Wonderful Kookaburras

Drawing is still my favorite technique, and I expect it always will be.  There’s something magical about bringing things to life with such a humble tool and no color.

I have long admired kookaburras and when I prepared to draw these guys I did a little research and found out that there are three varieties.  I think the most beautiful is the spangled kookaburra, but I chose to draw these more common ones.

As always when I draw birds I am fascinated with how much expression they  can convey with body language despite the “handicaps” of having no hands and limited motion in their bodies (their skeletons are fused between shoulder and hip).  But they do have quite a large number of vertebrae (16 or 19, I think) in their necks so can place their heads in seemingly endless positions.

Tomorrow I want to finish this drawing by adding just a tiny bit of color.  I’d like to tint the background either with tea, acrylic washes, or colored pencil, and perhaps add some drybrush streaks of interference gold.  As I see the drawing once it’s photographed, I realize that it needs a bit more pencil work in the right bird and the right part of the branch.

I originally began this piece as a line drawing, intending to do a painting with soft body acrylics.  But I got so caught up with the drawing that I just kept going and the drawing will be my finished piece.  It’s too bad I didn’t do it on better paper.


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