I have no idea how I'm going to tackle this one. The more I look at the picture, the more I get lost in the detail! I've been thinking of painting a hen for quite a while, inspired by Elizabeth Kincaid, in Paint Watercolours that Dance with Light. She has a few paintings of hens in that book that look so plump and gorgeous that I wanted to give it a try. Now I'm not so sure - How will I paint the dark and light feather pattern? How will I render the plumpness of this happy hen? (who was captured at Dublin Zoo last Easter - well, I don't know if the hen was captured, or if she was born in the zoo. All I meant to say is that we captured this picture of the hen at Dublin Zoo!!).
I've done a few squiggly drawings of it already, but I think I will need to do a more precise drawing before I go any further! The squiggly drawing technique is something I learned from The Natural Way to Draw, by Nicolaides. Brendan gave me that book for Christmas a couple of years ago, and I've only done the first couple of lessons. It's a tough book to follow, but I find that doing the squiggly drawings helps me look at my subject in a global way, without worrying about the details. So, it's a good starting point to get going, without worrying too much about getting it 100% right! There is a good review of it on the Amazon website (see the link above). Will it help me paint this hen? Maybe not, as I'll probably end up tracing the picture for the final painting, but I find that I need to try out different drawings before I can start painting. It helps me get immersed in the project. I guess it helps me see the subject properly.