Hornbill and Kingfisher, an Unlikely Pair

Yellow-Billed Hornbill and Stork-Billed Kingfisher, Copic Markers, digital sky

A somewhat smaller than expected Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill and his best friend, a somewhat larger than expected Stork-Billed Kingfisher. Ari the Hornbill was born in South Africa. Shey the Kingfisher is from Sri Lanka. That they met at all is unprecedented!

Ari was flying northeasterly over the Indian Ocean, and Shey was flying southwesterly over the Indian Ocean, and they both landed in the Seychelles the same week in 2009. Crazy, right? Both natural comedians, they became instant friends and for a short time they performed a Strange Bird comedy show that was a huge hit with the local Red-footed Boobies.

As you may know I have been exploring all manner of exotic creatures at this blog. Most recently it’s the birds in particular that have caught my fancy, and thus today’s drawing. Started with a lot of refinement in pencil then several scans showing the blue .05 multiliner. After that, Copics and .1 and .2 black multiliners. Finally I attempted some highlights with a white Prismacolor pencil, to mixed results. (Still trying to find a white gel pen that works. Not sure about attempting some white acrylic. Hmm!)

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No Masquepen or swirls this week. Crazy! Thank you for stopping by!

Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill photo reference; Stork-Billed Kingfisher reference.

23 thoughts on “Hornbill and Kingfisher, an Unlikely Pair

  1. nik

    The Seychelles! Oh those lucky ducks!
    …or should I say that lucky Hornbill and that lucky Kingfisher. I’ve loved the Seychelles since I learned of them in 4th grade World Geography. Heaven-spinningly gorgeous little island paradise. :)
    This piece is extraordinary…swirls and masquepens are not missed one bit. Ari and Shey are simply resplendent. When they inevitably get together for their reunion comedy tour, I would very much like a front row seat please.

  2. Sheri McClure-Pitler

    Wow! I was so beguiled by the drawing and use of color (particularly the realistic bird glare in the Kingfisher’s eye and the strokes of his feathers) that I didn’t notice the lack of swirls. These really showcase your drawing skills. Also, altho the colors may not be exactly true-to-life, somehow they look natural. Nicely done!

  3. Karen Sagovac

    This is amazing! Highlights look amazing – pencil really gives a textured look which works well against the copic colour. Seriously – this is your best yet!? x

  4. Minnemie Murphy

    OH yes, yes , yes to the hornbill! Being South African myself, your fun bird brings back memories of many funny encounters with these admittedly arrogant -or ignorant (not sure which) birds I grew up with. Very well captured. Love it!

  5. Pauline Leger

    Your illustrations are fabulous! I must try those Copic markers. i really love how you show us all the steps… such an interesting process. Thank you for sharing! Love your style. xoxo

  6. The Beast Tender Post author

    Thanks so much for all the nice comments, wow! You folks are the best. :)

  7. shirley

    One of my favorites!! Really wonderful piece showing these two friends and excellent seeing your work in progress shots too. Thank you for your sweet words at my place..it means a lot!! : )

  8. mardi speth

    Cindy, your stories are so funny! (And engaging!) I like how you’ve rendered these two birds – not quite realism, but compared to your swirly style, I’d place them in that description. The feathers, and the pattern of their direction, look great. Ari’s open beak creates an interesting negative shape and adds volumes to their dialogue. Good work!

  9. casey

    I love love love seeing how your work progresses! It is fascinating to me the layers that it takes to make one of your pieces! I haven’t check to see if you have an ABOUT page for etsy yet- but your progress shots would be super for that! :)))

    Love your work- as always!!!

  10. Leslie White

    Hi Cindy,
    I always keep white gouache and white acrylic on hand. White prismacolor is too transparent as is white watercolor. If white gouache doesn’t cover the way I want it to, I opt for the acrylic. I always try the goauche first because it dries matte and the acrylic dries shiny. Love the birds!

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