I love Quails so I couldn’t pass up painting one–however, I did not think it through, they are not easy to paint quick. Too much stuff going on on them. However, I think I did pretty well minimizing all the “stuff” while still making them look pretty convincing–which is a big deal for me–minimizing that is.
When I lived in AZ many years ago, I loved visiting the valley during their nesting season. After everyone would hatch, numerous little fluff ball babies would come leaping out of their prickly cactus nests (I didn’t like it when a Roadrunner would visit during their great exodus.). Then, like a ribbon teasing a kitten, little legs moving so quickly they couldn’t be seen, they would run along behind their parents.
Quails eat mainly seeds, flowers and leaves but will also eat insects. They require what is called protozoans to digest their food. The little babies acquire the protozoans by pecking at adult feces–yum! At times a clutch can have up to 28 eggs which usually means another female too lazy to build a nest and sit on the eggs has “dumped” eggs in another nest, leaving the other parent to raise their young. The oldest recorded quail was 6 years 11 months old. A couple more little facts before moving on to the bunting, their topknot is actually 6 feathers that overlap each other and for those music lovers, the male and female California Quail call antiphonally, meaning that they alternate calls, fitting them into a tightly orchestrated pattern.
I is for Indigo Bunting–another difficult blue to come up with–especially yesterday and today. Maybe if I’d had a cerulean blue it would have been less frustrating. (In our area we have Lazuli Buntings) The male of course gets to sport the beautiful blue during the breeding season and turns brown for the winter. The female wears brown feathers year-round.
These migratory, smallish, songbirds live in the South and from the Midwest down to Florida. They often migrate at night using the stars to navigate. They live in brushy, woodland and farmland areas, eat what sparrows eat and often raise two broods of 1-4 babies.
Off subject here–I am only 4 away from completing the alphabet. It looks like I’ll have them ready for the Clark County Open Studio Tour November 14 & 15. Here is a link if you are interested in knowing about it, http://ccopenstudios.org If you are in the area, come by and see them as well as other works I’ve been doing. Although this has been a fun project I’m ready to move on to some not so quick paintings–something with more detail–my comfort zone.