I have wanted to paint an eagle for a while, but the problem I find with birds of prey is getting their sense of power across effectively, as they are at their most impressive when in flight, or catching prey; capturing their dynamic nature is tricky in two dimensions. I have seen eagles at falconry displays, but as with all birds, they are so much more majestic when seen in the wild.
I found a few Shutterstock images to work with, and that and my trusty Collins Bird Guide gave me enough information to work with. Currently, there is much discussion as to the persecution of raptors (and other creatures) on grouse moors, and the illegal trapping and disappearance of radio-tagged eagles and hen harriers on some estates. I have a number of friends who shoot, and they too are appalled at the unlawfulness and needless cruelty of these events, and I just hope that some sort of solution can be found that works for both the game industry and the wildlife that share those areas.
I sketched the eagle out in 3H pencil, and then used burnt umber, ochre, and gold gouache for the plumage. The ochre is very matte, being an earth pigment, and the iridescence of the gold doesn’t really show up as well as I would’ve liked.
The painting is 30cm square on Fabriano paper, so like all my paintings, fits in to a standard frame. It is for sale at £150 in a cellophane sleeve, or £175 framed. Shipping is extra: please email me for rates.