Capturing a bird mid-flight is difficult enough with a camera, but English artist Jamel Akib manages to do so with oil paint. From hummingbirds to blue tits, each vibrant painting beautifully captures the energetic flutter of birds through thick brushstrokes and expressive mark-making.
Akib has a background in illustration, having previously worked for the London Observer newspaper while still a student at art college. He has since become an award-winning artist, working primarily with oil paint on canvas. His portfolio showcases a broad range of subjects, but his bird paintings in particular highlight the artist’s excellent use of color and his impressive ability to capture movement.
Akib loads thick daubs of oil paint onto his paint brushes, palette knives, and other kitchen utensils. He then works quickly to apply each color to the canvas, layer by layer, starting with the background and ending with vibrant swathes of paint for the birds’ colorful plumage. “[I] love these little birds as a source of abstract color and movement,” says Akib. “I find that if I don’t paint these guys fast, all movement is lost.”
Scroll down to check out some of Akib’s beautiful bird paintings and find more from his portfolio on Instagram.