Our Grouchy Grouse

I live in a national forest, down a lane that winds up to my house. And over the past few months, as my roommates and I drive home, we have seen a large winged grouse come flying at our car, attacking the rear windshield or bumper. This grouse has become quite tame, and feeds on bits of seed that fall from the feeders; we’ve even named him “Louie.”  So, I had to paint him, and below is the result.

"Ruffed Grouse" is one of the Birds of Michigan series of original oil paintings by Yeshua's Child Art

“Ruffed Grouse”, oil, 11 X 14, (c) 2015, part of the Birds of Michigan series

This is a bit brighter and more abstract than some of my bird paintings, because I fell in love with the bright colors in his feathers, and wanted to contrast this with the white snow and dark branches he likes to hide in.  Louie is certainly beautiful, and is fun to watch when he (she?) comes to eat with the other birds.

Maybe this spring, there will be babies, too!

Birds of Michigan: Blue Jay

It’s snowing a lot today, and the Blue Jays are feeding on corn that gets scattered on the ground, as well as seeds the other birds drop from the three seed feeders on our front porch. I enjoy their color and curiosity, in spite of how aggressive they are.  So, this inspired a painting:

Curious blue jay looking at ice on a stump

“Curious Jay” original oil painting, 11 X 14

The blues were done with a mixture of cobalt blue, ultramarine and cerulean blue in varying proportions; the darks were raw umber, ultramarine blue and a hint of black. The whites were a mixture of white with grays from ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, with the highlights titanium white with a hint of yellow ochre and cad. yellow light.

In the winter, if water is iced over, jays will often peck and crack the ice, letting themselves drink; this also opens up water for smaller birds, so they do help the others out! I love their inquisitive looks, which I tried to capture here.

How to Paint a Bird: Learning to make a video

A friend of mine has a videorecorder, and so the other day, I decided to try and make my first video. Here’s what I have to say about it: the adage “you learn from your mistakes” is certainly true!

I DID learn a lot about what NOT to do, and so the next time I record, I’ll know things such as how to set up the recorder, how far away, lighting, and how to edit better. But it was kind of fun doing it, and making a “speed painting” effect.

Here’s a link to the video. I am painting a titmouse, because I have sold several of these (I will be making canvas prints from now on!).


Below is the finished painting. Oh, and Happy Labor Day!

oil painting of titmouse by Yeshua's Child Art

Birds of Michigan: Titmouse #2 8 X 10 canvas wrap

Michigan Bird Series: Female Cardinal

Last spring my roomate took a picture of a female cardinal in the snow (yes, there was snow until April here; I thought I had moved to the land where winter never ends by the end of my first Michigan winter!)

As I mentioned before, I love cardinals, so I decided to paint here. I brightened the colors quite a bit from the original, changing the background, etc.  The most fun was playing with painting the snow on the branches, and getting the feather details and lighting right.

Here she is:

cardinal in the Michigan snow

Cardinal in the Snow, oil 14 X 18 on wrapped canvas

Michigan Birds: Cardinal

I love cardinals: their calls in the spring, their bright red against the snow, and the cheer they bring. Here is the first cardinal painting I have done; I plan to do another one in a week or so.

Cardinal oil painting by Yeshua's Child Artist

Michigan cardinal, oil, 11 X 14 on canvas board