This week we continue the struggle to make something coherent from this Ba bird idea, and - I've changed my mind pretty comprehensively on how it should look. I decided at the end of the last blog that the original is too big, the body too elongated, and that it must conform more to the proportions of a bird. I said that I would base the bird body on that of an Egyptian wagtail, but now I've begun to doubt that choice.
There are all kinds of needless things that you can worry about with this sort of thing, and one of the worries I continually trouble myself with is ' is it authentic, is it accurate?' In fact it doesn't matter at all, but now I began to ask, 'what kind of bird was it that the Egyptians really used?'
I think I mentioned last week that they used a variety of birds such as stalks and falcons, but I now found myself going back onto the internet to search through all the Egyptian images of the Ba bird available. And the answer is that mostly they seem to be hawks - falcons in fact. Some depict a very long legged bird that I took to be an Ibis, but the colour the Egyptians show the bird seems darker than that of the actual bird. It might of course be one of those birds that change their plumage at different times of the year - and there you are, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
|The basic shape of your basic Ba bird.|
That struggle is yet to come however, as next I'll concentrate on the wings, using a reference as a guide for the size and shape of the feathers that change in size as they go down a bird's wing. The wings of the peregrine falcon are a bluish grey with soft almost metallic effect light grey edges to each feather so blending and softening the hard edges of the lines I use is important.
|Starting the task of placing in the feathers.|
The feathers have almost a tessellated look to them which is important to get right at the start, so that the pattern can continue correctly. Another minor problem is understanding how the wings of the bird fold together, but artists are past masters at faking this kind of thing, and if there's something they don't understand they put it in shadow or blend it into something near, but only when they judge that they can get away with it.
|Most of the feathers in, and some of the black marks on the breast and legs.|
|The subject through it's different stages. Click on the image to see it slightly bigger.|
Next week - those dreaded arms!
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