I have started on my flying roller painting. The image on the left is the photo I am working from, and the painting is on the right. The bird in the photo is not in good focus - my husband James is MUCH better than I am catching birds in flight - my reflexes are just not quick enough! But while this wouldn't make a good photo for him - it works fine for me. Using other reference and my knowledge of bird anatomy and rollers in general I am able to work out the areas that aren't clear in the photo.
I have started the painting very wet and loose - like an oil painter would do. It's much harder in acrylic but can be accomplished. While the background was still wet I also blocked in loosely the leaves of the leaves. These bushes are found all over Africa and are very unique in having little orange leaves scattered amongst the green. I knew that I knew what the bush was, but I always want to make sure so after checking all my reference books I emailed one of my experts in Kenya (my guide Preston) and he confirmed they were Croton Dichogamus.
Once this dried I went back in and detailed the leaves a little. I didn't do to much though. They are not the subject of the painting, and, they are a little in the background. I have then transfered by my drawing of the outline of the roller onto the painting with white artist saral paper.