Hyacinth Macaw

An old Nat-Geo article featuring the birdlife of the Brazilian rainforest, sat in my reference drawer for years, waiting for the day when inspiration & enthusiasm struck together. Its centrepiece, was a beautiful portrait of a Hyacinth Macaw. I’d occasionally look at it and think to myself ‘One day, I’m going to paint you!’.

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When the day came (unexpected as usual), it was thanks to a decision to experiment with acrylics on paper. Usually I would choose a gesso’d canvas, but sometimes you have to mix things up! To get the white flecks in his feathers and the textures in his beak, I added a pastel layer over the acrylic base. The paper’s finer grain allowed a greater level of detail than canvas and the results were delightful. This cheeky Hyacinth Macaw has been delighting and charming admirers ever since!

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