On my recent trip to Africa I saw many of these spectacular birds and took hundreds of photos of them (to go with the thousands of other photos I took). They would be out in the wild but also around the campsites of Namibia picking up the trash like all good scavengers (at least they didn’t invade the tents like the jackals did).
In this case I wanted to create a real sense of depth to my image so I used a variety of tools including sandpaper, fibre glass brush, scalpel, tungsten scribe, pen, coloured pencil (black) and diluted Indian ink, focusing everything into the middle where the actual bird is. I contemplated colouring it but since they don’t have a great deal of colour other than the red beak I decided against it as I kind of like the black and white look. It’s 8″ x 10″ and I’ve done an animated ‘gif’ to show the process through a few of the stages. I’m also showing a couple of close ups.
Here’s the ‘gif’ showing the process. If it’s not moving for you, just click it and it should.