Capturing the Essence
Techniques for Bird Artists
A step by step guide to painting birds, by one of Australia's greatest living bird artists.
Capturing the Essence is a step-by-step personal guide – by one of Australia's greatest living bird artists – to observing, retaining the essential information and then painting birds from field notes and sketches, photographs and other field observations. + Full description
The author takes the reader through the processes involved in oil painting, watercolour and acrylic techniques, and a piece of art is built up in stages to demonstrate the skills required in each of these media. While the book covers some of the general basics relevant to various kinds of painting of natural history subjects, the concentration is very much on birds.
Painting or drawing any subject well, gives great satisfaction. In this book the author hopes to help the reader become competent at drawing and painting birds, or at least to enjoy trying!- Short description
No longer available in a print edition.
Capturing the Essence is a step-by-step personal guide – by one of Australia's greatest living bird artists – to observing, retaining the essential information and then painting birds from field notes and sketches, photographs and other field observations.
"Beautifully presented, this detailed yet accessible book will appeal to both beginner and experienced wildlife artists. So stunning are the images, and clear and friendly the text,
the book may well compel bird or wildlife enthusiasts to take up painting or sketching who have never considered doing so."
Denise Elias, Sunbird, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2011
"Each painting a true work of art! Wildlife artists, and bird enthusiasts, are fortunate indeed that Cooper has decided to provide us with an insight into how he goes about creating his art, and in doing so I believe he gives us a deeper appreciation of his formidable talent… Just try it, put away the camera, pick up the pencil! Capturing The Essence shows a master at work, but highlights that the rewards of such an approach to studying birds are tangible to us all."
Steve Tredinnick, Corella 35 (4), December 2011
“The presentation of this book is visually exciting. I could not wait to read the text and it does not disappoint. It will appeal to both the artist and the observer who love birds in the wild… Capturing the Essence is a beautiful book and will capture the heart of everyone who enjoys birds.”
Noelle Rigby, The Bird Observer, August 2011, p.46
"There is absolutely no doubt that William Cooper is one of the world’s greatest living bird artists... this book contains all the information any budding bird painter could wish for."
Talking Birds, July 2011, p.9 "It is fascinating to read, and see via the many illustrations, each of these paintings develop from the preparation of the material on which the painting is to be created through the sketching of the composition to the progressive application of the paint to the final product."
Andrew Ley, Australian Field Ornithology 2011, 28, 137
DetailsePDF | February 2012
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
- Unique personal insight into the work of one of Australia's greatest living artists
- A 'how to' book that will appeal to people of many age-groups and experience
- Beautiful illustrations
Part A – the basics
4. Some principles of painting
5. Anatomy of birds (for the artist)
6. Sketching from life
7. Measured drawings
8. Black and whites
Part B – the paintings
9. A painting in watercolours
10. A painting in acrylics
11. A painting in oils