the final illustrations:

MagpieMoth_Female_600dpi-edited

 

female moth

(smaller hairs on the antenna)

MagpieMoth_Male_600dpi-edited

male moth

(much longer hairs on the antenna)

MagpieMoth_Caterpillar_Dorsal_600dpi_edited

magpie moth caterpillar

(dorsal view)

MagpieMoth_Caterpillar_lateral_600dpi_edited

magpie moth caterpillar

(lateral view)

Another thing I really enjoyed in this project was reconstructing life-like positioning of the caterpillar (especially in the lateral view). The specimens I had to draw from were dead and so didn’t really look so much like a living caterpillar would anymore- so that was a fun challenge to try and depict what a living caterpillar might look like.

here is also the palette of colours I used. I used Winsor and Newton cotman watercolours and the most used colours were Ultramarine Blue and Burnt sienna to mix up varying shades of brown-black and blue-black. They were the perfect colours for this species!!

palette-swatch_magpie-moths006

All images copyright E. Scheltema 2014. Please respect my client (these illustrations are part of their research) and do not copy or use any of these images without permission. If you are interested in commissioning work or collaborating on a project like this please contact me