January 15, 2024
By Chelsea Reed
Photographs are convenient, but there is something about the character of a hand-drawn painting that is unique to the realistic portrayal of a bird. Maybe it’s the personality of the bird in its pose, or maybe it's the style of that particular artist’s personality. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but birds in realism art have a special touch that cannot be duplicated. Here are five beautiful examples of birds proudly painted in glorious details sought after by any faithful birdwatcher.
Any birdwatcher can tell you it takes a lot of effort to find a Great Horned Owl by ear, let alone see one in broad daylight. This phenomenal capture was painstakingly painted in oil by Rebecca Latham to the last feather. The proud nocturnal bird gazes into the sky from its perch with full display of its beautiful plumage.
Don’t let the looks of this colorful songbird fool you. Its feathers may be soft, but it’s just as tough as the sharp thorns at its feet! A formidable creature, African Lilac Breasted Rollers are known to be aggressive to intruders of their nest. But thanks to this oil painting by Beverly Abbott, you can admire its vivid colors without it ever laying a beak on you!
The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America, and it’s one of only three species where the male and female have different colored plumage. Kestrel males have striking slate blue feathers on their wings and the tops of their heads, like this one painted with oil by Bonnie Latham, while the females are mostly brown.
The Cardinal is the postcard bird of North America. This famous songbird is the state bird for seven states, and its classic red male plumage makes the species a decorating phenomenon for many people during Christmastime. In this piece, the Cardinal’s crimson outfit is bathed in a serene blue background painted in watercolor by Karen Latham. The soft pale blossoms add a nice sense of dimension and rule of thirds to the portrait.
There’s always a sense of excitement that can be felt at the sight of a majestic Great Blue Heron, and Beth Parcell’s oil painting does a great job pulling in the feeling. The tan grass in the background is a good compliment to the Heron’s bold blue colors as it wades in its natural marshy habitat. It reminds one of the joy of spotting Great Blue Herons commonly living in the Outer Banks area.
You can find more gorgeous realistic birds, places and many other things in Seaside Art Gallery’s online exhibition Realism: The Unembellished Beauty of Everyday Life. This special exhibit is available now through January 31st. Every piece is unique, so make sure to claim yours now before it’s gone!
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes winning content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina. She might not be building sandcastles or swashbuckling with pirates these days, but the Outer Banks beaches continue to keep her young at heart.
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