Upon Completion of Thirty Songbird Paintings

Yesterday I delivered the last set of 10 final songbird paintings to the publisher of my forthcoming book: Beautiful Songbirds. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the completion of my largest project to date. After 8 months and about 175 hours of work, it feels like I have crossed a monumental finish line.

Some of the many, many sketches used for creating the final paintings
I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to create such a body of work and I can't wait to be able to share the final product with everyone! First, I worked with my editor to choose the 30 birds I would paint, then it was on to photo research, sketches and painting. I love the variety of color and settings these birds represent. It was a challenge to keep each composition lively and unique, while still maintaining a cohesive look throughout all of them.
      I created the paintings in sets of ten, which was good for keeping things manageable, but also a challenge mentally, because each time I completed a set of ten, I would then have to turn around and start all over again on the next set. This isn't to say that it wasn't still an incredibly fun project! I will never tire of the amazing feeling of touching a paint-filled brush to wet paper and watching the color flow magically into place, slowly creating a beautiful scene.

Some of the in progress shots of the bird paintings

These paintings will be paired with inspirational bird quotes and interesting facts about each one. I am designing the book as well, which is an added bonus! I love being able to pair my paintings with typography in a pleasing way - it may be my favorite part about the intersection of illustration and design. The above photos are from instagram. Follow me @zephyr2403 to see more updates and stay tuned for future posts about my book, coming Spring 2016!

A video posted by Ashley P. Halsey (@zephyr2403) on


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