King Vulture – Pencil Sketch p68

King Vulture – Pencil Sketch

King Vulture – Pencil Sketch

The first time I laid eyes on a king vulture I thought it was one of the most spectacular birds I’d ever seen. Of course, with the shades of gray in this sketch, you kind of miss out on its stunning color! In actuality the bird has incredible fiery oranges, yellows and reds, complimented by subtle pale blue-grays and contrasted by smoky whites and black.

People are used to dramatic colors on peacocks, hummingbirds, parrots, warblers and ducks, but when they see those eye-popping colors on a vulture, it takes them a little by surprise. For many the word vulture conjures up images of an ugly, bald-headed undertaker-looking bird covered in entrails and carnage, but there are some attractive examples in the family that have very colorful heads and necks. Cinereous Vulture, Lammergeier, Andean Condors and others display some wild colors!

I hope to paint this guy soon so everyone can enjoy his beautiful palette. For now, black and white captures the form and dark mood well.

King Vultures are most closely related to the Andean Condors that, despite the size discrepancy, they closely resemble. King Vultures are native to South and Central America.

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