I’ve been having difficulty drawing this Eastern Kingbird and will be starting over again for the third time. The only success so far has been posing the actual bird to appear flying.
Back in the days of Audubon, he would shoot whatever bird he needed out of the sky and afterwards wire it into position. Without refrigeration to slow down decomposition, Audubon would have painted rapidly out of necessity. A putrid smelling bird is not pleasant company. Since I’m hardly quick with my paint brush, it’s fortunate that my foam block and toothpick setup is portable and fits easily into my freezer.
The bird itself died in a building strike and was found by volunteers of the Fatal Light Awareness Project (FLAP). It then made its way to the Royal Ontario Museum before being passed along to me. The eventual painting (keep fingers crossed) will be another in an ongoing series I’m creating for Bird Studies Canada.