There is a special kind of photos that bird-photographer calls “Bird on a Stick”. Usually the stick itself is a branch the photographer himself or herself has placed neatly in the forest so that no other element disturbs the frame. The branch can be with moss or twists to look even more pretty. And then you wait for the bird to land on the stick. If placed near a feeder the birds will often land on the stick before going to the food. Anyway; the idea is to get a shot as clean as possible with the background as blurry and non distinguished as possible.


That’s how I like to think of it when doing creature portraits or smaller scenes in fantasy.  I painted a fairy the other day for Schoolism Webinar.

Because if the limited time ( 2 Hours ) I went with a sketch that had almost no background. I wanted to make sure I could manage to paint the figures within the timeframe. So; to stay attune with the bird photo idea I put the fairy and her crested tit friend on a stick and painted the first wash of acrylic as the background color, resembling a forest and leaves behind them but out of focus. It also meant that when I rendered the pine cones I tried to keep them as loose and rough as possible to mimic the way a camera is sharp only in the center focus area. 

What I like about this approach is that it forces me to think on the focal point and it makes me think harder on the narrative of the image and how to strengthen that. In this case the 2 friends, one a bit mischievous and the other uncertain if going along is a good idea.