April 11 Book Update

The next animal in this book is the paradise rifflebird! I chose this for the black colored bird because it is the one of the darkest black birds there is! It’s feathers are a shade of black known as Vantablack. The superb birds-of-paradise technically have more vantablack on them, but they are so weird looking that it would be difficult to draw them in such a way that anybody could tell they were a bird. It is not only black because of pigment, but also because the structure of the feather doesn’t allow light to escape. Shadows and highlights do not show up on the color, so any Vantablack surface appears to be flat. As a result the bird looks very strange when it moves, like a shadow came to life and decided to dance and sing. Only male riflebirds have these dark feathers. They use them to make the feathers on their neck look brighter by comparison. They puff up their feathers and spread their wings in front of the females to make the most area dark, then inflate their iridescent blue neck patch and whip their heads back and forth at alarming speeds. Its kinda something you have to see. Here’s a video I found that I liked, it’s of the magnificent riflebird (which is the one I drew) and doesn’t have music or narration added in.

Most of the time when I draw a black colored thing, I actually color it a very dark grey so I can darken areas to true black for shadows, but in this creature I used true black for the whole area. I did not have to shade except on the beak and colored bits.

Anyway that’s where we are in the book right now! I’m really looking forwards to this!

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