A couple of years ago I was at my parents house in Indiana around Christmas time. Within a couple of miles walk from their house is a park with a petting zoo. I crossed the bridge and went down to it. With only my phone camera I shot pictures of as many animals as I could. Their were a couple of peacocks roaming freely on the grounds.
Because you can’t get close to wild birds very easily, I more or less shot a down shot at this peacock. It was good enough. So I based this painting off of my phone photo.
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The Outdoor Watercolor Learning Experience
So how do you get a good photo of animal to use for reference?
You have to have ability to shoot lots of pictures. If you have a manual camera, it may require most or the whole roll, maybe more. Digital cameras are preferable, even if its small or on your phone. Quantity is important.
Look to shoot different angles. Get a top down shot, a worms eye shot, a long distance shot, and a close up shot for starters.
Learn how your zoom works and what its limits are.
Make sure that you get structural perspectives. Think of your point of interest: Is it the head? The colors? The shape of the animals?