A tiny, downy woodpecker rests on a branch, between acrobatic stunts, running up and down the tree, hanging precariously from tiny limbs and branches, seeking food. The soft black and white plumage is punctuated with a spot of bright red. These birds frequent the park-like backyard of my parents' house in Lakewood, Colorado, near the foothills.
Because they are small and soft looking, these birds are adorable, and they are extremely entertaining to watch due to the high activity level, and agile antics.
I chose to paint this attention getting creature in a simple form reflective of asian sumi-e style, in hopes of capturing the essence of the bird. This is not, of course, a traditional sumi-e, or ink wash painting, as I have used watercolor paints and paper, as opposed to ink and rice paper. Truly, it is more inspired by such works. In this case, I wanted the painting to convey a peaceful and hopeful quality, as well.
The downy woodpecker is the smallest species of woodpecke...