This is one of a series of portraits that I consider to be more drawing than painting.
I cut masonite panels, technically called quarter inch floor underlayment, to size. Then lightly sanded the edges, sealed both sides of the panel with thinned shellac, and then applied at least 3 coats of gesso. Again, both sides should be done to equalize the tension, which keeps the panel flat. Finally I sanded to an eggshell finish, which is a lovely surface to draw on. I drew with a hard litho pencil, and finally added just enough oil paint to play with, almost a stain.
This particular portrait was determined by the photos I took. She had been talking, but I liked the idea of singing, and gave her a yellow throat and feathers. Morphing, changing, not yet flying. This is not a new painting by any means, but remains one of my favorites.
Strangely (to me), years later she acquired a parrot, then some fertile finches, then a few macaws.
A bird whisperer