When I started painting with oils at age 12, I started with birds, and while I have branched out since then, they are still my favourite wildlife subject. The smaller pieces are executed in watercolour using dry brush technique on 140 lb hot press paper in a vignette style (little or no background) similar to that used by Audubon and perpetuated thereafter by many avian artists. This style provides strong emphasis on the subject and reduces the painting time significantly, rendering the original works very affordable. My watercolour palette is usually limited to raw sienna, gamboge, ultra-marine and Ivory black.
The larger pieces are executed on Linetek 3000 illustration board using acrylic glazing techniques. The pigments are thinned to the consistency of watercolours and the tones built up in as many as 40 layers to produce the muted chroma typical of nature. Here my acrylic palette is usually limited to napthol crimson, ultramarine, cadmium yellow medium, Mars black and titanium white. If the painting contains a lot of green, I will occasionally "cheat" and use Hooker's green as a tinting base. Because the glazing layers are so thin and easily damaged, these pieces are always framed under glass.