I recently took an interest in fancy pigeons after passively watching an episode of The Nature of Things. It was either about pigeons or evolution, but in either case it showed fancy pigeons and I immediately was surprised how varied their appearances can be with selective breeding. I already enjoy drawing and painting birds: I have a whole sketchbook full of motion sketches of seagulls, ducks, and geese I used to draw while I went to the park with my brother; I also have this massive painting of Canada geese that I’ll take the opportunity to bring to attention again because it is one of my favourite paintings (all the way back from 2007).
I would say this is a considerable interest if it competes with my desire to draw dragons or demons. So, I started doing actual visual research and learning about why these pigeons look so different and examining the variety of species that exist. I was immediately drawn to the Jacobin pigeon, which wears its feathers like a fur winter coat and looks very glamorous. I started with a Jacobin pigeon based on the 2012 show winner for the Vancouver Poultry & Pigeon Association because of its orange colouration. I will be painting more of these for sure — most likely more Jacobins and some of the very skinny, tall types of pigeons out there.
I am taking a different approach to these paintings as well. I don’t usually paint on birch board, and I don’t usually paint in a more watercolour style with acrylics (my acrylics are very heavy body most of the time). One inspired the other and I will be continuing to paint on birch board, which is solid and of nice quality compared to how unpleasant masonite is in general.