These are something I’ve been working on. I’ve been wanting to have a go at pictorial/painterly beads for a while, and I started with birds of paradise because they have such beautiful plumage (and you can go off and make your own fantastical ones with ease once you’ve got started).
Here’s what I’ve been up to so far: the first pair I did off the top of my head. The blue one was the second and I wasn’t happy with the shape at all! The head came out much too big.
Version 3 was better. I do like the feathery fuzzing out I got at the side by superheating CiM hades. He’s perhaps a little vulture-shaped, though!
After that I went and found reference. I have a large collection of bird of paradise pictures now, arranged by species. I concentrated on Lesser Birds of Paradise to begin with, so the colours are reddish-brown, tan, yellow and white.
Version 4 (above) I got a bit over-enthusiastic with the feathers and the bird takes up rather a lot of space on the bead! I started doing green viney backgrounds too. This one’s fairly painterly in style.
Version 5 above is simplified and a bit sketchier. I rather like this one!
Version 6: looking back over his shoulder, a handsome fella! Fairly raised from the surface, this one. I want to start making the background darker green for this type.
I’m going to make more, including different species. Some of them have lovely patches of iridescent feathers: I’ll be breaking out the silver glass for those!