Figurative art of the Dominican Cúa

Among the endemic birds of Hispaniola Island, I have chosen the Dominican Cúa to represent it as figurative art in oil on canvas. In the following images you will see the process of realization from the initial sketch in graphite pencil through the base drawing and the first applications of color on the canvas. I finish the analysis showing the final result of the work and describing the details of the parts that make up the figure.

Drawing process
Inicial sketch of the Dominican Cúa

To start, I took as a reference different postures of the bird through photographs, which served me to do the compositional study. To make visible its most striking parts, such as the reddish tone of its chest, the tail with its variations of violet, white and blue and the details of the wings, I opted for a foreshortening representation of the figure, with the tail slid down and where you can see in detail the contours of the wings and chest.

Drawing detailing the figurative form of the Dominican Cúa

The figurative art in the formal aspect of the Dominican Cúa, has a variety of details to consider, being able to mention in addition to the variety of colors, the diversity in the shape and directionality of its plumage. In this drawing, I made a representation of the movement of the wings and the behavior of the plumage in terms of their direction and variation, in the same way the darker areas are delimited and the volumetry of the figure is solved.

Base drawing with a layer of diluted oil on canvas

The base drawing consists of a layer of oil paint diluted in turpentine essence. This representation is faithful to the drawing previously made in graphite pencil and with which we will proceed with the color applications for the treatment of the volume of the figure.

First color applications
First color applications to give volume. Also a base at the background with arbitrary floral shapes

I started the first applications with shades of ultramarine blue and a shade of violet to get the local color. In the background, I applied a layer diluted in brown and gray green tones while drawing the floral elements that will constitute the atmosphere in the whole work.

Color separation of each of the parts that make up the figure

In later applications, I established the paint bases for the cadmium red of the chest and wings. The tail with an ultramarine blue and violet well obscured with flashes of light violet areas.

Emphasis on details
Emphasis on the brushstroke to configure the direction and shape of the feathers

Once all the parts of the figure and the background were established by color, then I began applying more intense tones over the range of local colors. Giving directionality to the brushstroke and outlining the contours in the figure of the bird.

Finish of the work. The details of the feathers, the enhancement in lighting and the direction of the brushstroke in small strokes are appreciated.

Finally, I emphasized the details of the plumage, the eyelids, the iris and the beak. Similarly, I highlighted the areas of light and shadow using titanium white and lamb black to achieve greater contrast in certain areas.