I’m currently working on a birds from brazil illustration series to coincide with this years Olympics. While researching this topic I kept coming across images of the green-headed tanager.
This small, colourful bird can be found in the Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil and far eastern Paraguay.
The creature measures an average of 13.5cm. Its preferred habitat is humid forests but there have been sightings in orchards and parks; apparently its flashy blue-green coloration camouflages well among the foliage.
As this bird is so colourful and full of character it was tremendous fun to draw. It was great to break out the brighter colours in my watercolour box. Plus, I couldn’t resist creating lots of sketches to capture the quirky, playful nature of this vibrant little critter.
As an artist, illustrator and journalist, observation, research and image gathering are key to the success of my work. So from now on I’m letting you in on my working practice every week with my Monday Moodboards.
I’m always taking pictures of things that catch my eye and (much to Dr B’s chagrin) spend at least a couple of hours a day on Pinterest (probably not very healthy I know) collecting all kinds of images that reflect trends and serve as inspiration for my home and my drawings. Making them into a moodboard distills my thoughts and allows me to think about the vibe I want to create with my own endeavours.
I’ve recently become fascinated by green and white. It is so representative of this time of year. During the past three weeks I’ve been greeted with this glorious colour combination on my daily morning woodland and riverside walks. Lush grass, delicate hawthorn flower and cow parsley abound the environment creating delightful glades and giving everything a soft, elegant appearance. Beautiful.
This simple palette has so much potential in terms of design and it’s versatile too; a simple flower arrangement, artful grouping of fern and minty coloured objet, delicate planting or full-on statement floor and wall tiles, there are so many ways to incorporate this look into your home. Used wisely it can look stylish in a laid back, understated way. And even if you’re not actually using natural elements or motifs it suggests a natural, organic feel. The clean, fresh scheme and simplicity reflected in my mood board has also given me food for thought when it comes to my illustrations – sometimes maybe less is more?
An opulent bloom, the Hibiscus is a very hardy, versatile plant and thrives in tropical conditions. It is a member of the Malvaceae family and the name is Latin for marshmallow.
The flower is very showy and gregarious and as such it attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
This is actually the last plant of the fortnight post. After a year working on the blog I’ve given it a review and have decided on a few changes. Instead of bird/plant of the fortnight, I’ll be doing one ‘Drawing of the week’ post every Tuesday. So you’ll still get your illustration fix.
In keeping with my tropical mood next week I will be showcasing several drawings of the Green-headed Tanager – a beautiful bird native to Brazil.