Hornbills

One of the stories I remember reading as a 5 year old kid was about a hornbill and his mate, building a nest, and guarding his future offspring by barricading them inside a hollow tree.  His nemesis, the eagle, simply waited til the chicks were ready to leave to conduct his customary raid.  Violence ensues, eagle is somehow defeated, end of story.
hornbill
I pictured a cosy moment where the lovebirds are perched facing opposite directions amidst foliage, Horny Bill standing guard while his gf pecked at berries.  Step one, define Bill’s horn, following through with some nice curves.
01hornbill
His beak.

02hornbill
Outline the bodyshape.
03hornbill
Looking up reference photos helps with getting details right.
04hornbill
Time to plot the female’s pose.
05hornbill
Again, study references for details applicable to this pose.
06hornbill
I get started on some leaves.
08hornbill
Go crazy.

10hornbill

Viola!  All that remains now is colour.  I selected a range of strident fauvist tones which reflect by vivid uplifting tones of the story.  On top of the base choice of colours, I work on combinations of brushes to add tonal variation and texture borrowed from analytical cubism.
hornbill1zt600a

© Copyright Ian Ang 2010

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