And now, as promised, the crow with fireworks!

I’m not sure of much in life, and it seems occasionally like I get less sure all the time. However, I still cling to at least one deeply held conviction–namely that if crows could use matches, we’d all be in a world of hurt.

I’ve been experimenting for awhile with ways to paint birds. See, birds are tough. Mammals, I have kind’ve a style in the cute-and-occasionally-horrible genre into which much of my recent work falls–it’s my STYYYYLE, man!(Joke! Joke!)–but I do kind’ve have a bit of a style that’s developed, so you get the teeny black eyes and the overbite and the pudge and so forth. Y’know. They can wear clothes, or not, and they’re pretty animalish. But birds…erf. Have a hard time stylizing birds, probably because I don’t draw many of them. And maybe ‘cos I’m not comfortable with them. I love watching the ones who come to my feeder, but I am still fundamentally a mammal, and I have a mild fear of those pointy little beaks, and an equally deep fear that if I ever have to handle a bird, its fragile avian skeleton will simply dissolve in my hands like wet toilet paper. Why this should affect how I draw them, I dunno. But anyway, I’ve been working on this sort of version of birds with round little bodies and the beaks coming off the body with only a minimal suggestion of head, and the little black eyes, and whatnot, to get the sort of stripped-down simplicity required for cute, while retaining enough to get expression. (That’s another problem–beaks don’t smile.) Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, so I keep fiddling with it–I may scrap it entirely and go for something more realistic, or I may finally work out something that I’m happy wish. We’ll see.

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