I had every intention of sketching full traditional peacock plumage, but when looking at references, I was totally intrigued by the face of this regal bird. Plus, I was dying to sketch something with a bit of detail, so this is today’s entry. I also wanted to try something that mimicked the bokeh of a photograph in my current experimental state. I can’t ever seem to draw the traditional version of this bird each time I go to do so, which is only twice now, as last year I did a drawing of a flying peacock. This means I’ve already shared most all of the peacock trivia I know in that previous post. One thing I do love about them is that their exquisite coloring is actually just a trick of the light. They are really rather unassuming brown birds, but their feathers change color based on how the light is reflected in them. I considered painting this one entirely in brown with a caption that read, “Is it just me, or am I badly lit?” but, in the end, I couldn’t resist adding the lovely reflected colors that make people swoon over this showy bird.
I do admire that the peacock seems so uninhibited and proud of itself. Strutting up and down, showing off its many feathers for all to see. Mostly, of course, for the lady birds that he’s trying to impress and mate with, of course, but anyone who happens by can’t help but be dazzled. I’ve never quite had this level of confidence, though I attempt to appear otherwise whenever possible. Throughout my career, I’ve often had to speak in front of crowds of people and spend most of my time pretending I’m someone else while doing so. I love to talk about creative projects, so that’s a plus, but my preference is to share the spotlight with others and not dwell too much on myself. That’s why I’ve always surrounded myself with talented people who inspire me and push me to try new things. That, and it’s a wonderful distraction when I happen to mess something up.
I’m constantly telling people to DO and forget about everything, but I often have trouble following my own advice. That’s why this month, I’m taking my own advice and just grabbing my brush and going for it, not worrying about the outcome. It’s been incredibly fun! I’m sharing this, to say that my DO advice is actually rather good after all. I never know what I’m actually capable of doing until I go ahead and throw caution to the wind and try it. There’s always something that I learn and will indeed do differently next time, but the thrill of trying is a total rush. So, I may not fully get over all of my fears or become a social butterfly in public settings, but I will slowly improve my art over time. Each little layer of paint every day is a new lesson that informs the next. I think that’s been the secret to my daily painting habit. I’m always excited to share what I made today with you, no matter the outcome, simply because I made it. My own little version of strutting like a peacock.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!