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.

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