It has been a while since I have posted. My apologies. My brush has been busy and I will be sharing those paintings from start to finish.
Sociable weavers are master builders. Living in congregate groups, their massive nests are impressive in large trees and are unbelievable when suspended in smaller ones. A particular nest in the Namib Desert of Namibia caught my eye for its miracle of engineering.
With some editing and some strategic placing of some of the birds I was ready to start on the painting.
One often thinks of a desert as a yellow mass of sand. The Namib Desert, considered by some to be the oldest desert on earth, is filled with color. Its age has contributed to the oxidation of iron in the sand. The color of the sand in sunlight is a warm orange and in the shadows it is a stunning blueish purple.
The nest had sticks and birds everywhere. The trick was to capture the texture of the nest without painting every twig. On my palette I mixed four different colors for the rusty orange nest on the right side of the vertical branch. Using a small flat angled brush I started at the bottom.
To give the nest that layered feeling and reflect the weathered condition of the outermost layer, some of the upper part of the nest was painted with splashes of the cooler background color.