Instagram Creative Challenge #abirdaday Review

31 days later and here we are – a full month of #abirdaday paintings and drawings complete!


Lets begin with my final image of the creative challenge – my favourite birdie the Stone Bush Curlew!

Stone Bush Curlew drawing

“Wooooooowoohoooo” says the curlewie! <3

This was such a good challenge! Looking at so many beautiful birds, seeing patterns in my work emerge and beginning to feel proud of what I was producing was a really great outcome.

The final collection of Instagram pics from #abirdaday

The final collection of Instagram pics from #abirdaday


1. Definitely need to continue setting creative challenges – since finishing I have hardly done any painting or drawing!

2. I {heart} detail. I need to embrace that.

3. At this early stage of learning and practising I am using the supplies I have, but I can really see the benefits of getting some good quality supplies and how I will be able to develop my artwork further with the proper tools. (start saving….!!!)

4. I loved the ease of taking photos on Instagram and not fussing too much about the quality – the point was to create and document. The only thing was that most of my photos were taken at night on my iphone 4, so combining the low light and my hand shakes, it made for some blurry photos when looking at the enlargements. I would love an iphone5, but I am really trying to reduce the waste I put into the world, so while I WANT a new phone, I dont need it. So I will continue with iphone for Instagram and get back on my DSLR document my favourite ones.

Take a look at the full collection and tell me which one is your favourite #abirdaday? 😀

instagram abirdaday creative challenge

~ Emily

Progress in my #abirdaday Instagram Creative Challenge

Half way through May and I am still up-to-date on my creative Instagram challenge #abirdaday !


I am kinda surprised at how easy it has been to do! I know in the past I suffered from major procrastination when I went to my art space and didn’t have a plan (hence the 7000+ pins!!!), knowing I have to just create one bird image has actually been really liberating.

The first 16 days of my #abirdaday bird painting + illustration Instagram creative challenge.

The first 16 days of my #abirdaday bird painting + illustration Instagram creative challenge.

I can already see my skills improving, especially when I look back at some of the birds I painted just a few months ago. the only downside is now that I am trying different mediums I am discovering all these new supplies I totally MUST HAVE. (Gouache, pastel pencils and some quality waterproof ink pens are already on the list…!)


1. Having structure is actually a good thing. It is often said that endless options can paralyses you from making a decision and I can definitely see setting some constraints actually helps me be more creative.

2. I have a small A5 watercolour book for the project and that helps to not be too daunted about filling a page. Despite all my efforts to paint large and free, it appears my natural tendency is to get caught up in adding all the details. Good to know!

3. Do not fall over on this challenge in the second half!!

 Have you set your self a creative challenge before? How did it go?


Something new: Watercolour Birds

Since moving to this house, we have Kookaburras who come sit on our back fence, eagles and hawks swirling on the airstream above us and at the bottom of our hill is wetlands full of other feathered wonders. My mum gave me her old Birds of Australia illustrated book and now it’s official.

I am a bird nerd.

I am just in love with birds right now! So many colours, shapes and expressions out in the world and although I tired to capture it in my Rainbow Crow soft sculpture, I just couldn’t get the beauty of the details.


The magnificent Indian Roller, found right across Asia

The magnificent Indian Roller, found right across Asia

I am constantly drawn the the table of cheap art supplies outside newsagents, and not always being able to control my crafting urges, over the years I have ended up with various paint sets and brushes, including some tubes of watercolour paint. Which was awesome because on a whim, I painted this:

It was so much fun! I thought I would try a more single dimension version, but I couldn’t help filling in the details. It is not as much ‘watercolour style’, I think I ended up using some liquid paint because my collect of watercolour paint tubes might have been numerous, but none contained a light blue/aqua (Grrr).

Anyway, this got me started on a new path of painting. I really enjoy making soft toys, but they are so time intensive and much of the time is spent on the process with only a little on the creative element, so paintings more immediate results really appealed 🙂

Here are some more bird studies I have painted:

Two versions of the Splendid Fairy Wren and a freehand attempt at a Blue Tit!

Two versions of the Splendid Fairy Wren and a freehand attempt at a Blue Tit!

A Crested Satin Bird, Guianan Cock-on-the-Rock (!) and a watercolour pencil Cardinal

A Crested Satin Bird, Guianan Cock-on-the-Rock (!) and a watercolour pencil Cardinal


Here is my favourite so far, it’s a combination of watercolour paint and pencils:

The fabulously coloured European Bee Eater.

The fabulously coloured European Bee Eater.


Its been a steep learning curve with lots of mistakes as you can probably see! But I am really motivated to learn more about how to paint watercolour and how to apply it to birds.

1. I think I am probably trying to do them on too small a scale – I am working in a large 11×14″ sketch book but each bird only takes up a quarter of a page.

2. The sketchbook is just standard paper, not watercolour so the affects the outcome too. Once I get a little better I will upgrade to proper watercolour paper!

3. I have since found out that my acrylic brushes aren’t the same as watercolour brushes, so they are on my shopping list now too.

What kind of creatures are you drawn to create?

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