Green Ibis ©2014 MIndy LighthipeI don’t consider myself much of a bird watcher. I don’t really have the patience to wander or deliberately walk around with a pair of binoculars around my neck waiting to see a glimpse of something in the distance. I don’t have a bird list that I check off. I don’t even know what I am looking at half the time. With that being said…. I do love birds. I love seeing them and painting them. I just don’t have the patience to be a diehard bird watcher. Instead of going on bird watching trips I go on nature oriented trips and birds are always part of what I see.

On my latest trip to Costa Rica we stayed in the Sarapiqui region of the country at the Selva Verde Lodge. I have been traveling to Costa Rica to draw and paint for 20 years and still see something new and inspiring every time. This year I saw the Green Ibis on a river boat trip down the Sarapiqui River. Here in Florida there are Ibis and they are white with an orange/salmon colored beak. They are common and I don’t think twice about seeing them. On the boat trip I noticed something moving on the banks of the river and it was a small group of Green Ibis. They almost completely blended into the landscape. I was able to quickly take a bunch of  shots with my digital camera, using the super zoom mode. As I am not into wearing binoculars, I am also not into carrying heavy camera equipment or lots of different lenses. I have a Lumix point and shoot 24 x zoom digital camera. I find that I am able to get the shots  I need in order to draw and paint from. Any information I did not record with my camera, I can research on the internet when I get back to the studio. This is what I did with the Green Ibis.  I had to shoot with a very high ISO- 1600 and zoomed all the way in. The boat was moving and I only had a few moments to get the information I needed.

Green Ibis Photo ©2014 MLighthipeHere is the shot that was the inspiration for my painting above. The one thing that I did not get, was a good shot of  the feet. When I got home researched my subject to find what kind of feet it had and how to position it. I decided that I did not have really enough information to do a full blown painting so I decided to keep it simple and have one foot stepping forward into the picture plane. I used colored pencil and had a great time playing with the background putting in colors that would help make the iridescent green feathers shimmer.

I hope that you like it. It is currently available as a fine art print in my Etsy Shop.

If you are interested in going to Costa Rica with me in 2015 please consider joining my mailing list or sending me an email to keep you updated.

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