AVES: TROCHILIDAE PT. 1

An ongoing study of multiple hummingbird species, exploring the mediums of ink and watercolour through various techniques to find beautiful and effective ways of depicting this magical family of the animal kingdom with these tools.

Hummingbirds have had a special place in my heart since childhood. My work Hummingbirds  explores my sentiment, and this study, in a way, is a continuation of it as well as a tool to develop my craft and move deeper into the field of natural science illustration; an amalgamation of the pursuits that I have a passion for.

The first in the series, ‘Lady Rufous’ or Selasphorus rufus, widely known in the northern hemisphere for aggression and flight skills, is an exercise in creating familiarity with the forms, shapes and proportions of the subject matter. Wet on wet watercolour techniques were applied to create depth and form in certain areas of the body. I used minimal ink line work to imply texture along the breast, belly, flank and under-tail regions.  I chose to have most detail concentrated in the throat area as it presents the defining feature of this particular female. The overall outcome portrays the female Selasphorus rufus in a distinct yet soft aspect that sits in harmony with the light washed background.

I have never seen a hummingbird in real life but my relationship with them has strengthened through the act of creating this art. It fills my heart with joy that such miraculous things exist all around us, and it fuels my protectiveness of their welfare.