Main Page | Regions Index
Species Index (Prehistoric species, Struthionidae - Anatidae) | (Cathartidae - Icteridae)
WWF | Maximaphily (Maxicards) | Miscellaneous | Chinese version (中文版) : 小菜鳥的博客

25 February 2017

200th anniversary of Audubon

150f : Marabou Stork (禿鸛) ; 70f : Saddle-billed Stork (鞍嘴鸛)
200f : Secretarybird (蛇鷲) ; 110f : Common Ostrich (鴕鳥)
Chad (1985)

15th July, 2016. N'Djamena

John James Audubon
(born Jean Rabin; April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851) was an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.

Audubon developed his own methods for drawing birds. First, he killed them using fine shot. He then used wires to prop them into a natural position, unlike the common method of many ornithologists, who prepared and stuffed the specimens into a rigid pose. When working on a major specimen like an eagle, he would spend up to four 15-hour days, preparing, studying, and drawing it. His paintings of birds are set true-to-life in their natural habitat. He often portrayed them as if caught in motion, especially feeding or hunting. This was in stark contrast to the stiff representations of birds by his contemporaries, such as Alexander Wilson. Audubon based his paintings on his extensive field observations.

He worked primarily with watercolor early on. He added coloured chalk or pastel to add softness to feathers, especially those of owls and herons. He employed multiple layers of watercolouring, and sometimes used gouache. All species were drawn life size which accounts for the contorted poses of the larger birds as Audubon strove to fit them within the page size. Smaller species were usually placed on branches with berries, fruit, and flowers. He used several birds in a drawing to present all views of anatomy and wings. Larger birds were often placed in their ground habitat or perching on stumps. At times, as with woodpeckers, he combined several species on one page to offer contrasting features. He frequently depicted the birds' nests and eggs, and occasionally natural predators, such as snakes. He usually illustrated male and female variations, and sometimes juveniles. In later drawings, Audubon used assistants to render the habitat for him. In addition to faithful renderings of anatomy, Audubon also employed carefully constructed composition, drama, and slightly exaggerated poses to achieve artistic as well as scientific effects.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...