Friday, November 11, 2011


Some time ago I was struggling to find the features of an imaginary character: in my mind he was quite clear, but I couldn't put him on the paper. I guess you know. So I looked for the most similar real face I could remember, and that was the smart and nice face of Alfalfa (actor Carl Switzer) from Our Gang series (yes, we know this series in Italy, too). I collected some photos and started to copy, hoping this would help me ("when you are stuck, go back to nature"...).

In fact my character turned out quite different, but the exercise was definitely useful.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Green woodpeckers

The (european) green woodpecker (Picus viridis) is a beautiful, middle size bird of our countries. It's quite common to ear his funny call, a kind of sonorous mocking laughter, and you can spot him while he moves with his undulating flight, but he tends to be rather shy, so it's not easy to watch him for a long time.
But this summer I was lucky enough to see a couple of them breeding in a field near a wood, and the observation was rather long and accurate. They are mostly green and mimetic, but they have a bright red crown - as if they were a bit vain. They walked calmly and watchful on the grass, looking for food.
When you see wild animals busy in their activities, it's easy to understand why  many traditional legends regard them as "small persons", little human creatures with a secret life. So I decided to remember my lucky encounter with a painting, "the secret life of green woodpeckers".

Done mostly in watercolor, with some gouache and colored pencils (sorry for the bad photo). Unfortunately I was not consistent in the color of the characters.