Wednesday, 25 March 2015

(Still) Not fair game. (An impasto pheasant)

So, I have finally finished the large version of the wind farm sunrise painting but this little guy has been waiting in the wings (no pun intended) for a couple of weeks now so I thought I'd give him an outing first.

You might remember I gave the highland cow a vibrant do-over a few weeks ago? Well, at the same time I decided to give my old friend, Phillip, a do-over as well.

Pheasant+impasto acrylic+impressionism+Nic's eARTh
'Not fair game' - impasto acrylic on canvas 40cm x 40cm

Those of you who've been visiting my blog for a while might remember Phillip was a pheasant who used to visit us for his dinner, sometimes alone and sometimes with his harem of lady pheasants. Sadly, he met a sticky end on the road in our village like so many of the poor pheasants around here do.

close up impasto texture+Nic's eARTh
Close up of the feather texture

Since then we've had Pedro the Pheasant although he sometimes disappears for months on end and I worry every time I see a squashed pheasant that it might be him. When he does turn up I feel an inordinate amount of relief that he's still with us! I've become very attached to this wee guy, much like Phillip before him. I'm very happy to report that Pedro has actually been visiting more regularly this last week or so (he sees us at the dining room window and runs up to the spot where we set his food down in the field by our back fence and waits for us to dish it up!)so he's doing alright for a bird that normally doesn't have a terribly long lifespan around these parts. Long may it continue!

This is a little snippet that S filmed of Pedro having his dinner recently so you can see just how friendly and curious he is.

Anyway, I'd done a pointillism painting of Phillip back in May 2013 which I had submitted to the Society of Caithness Artists' annual exhibition that summer. He didn't sell at the time and had subsequently found a place to roost on the wall in our bedroom. 

close up+impasto texture+pheasant feathers+Nic's eARTh
Close up texture round edges of canvas

The original painting was already pretty vibrant due to Phillip's beautiful plumage so I decided to change the pointillism (that was so 2013) and give him an impasto plumage instead. I also wanted to simplify the background (i.e get rid of what was there and use my favourite turquoise to create a wash for a plain background instead). So that's what I did and this is the result. 

Close up of eye and wattle region
This is what he used to look like pre-impasto:

Pointillism Phillip

When it came to re-doing it I noticed that the proportions of his face were a bit skewiff so I made the wattle bigger and his eye and the little feathery tuft at the back of his head smaller.

The new (improved?) Phillip the Pheasant

Anyway, I think he looks better this time around. He's going to be available for purchase either at the Blue Tree Gallery in Wick at an exhibition there being held from April to June or alternatively he can be purchased online via Artfinder. If he sells, that's great, if not, he'll always have a home on our bedroom wall!

As always, I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday and will catch up with everyone there over the weekend. 


  1. Bonsoir chère amie,

    C'est incroyable l'avalanche de nuances de couleurs qui pare ce très joli faisan.
    Bravo, l'artiste !

    ❀ Gros bisous ❀

  2. I adored watching Pedro! What a star! ;) he does seem very tame! As for Philip I remember him well and I think this is a huge improvement. His reduced eye size somehow makes him look wiser and the textured surface is beautiful. I really like your trademark background too. You don't need any other details.

  3. I think too that he is better this way. He is beautyful on his own without a distracting background. II love his eyes!

  4. How lovely that you have a pet pheasant! We used to have one called Goeffrey, but since we got Sherlock I hear Geoffrey in the distance but he doesn't come in the garden anymore! The make over is fantastic. Love it!!! :0)

  5. He's gorgeous - I definitely like the new paint job :-D Great to see Pedro on the vid enjoying his nosh. :-) xoxo

  6. i've never seen a real pheasant!! what beautiful birds they are!! the makeover turned out really well.

  7. Philip looks great in his coat of many colours, love the painting, Valerie

  8. I am thinking that the name Philip means that things meet a sticky end as I have a bonsai called Philip and he is not looking too flash at the moment... Love the reworked painting... And especially love seeing the close ups of the textures in your work...xx

  9. Oh I loved watching Pedro in his blissful sweet nature is. Your work is always so interesting and I love the beautiful textures. Love your passion for animals! They are fascinating to watch!! Glad Pedro is still around!! I remember the other one well!

    Hugs Giggles

  10. What fabulous texture! I love it! :) Looks so much better now.

  11. Lovely Pedro the pheasant both in your painting and in the nature. It is so sorry, when they get in traffic accidents. We have here some too!

  12. Love Pedro in his video and loved the music too, I wonder what it was. I hope he survives for a long time.
    Phillip's make-over is terrific, great mix of colours.

  13. Pedro is such a grand looking bird. I wish him all the best! I love your paint over with the impasto technique-really fantastic Nic!

  14. Hi Nic. The makeover is great. Your love of God's creatures always comes through in your work. Awesome. Have a wonderful day and as for gardening, just try it in pots. One tomato plant to start out with and you'll get hooked.:) take care.

  15. You are so lucky to have a visitor like Pedro in your garden. I love all the textures you have achieved in his portrait. Fabulous impasto. Happy PPF x

  16. Wow, Nic - I love both versions, but I have to say the new and improved Philip is really great. I think you are on to something here with the blending of your past and present styles. Its fabulous, actually. I can't wait to see more. M.x

  17. unbelievably beautiful. love the technique. so sorry to hear of Phillip's demise.

  18. uv the textures, have a nice PPF

    much love...

  19. Yes, he does look better! Even though he looked good before already ...

  20. Handsome fellows Phillip and Pedro are! i love how you handled Phillip's eye - so alive!

  21. Not only do I love your wonderful painting - that video of Pedro is so sweet. I've never lived around pheasants -- what lovely birds.

  22. I have to admit I like both paintings. The impasto is brilliant, but it was brilliant already. I love seeing the evolution of a painting. Thanks for sharing your work and the wonderful video. It's almost like paradise -- except for the birds getting run over :( I hope Pedro lives a long life.

  23. Pointillism is so 2013! LOL! He's beautiful no matter what. I do like what you did to his plumage and the new background. Thanks for sharing the youtube video of Pedro.

  24. Pointillism is so 2013! LOL! He's beautiful no matter what. I do like what you did to his plumage and the new background. Thanks for sharing the youtube video of Pedro.


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