50 Birds In 30 Days

It's almost May and I have decided to take on a new challenge to continue exploring my first art love - birds!

Introducing...

As you know I love to paint and draw birds, and no matter what else I explore artistically I always come back to these curious feathery creatures.

Here's a few reasons why I love birds so much:

1. They are equally delicate and tough - a beautiful combination of hard beaks and soft feathers, sharp claws and fragile hollow bones - sometimes travelling thousands upon thousands of kilometers to reach their destinations. They are resilient and they know what they want. 

2. They can bring you back to nature and into the moment by listening to their beautiful songs and watching their curious habits. I have always adored the call of a Blackbird on warm summer evenings and of course could spend literally hours (yes I have done this) watching hummingbirds flit from flower to flower. 

3. There are so many amazing varieties of birds - so many different sizes and colours with stunning plumage to paint!! Did you know that the smallest bird in the world, the Bee Hummingbird is only 5-6CM long and weighs about 1.6 grams!

4. Also, they are descended from Dinosaurs! 

Honestly, how could you not love birds?? 

This challenge will run through the month of May and I will paint 50 pictures depicting all sorts of birds - from teeny tiny to big and bold. I don't have a specific list as I am allowing myself to get curious with this and perhaps discover some new bird loves. Generally when I paint like this themes emerge, so I'm excited to see what this turns into!

How it will work: 

  • The challenge starts on Monday May 1 and ends on Tuesday May 30th
  • I will be painting 1-2 (or 3) birds every day throughout the challenge and releasing them on Facebook each day. 
  • The birds will vary in size, medium and style based on my interest on the day. 
  • Each picture will include details of the price, size and medium used.
  • Each bird will be for sale immediately and can be purchased via Facebook - simply comment SOLD in the comment section of the picture to purchase the bird(s) you love and I'll get in contact with you re payment and shipping. 

I would love for you to follow along with this challenge, and would also love to know, are you a bird lover too? What is your favourite bird?

Jump on over and Like my Facebook page to keep up with the challenge. 

P.s. If birds are totally NOT your thing, but you know someone who is a feathery fan, please feel free to share this with them :-)

Looking forward to sharing some gorgeous birds with you!

xx Zoe 

Hummingbird Photography

These tiny little hummingbirds are trying to make me go crazy! I think they are succeeding too, because despite all these shots I am still not entirely happy.IMG_2231

I have become kind of obsessed with photographing them, and my sole purpose at the moment is to get a perfect clear shot of one of these tiny speeding humming birds in flight with all their beautiful colour showing.

How amazing is the colour in this one!IMG_2428

I am starting to feel like capturing both flight and colour is impossible! I just spent 2 hours in the garden trying to achieve this with no luck.

I have been testing out my lenses and different settings and haven't quite got it right yet.

Most of these shots were taken with my 75-300mm lens on Shutter Priority at 1/1000 -1/1600, ISO 800 in full sun. Despite these tiny birds being the fastest I have ever seen, I think my long lens is the culprit. Its quite difficult to keep the lens still enough to get a shot of a moving object.

Anyway, I still have a week left here in Oakland, so I'm not giving up yet!

Wish me luck!IMG_2188

IMG_2371 IMG_2396 IMG_2431IMG_2397

Do you like my hummingbirds pictures? You can subscribe to my email for more or keep updated on my Facebook page.

While I was patiently sitting and waiting in the hot sun to get the perfect shot, Jasper was stealing my water.. IMG_2423