A-Z of Bird Portraits by Andrew Forkner

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Capturing both the delicacy and majesty of his subject, Andrew Forkner's book provides you with all you need to paint a range of bird species in acrylics, taking in birds of prey, songbirds and waterbirds from all over the world. It contains information on the materials and preparation you will need to capture the delicacy and majesty of the subjects.

  •  Twenty-six striking and characterful bird species
  •  Clear and easy-to-follow step by step projects
  •  Includes guidance on composition, reference and important bird features

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144 Page. Now Available in Hardback and Paperback.


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Introduction 6
Materials 8
Colours 10
Composition 12
Basic techniques 18
Features of birds 24
Projects 34
Alcedo atthis Common Kingfisher 36
Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle 40
Bombicylla garrulus Bohemian Waxwings 44
Cinclus cinclus White-throated Dipper 48 
Dacelo novaeguineae Laughing Kookaburra 52
Egretta garzetta Little Egret 56
Erithacus rubecula European Robin 60
Falco tinnunculus Common Kestrel 64
Fratercula arctica Atlantic Puffin 68
Garrulus glandarius Eurasian Jay 72
Haliaeetus leucocephalus Bald Eagle 76
Icterus galbula Baltimore Oriole 80
Junco hyemalis Dark-eyed Junco 84
Lanius excubitor Great Grey Shrike 88
Merops apiaster European Bee-eater 92
Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night Heron 96
Oenanthe oenanthe Northern Wheatear 100
Picus viridis Green Woodpecker 104
Quelea quelea Red-billed Quelea 108
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 112
Sitta Europea Eurasian Nuthatch 116
Troglodytes troglodytes Eurasian Wren 120
Tyto alba Barn Owl 124
Upupa epops Eurasian Hoopoe 128
Vanellus vanellus Northern Lapwing 132
Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus Yellow-headed Blackbird 136
Zenada macroura Mourning Dove 140
Index 144

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Andrew Forkner is a keen naturalist and has travelled the world in search of wildlife. His artwork has also travelled widely, with examples of his art in collections in the UK, Europe, Kenya, Canada, USA and Nepal. A self-taught wildlife artist, he works in a variety of media, including graphite pencil, acrylics and pastel to complete his originals. Andrew lives in Oxfordshire. Andrew is a signature member of The Artists for Conservation Foundation and also a member of The Wildlife Art Society International. He has produced several commissions for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, of which he has been a member for over thirty years.

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Leisure Painter, The - February 2015

Andrew Forkner's A-Z of Bird Portraits shows you how to set about capturing 26 birds in acrylics, with guidance on composition and important bird features. The clear and easy-to-follow step-by-step projects include plenty of annotated drawings and detailed colour mixes, allowing you to concentrate on the bird themselves.

Cake Craft & Decoration - February 2015

Art books like this one by Andrew Forkner's provide cake decorator's with great inspiration particularly when painting cakes, or producing lifelike wildlife to portray the cake recipient's hobbies and interests. This book provides you with all you need to paint a range of birds; taking in birds of prey, songbirds and waterbirds from all over the world. With easy-to-follow step by step projects, guidance on composition and important bird features.

Marian Carr, Bradford College - December 2014

As a concept art lecturer I look at a number of books and must admit this one intrigued me. The first impression I had was colour and life and this stuck with me as I followed the book. This feels like a natural history tour while explaining the proportions and colours for each bird and makes wanting to draw and paint each of the birds a natural progression. My only concern is that I might get paint on the pages!

Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts - November 2014

For painters and bird lovers everywhere. Great book with all you need to know to paint twenty-seven different bird species. Andrew uses acrylics, both as watercolour and in their natural state. He shows you how to capture features, characteristics and feathers. The instructions are clear, detailed and easy to follow. Outlines to trace, colour palette, materials needed, professional techniques and tips are all included. Beautifully illustrated. My favourite feature is that you also learn something about the birds including their latin names. Absolutely fabulous and highly recommended.

Myshelf.com - November 2014

Have you always wanted to paint lifelike pictures of birds? Inside these covers are staged instructions on how to paint twenty-seven of them in acrylics. You know when Search Press gives a book a hard cover instead of a paper one to expect something special and this is no exception. Self taught wildlife artist Andrew Forkner sets out his love of birds and acrylics in a user friendly manner, ranging from what you need to buy to painting tips. Learn how to capture feathers on paper as well as birds; feet and beaks, get to grips with the unique properties of acrylics and think about how to compose your picture. Each project has a drawing to trace with instructions on how to do this, plus what paint and brushes to use and even the type of paper. This is not a step-by-step book in the usual Search Press sense as the instructions are remarkably brief. But it does not state anywhere that this is a beginners book and it is not; aimed more at existing artists who want to try their hand at using acrylics and painting birds. There is a wide choice of these to paint, with British and American species being the main ones represented. Choose from favourites like a golden eagle, robin, kookaburra, bald eagle and mourning dove to name a few; the ends results are handsomely displayed as whole page illustrations in this large format book. This ought to appeal to any bird lover with a bit of painting experience who wants to try something new.

Artbookreview.net - November 2014

There arent many books on painting birds. The reason, of course, isnt hard to find: not many people want (or think they want) to paint them. They do, however, provide a wide variety of colourful subjects and theres no reason in reality for them to be any less popular than flowers. And you cant move for books on flowers.

Andrew Forkner adopts the sensible strategy of putting all the basic techniques (working in acrylics) together at the beginning of the book. These include information on colours, composition, eyes, beaks and, most importantly, feathers. These are the building blocks youll use later when it comes to particular species. The approach avoids continuous repetition, but it does mean a degree of jumping about if you havent fully grasped the technical elements which, frankly, you should have. Time spent at this stage is like learning musical scales, unexciting perhaps, but invaluable.

The whole thing is neatly executed and is about as good, within its own constraints, as it could be.

The A-Z format has worked before, but that was for flowers, and its just that Im not sure this is the place for it. Flowers are popular and well-known. Bird are, too, but I doubt there are enough people who both admire them and want to paint them for something like this to work. Its not, when alls said and done, a book for the complete beginner and I do honestly think thats whats needed. On the other hand, if youre passionate about painting birds but need practice and instruction, this is absolutely the book for you.

To read the rest of this review see http://artbookreview.wordpress.com/


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A-Z of Bird Portraits by Andrew Forker Hardback Product Code: 9781782210023
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A-Z of Bird Portraits by Andrew Forker Paperback Product Code: 9781782218173
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User Reviews

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  • Useful - A-Z of Bird Portraits by Andrew Forker Hardback

    this book is a complete primer for learning how to draw birds Alexis Moore (Rutland, USA) on 29 May 2021
    Did you find this review helpful? yes | no
  • Second copy - A-Z of Bird Portraits by Andrew Forker Hardback

    I bought a previous copy a year ago and liked it so much, I drew the birds with the inktense no.1 pan, in acrylic ink and even graphite trying to approximate the values
    It's a hardback with sturdy binding and it held together even under rain and tearing off pages and eventually lost what was left
    So I decided to get a fresh copy and follow the instructions in acrylic and Karin brushmarkers
    I am about one third of the book using the markers and have the requisite acrylic paint and brushes Alexis Moore (Coral Gables, USA) on 20 Sep 2020
    Did you find this review helpful? yes | no
  • Beautiful - A-Z of Bird Portraits by Andrew Forker Hardback

    I will use this book hugely as a reference for birds, really lovely. Hazel McLister-Brewer (Verwood, United Kingdom) on 2 Oct 2020
    Did you find this review helpful? yes | no

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