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Thursday, 2 August 2012

The humble sparrow

Like the magpie (see last post),  the humble sparrow is another example of a bird we often disregard in favour of the more glamorous and colourful species .... because we see them everywhere ...  so they end up being a bit boring!  Ok sparrows aren't as brightly coloured as, say the goldfinch or bullfinch but they have bundles of character and I love watching them flitting around the garden.  They also have lovely markings in gorgeous shades of browns.  For someone who paints, I often look at a subject and think of the colours in my palette to describe them - so looking at the sparrow, I'm thinking  - oooh burnt sienna, raw umber, quinadricone gold......!  I was going to paint my little sparrow in a loose style like the magpies but as I made a start something told me to go tighter and more detailed and this is probably the most detailed I've painted for a while.  I've left it like this for now and think I may just leave it as a study rather than putting a background in - or I may give him a branch to stand on -  what do you think?



And just as a little added extra for you today I'd like to share this photograph taken on Moel Famau onTuesday evening - this is where I regularly walk, most evenings if possible, just love it up there in the evening or early in the morning when you're more likely to have the place to yourself,  a good place for birdlife too as you can imagine,  including buzzards, grouse and stonechats - and we saw a cuckoo up there a few weeks ago. The black grouse is in this area too but not seen one yet!

Moel Famau - for more photos of this walk click here


Thank you so much for leaving your comments - it's always such a pleasure to hear from fellow bloggers, have a lovely day !

32 comments:

  1. I love your sparrow, great painting! You're right, they might look dull and insignificant at first glance but the closer you look, the more you realise just how many beautiful brown tones there are. I'd give him a hint of a perch to sit on I think.

    Jealous of your location too - I am rural, but surrounded by arable farmland rather than glorious wild country!

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    1. thanks Sharon, I think you're right he does need a little something to ground him, and yes I feel very lucky to live where I do, although I'd like to be even closer to the hills if I could!

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  2. I just love your little Sparrow, once again you've worked your magic on my photo, it was a lovely evening up MF, we may see the elusive Black Grouse one day!!!

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    1. Holly may flush one out for us one day eh?

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    2. Probably on the day I don't take the camera lol!!

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    3. A photographer should NEVER go out without his camera!!!! lol

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  3. This bird and the magpies, are so beautifully painted whether they are loose or tighter :) And that view!!! Just makes me go, 'Ahhhhhh"!! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Rhonda, have just got back from 'that view' again tonight, although I'm really noticing the nights drawing in now meaning there'll be less and less time for evening walks like that :-(

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  4. Visiting from the Art Blog Hop. I think most birds have something beautiful about them - maybe not vultures or buzzards but someone could probably argue that point with me. Personally I think owls are exceptionally beautiful.

    I hadn't thought about the character of sparrows. I guess I haven't observed them much. I enjoyed your post.

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    1. Welcome Wendy - glad you enjoyed the post - yes owls are stunning aren't they, I'm about to paint a barn owl - I can understand someone not being keen on vultures but buzzards? they're beautiful birds! Hope you drop by again soon, take care

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  5. I love the little sparrow, love the details too! I don't see him as often as I used to in my childhood, when they were everywhere, in Holland that is. I'm not sure why.

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    1. Aah I wonder why that is Judy, good to see you here, thank you for dropping by xx

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  6. Nice job on the sparrow! Beautiful country in your photo!

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    1. Thank you Brian - your photos are wonderful by the way!

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  7. Sharon this is gorgeous. Beautiful detail work especially on the feathers and the eye. You've captured the sparrow perfectly.

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    1. Thank you Laura and good luck with the exhibition, wish I could come!

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  8. Excellent detail in the humble House Sparrow. The painting is perfect in my view though perhaps needs something to perch on, but no background needed.

    I know this will sound a little odd to your visitors to the blog but....An absolute stunner of a Kingfisher flew in through my letterbox this morning. Doesn't life throw up some wonderful surprises at times.

    Thanks Sharon.

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    1. Thank you Pete - yes he does need something to perch on bless him as he is just hovering in mid air at the moment! Well fancy a kingfisher flying through your letterbox, wonder how that happened!!! Take care x

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  9. Give him a branch. You made the correct decision with this piece and your colour control is first rate. Lovely.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments Mick - and yes I'm glad I decided to give him a different treatment to the magpies, and show off a bit of that lovely detail and colours that sparrows have that often get overlooked! I think the consensus is he needs a branch of some sort and I agree so will get on to that!

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  10. Hes fabulous as he is I think Sharon-i love how the two different treatments of the birds suit their personalities! Big splashy cheeky magpies and dapper little sparrow-lovely!!!

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    1. Thank you Sue - I'm glad I ended up painting the little sparrow the way I did, it does seem to suit the little fella!

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  11. Not such a loose rendition Sharon but for me - I love it - your detail and colours perfect

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    1. No I don't always paint loosely - it depends on what I feel like at the time and the subject!

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  12. Brilliant House Sparrow painting Sharon.

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  13. Your sparrow is perfect to me! I loved the magpies too. I get lots of wood pigeons (wonderful characters with hilarious antics) in my garden, though I'd like them even more if they left my cherries alone ;o)

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    1. Yes the pigeons are characters - they are in my garden a lot too - and I may well be painting one of them soon too! Another often disregarded bird because we are so used to seeing them everywhere - but again they have some lovely colours and patterns to them!

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  14. Lovely sparrow, we have a pair that nests every year in our kitchen window. You have captured these little birds perfectly. I might add a branch or the edge of a bird bath, or maybe a grey fence post... and then behind him that lovely sky from you photo. Or leave him as is... he is lovely as is.

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    1. Thank you Elaine, I will be adding a little branch - not sure when as I'm away for the next week on a walking holiday so won't be painting so much!

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  15. The bird has so much fierce spirit in its eyes -- just the way I remember sparrows to be. When I was young I was told sparrows can never be caged as they will hit their head against the cage until they are able to break free or die of bleeding. They just cannot be kept as pets. From that point on I admired the spirit of these seemingly common little birds... And now I see that again -- so vividly on paper! Beautiful as it is ^__^

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  16. Thank you for your wonderful comments Arena, and for the story you were told about sparrows which I can well believe of them!

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I love hearing from you, thank you so much for leaving a comment - I will always try to leave a reply and pop over to visit your blog if you have one - although sometimes I may be slower than others, have a wonderful day xx