Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Silent Encounters - Part 2

Watercolour on paper, 38x25cm, © Matteo Grilli 2012

The young one was restless, begging for food, but the parents were very quiet and still, the female was looking at me through the branches. Male and female have a slightly different colour, males tend to be grayish, females have a reddish or tawny shade on their feathers. Juveniles are something in between with darker  marks especially over the head.

 
Detail

It is surprising to see their agility and nocturnal activity comparing to their sleepy and quiet behaviour during the day. When threatened, they rely on their amazing camouflage, standing still and assuming an elongated posture to resemble a dead branch.
 
Work in progress

Tawny Frogmouths are very elusive an mysterious birds, hiding many secrets about their behaviour and biology. Professor Gisela Kaplan's book Tawny Frogmouth reveals many of this bird's secrets, it is the most comprehensive book about this 'Aussie icon' so far, gathering years of research revealing its very surprising hidden secrets. A truly recommended read.

Tools

At the end of these two paintings 'Silent Encounters' linked by the same story and experience, I was a bit surprised that 95% of the colours used is a mixture of just Burnt Umber and Neutral Tint, making it all appearing rather monochromatic.

13 comments:

  1. Really gorgeous. Fantastic how you caught the bird between the branches.
    Beautiful colors.
    Lovely greet
    Marja

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  2. Beautiful post and gorgeous painting. We have a rescue centre near us for injured animals - I remember seeing a brain injured bird (the vet told us it had a terrible injury) and there it was right out in the open pretending to be a branch ... such sad little thing. We hear them often around us - lovely creatures.

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  3. Over here I am gearing up for the RSPB annual Big Garden Birdwatch this month. I don't think I will see anything as extraordinary as this beautiful little bird. Such a fascinating creature and a stunning painting to match. :)

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  4. Che meraviglia! I love your art!

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  5. Thank you everybody for the nice comments, I'm very grateful to all of you.

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  6. Your artwork has captured the essence of these amazing birds! Love it!!

    But can you tell the difference between these and the Papuan Frogmouth? We saw some young Frogmouths in Townsville last year - but couldn't tell which species they were!!

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  7. Thanks for your nice comment, the Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds describes the Papuan Frogmouth as 'very large (45-54cm) brown (female) or grey (male) frogmouth with red eyes and white mottling on underparts, inhabiting rainforests and woodland in north-east Queensland. Jouvenile: similar to Tawny but much larger and often with rufous wings. Immature: mottled blackish-brown, darkest of all frogmouths. From cape York to about Townsville'. I hope that helped, happy birdwatching!

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  8. CHER MATEO - TON AMOUR POUR LES ANIMAUX M'ENCHANTE !!!!! C EST MAGNIFIQUE ........... BISES - CECILE LA BRODEUSE

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  9. Merci beaucoup Cecile! Tu es tres jentille.
    A' bien tot

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