After playing around with watercolor and gouache for a while, I somehow drifted on to acrylic and ink in an effort to capture the wild, manic character of these killer chickens. I always took chickens for granted. It’s not till you start to draw them that you come to realize – behind all that innocent scratching and clucking lies a vicious, terrifying bird of prey!
Here are three more.
“Leghorn Watching” – Gouache, Acrylic, Ink, Watercolor and Charcoal.
“Rhode Island Red – Best of Breed” – Gouache, Acrylic, Ink, Watercolor and Charcoal.
“Black Australorp Considering”– Gouache, Acrylic, Ink, Watercolor and Charcoal.
You have managed to bring out their wild and terrifing side quite effectively. Their eyes are so real and extremely scary. This must be what a chicken looks like as it sees the grim reeper approaching.
Thanks for your comments.
I think chickens must have that grim reaper image in their heads all the time. They seem to always have that weird, fixed stare. It makes you wonder what goes on inside that tiny little brain?
Yes, it was the eyes that drew me in,too. The light in them is fantastic.
Glad you like the paintings.
Scary! My mom raised chickens when I was young and they became so much a part of the background that I didn’t pay them much attention, until the roosters started chasing the chickens or got into a fight which didn’t happen often because there were only a few roosters and lots of contented hens. We had Rhode Island Reds but until I saw your painting I had no idea they were so regal.
I like the way you’ve made the heads important and let the body fade out.
My husband and I are leaving in a few days for 3 weeks driving through the southwest. Do you have any advice on what to take, supply-wise? Of course I’ll pull out my class notes as I pack supplies.
I envy you heading down through the south west. What a beautiful time to be going. If you are any thing like me you will pack a whole lot of painting gear, head of with great intentions of doing lots of paintings, then do maybe two or three. We found there was so much to see, there was no time left to paint!
Have a great trip and thanks for the comments.
These are excellent! I love how they are progressively more manic, the last one really messing with my head.
It’s a bit of a snowball thing – once you get started they seem to build up their own momentum. Lots of fun.
I am so excited that you have a new book coming out. Do you have a publication date? I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to pre-order.
No publication date yet, but sometime towards the end of the year. I have a workshop in Italy and an exhibition to squeeze in as well, so it’s a bit hard to pin point a date.
My grandparents raised chickens in the thousands when I was growing up. They are absolutely terrifying when they continue to run around the yard after their heads have been cut off! I think they have scarred me for life. These paintings are wonderful and quirky. You have really expressed a personality for each bird..
Chickens running around without heads – that does sound scary!
Thanks for your comments, and glad you like the paintings, they were a lot of fun to paint.
Isn’t it interesting how such cute little balls of fluff become so voracious. Terrifying is right.
I find your work most inspiring. I love how you capture the intense focus of those eyes.
Glad you enjoyed the chicken paintings, they’re a lot of fun to paint
Yes, these roosters in real life are not at all timid birds. I am seventy now but vividly recall the day when I was five that my grandfather’s rooster attacked and flogged me. As he was trying to get at my face, I covered it with my hands and to this day carry the scars, all because Grandmother needed a few eggs for the cake she was making and I went into the yard alone. To this day, I am still scared of birds fluttering their wings. But in the end, the rooster was enjoyed on the next Sunday dinner table.
What an experience – I’ll bet you enjoyed that Sunday Dinner!
Hi John – what were the chooks painted on? Paper or W/C canvas?
The chooks were all painted on 300gsm paper.