Sunday, 14 April 2013

#417 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403, March 10.

Sculptors who use the human or quadruped figure as a subject, concentrate their studies on not only the skeleton, but the muscles as well.  Bird sculptors are an exception and although they must understand the skeleton and body shapes and masses . . .  muscles and their form are of little importance to the bird artist as birds are covered with feathers.  

The bird artist must know the feathers that cover birds are grouped in sets and they originate from the skin in organized sets, groups, tracts and from a definite region.   There is nothing random in nature . . . feathers do not emerge form the bird in a random manner.

The feather sets are basic and every bird has the same groupings . . . from the tiny hummingbird to the gigantic albatross.  
Length, shape, size and number vary according to the bird's needs, but once you know the sets, you can adapt them to any species.  

Below, wing flight feathers are divided into 3 groups:  
Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. In addition, every bird has the following: Scapulars, alula, and coverts.  

Copyright - Sandy Scott

Below and above . . . the tertials are a continuation of, moving inward from the secondaries.
The scapulars attach to the shoulder area, overlap the tertials and help streamline the wing-body intersection.  The alula group of feathers attach to the thumb and assist the bird in landing by reducing the stalling speed of the wing.  Wing coverts are arranged in rows and overlap like shingles on a roof.  The coverts, along with the wing bones, impart a definite shape and thickness to the wing's leading edge and protect the main flight feathers.

Copyright - Sandy Scott

Height of Land
12"H 23"W 15"D
Copyright - Sandy Scott

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