sketching

Eagles of the World: Bateleur Eagle

The Bateleur Eagle, Terathopius ecaudatus is an interesting colored bird with a very short tail. Found in decreasing numbers across sub-Saharan Africa. They cover large territories of upwards of 250 square miles. They both hunt and scavenge on these vast expanses. Taking small birds and mammals as well as carrion. They seem to prefer snakes, and have developed very rough scaled feet to protect them from bites. 

Bateleur Eagles mate for life, and lay one egg per clutch. Eggs are incubated by the female for 42-43 days. While they are usually found in alone or in pairs, they have been spotted in groups of up to 20 birds. Their closest relatives are the Snake Eagles. 

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This is my first painting in my Raptors of the World series that I’ve completed since moving back to Illinois. I stretched this project out and enjoyed it. Spending the days between brush strokes with family and friends. I was also able to utilize the vast collection of birds at the Field Museum of Natural History.  Eagles have a hold on my imagination a lot lately. Next I’m going to look at Wedge-Tailed Eagles from Australia. 

Thanks for looking at birds with me. 

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Up.

I was walking down the side of Old Airport Road. I looked up to see a Hawk fly over. The air was still and blue. I was wearing a light jacket and there was mud on my shoes.

I thought about how one would take a mental photograph.

Today I sat in the darkroom necessary (not so dark) to develop that image. I used acrylic paint to do the dirty work.

You know how these start by now. Pencil time and cartoon show reruns on Netflix.

You know how these start by now. Pencil time and cartoon show reruns on Netflix.

Formulating a plan as I work along.

Formulating a plan as I work along.

Hawk comes to view. But what about the sky?

Hawk comes to view. But what about the sky?

Applying the blues with an old t-shirt. It came together the way I hoped... though I wish I hadn't spilled paint on my pants again. Though  they were all ready blue jeans.

Applying the blues with an old t-shirt. It came together the way I hoped… though I wish I hadn’t spilled paint on my pants again. Though they were all ready blue jeans.

Ripple.

“Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.”
-Robert Hunter, “Ripple”.
My first Kestrel in true watercolor. I had stuck to watercolor pencil finding the paint form to be too challenging. A good friend gave me the nudge to dive in, and the process has been far more entertaining and enjoyable than I had ever imagined. While I haven’t begun to scratch the surface of its potential, at least so far my kestrel doesn’t look like a ninja pigeon.
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