Yellow Billed Hornbill
SOLD, commissioned (78cm x 58cm (30" x 23") Acrylic on board)
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© Craig Bertram Smith
A common sight in the African bushveld is the charismatic yellow billed hornbill. Foraging mainly on the ground in dry grass and sandy habitat they pick out seeds, insects, spiders and scorpions.
In the painting I wanted to portray their characteristic activity showing the hornbill with a freshly caught grasshopper snatched out from the grass. I wanted to focus primarily on the bird and grass directly behind it, applying detail to the grass and the bold markings on the wings and breast of the hornbill. I also wanted the shape of the bird in the picture to be echoed in the grass and sand, leading the eye from the head of the hornbill to its tail and then following the grass diagonally to the left of the painting.