copyright megan spiers

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda)

copyright megan spiers
Bathing by Megan Spiers 2008
Acrylic on paper, size 13.5 cm x 10 cm
SOLD – private collection, sydney, new south wales


Star Finches are absolutely gorgeous. This female is a bit bedraggled from splashing around in a shallow pool.

For greater accuracy, I combine birdwatching with visits to wildlife parks and zoos which are a substantial source of visual reference.

This small painting was shown in my solo exhibition “Each Bird, Every Song” at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney NSW in November 2009.

artist’s process

  • I applied paint swiftly to give an impression of movement
  • water has opposing qualities of reflection and transparency so your palette needs light and dark tones
  • shadows enhance transparency effect unless falling on muddy water, like the Darling River in New South Wales
  • the challenge is to avoid painting what you think is there and only paint what is there

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