I've always loved adding a pop of red or orange in a painting. It brings the subject to life and adds welcome contrast to blue and green.
With their fire engine red faces and beaks; olive and lemon bodies that are sprinkled with a constellation of white "stars", their plumage is both unusual and stunning. Painted slightly larger than life size, they were a joy to paint.
I couldn't resist adding a sprig of gum leaves that were turning those beautiful warm colours. When sunlight hits them at the right angle the effect is like a miniature stained glass window!
Star Finches (Bathilda ruficauda) are common aviary birds that have numerous mutations, the most common being a yellow-faced variety but others include fawn, cinnamon and pied.
They are an estrildid finch endemic to northern Australia. They nest in a globe of grass lined with feathers producing 3 to 7 white eggs.
There are three recognised subspecies. One of the subspecies may be extinct. The others are facing habitat destruction due to overgrazing of grasslands, removing essential cover for their survival as well as sources of food and water. It would be a tragedy if the only survivors of this species were aviary birds.
27 hours to paint.
SKILL LEVEL: Medium
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