Alpenkrähe

The following illustration is based on the “Alpenkrähe | Red-billed cough”.
After doing the Subalpine Warbler, I felt like I was not pushing myself in any way on these latest images. So in this illustration I avoided using curves as much as possible, constructed the body out of chunky rectangles instead and deliberately made everything – from the basic proportions to the shading – a little bit more abstract than before.
And at the end, I created a second interpretation on the same basis because I felt again like I was sticking too much to what I already established as a safe look.

Unfortunately, I did not write any notes while creating this illustration and thus there will not be any additional text to accompany the process-images.
Due to being busy at work & the Tendonitis flaring back up again I had to split the work on this image over multiple evenings.

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Subalpine warbler

Sometimes “inspiration” really just means to look at something you’ve seen already multiple times again, but this time you see something different.

As I got out of the shower I looked out the window which had fogged up due to me enjoying warm water on my skin while we had just seen some snow coming down a few minutes earlier. The view out of the bathroom window isn’t very inspiring by itself, there’s the wall of the next house a few meters away and some branches hanging from a tree which sits between the two houses. I’ve seen that view for 3 years on an almost daily basis and I don’t get excited about it, usually. However for some reason this time my brain made me realize and actively consider that there is a wall, and yes there are tree branches – but have you noticed how everything looks like it’s 2D. It’s all flat, there’s no volume to it. Whatever chemistry happened in my brain at that point took those thoughts and turned it into multiple ideas for artworks.
This was one of the ideas and the most straight-forward one. So everything you need to know is already in the first image here. The ref-photo I took a couple minutes after the post-shower-epithany and the quick composition doodle that followed after.


I knew I would be going for a simple composition and color-theme on this image. Mostly bright greys to give the impression of mist & fog, but with a little bit darker values on the branches and the bird. I knew that I’d need a bird with a colored pattern to it’s feathering and looking through the bird guidebooks I found the “Balkan-Bartgrasmücke – Subalpine Warbler”. I liked the red’ish chest coloration but ultimately I decided to use this bird because I saw an opportunity in its head-shapes.

So the next step was to lay down the base-shapes without any detailling.

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