SONORA ORANGE- Hooded and Streak-backed Oriole

When Sue and I were in Sonora, Mexico several years ago on an artist’s expedition my artist friend Wes Siegrist shared a photo he had taken of an oriole on large orange blossoms.   Having told me where to look, I later found that African Tulip Tree in bloom!   I stood quietly near by, focusing my binoculars on the large blossoms that were attracting several species of birds – but it was the orioles that really got my attention.  Here are some of the sketches and notes I used to create and compose “Sonora Orange- Hooded & Streak-backed Orioles”.  Taking note of the order in which the sketches were made may gives some insight as to how I came up with the idea and pulled the elements together into a final composition.  

Oriole Studies com. 96

These two sketches (left in ink – right in pencil) document my first impressions of the two different kinds of orioles and their basic differences in shape and plumage.

 Hooded Oriole Fem. ink 96

Streak-backed Oriole pencil 96

Work in progress –  acrylic block-in and finished in oil


“Sonora Orange” – Hooded & Streak-backed Orioles       22 X 14″  Oil on hardboard

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum purchase 2013

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