Strange Behavior (Illustration) Entry: Zara Corral


Zara Corral is entered in the “Strange Behavior Challenge” update: View Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Mr.Finch


g’luck to you. hope to see something soonish. :slight_smile:


Hi there!
These are some sketches about what I have on mind. I still have to work in it, add details, and of course the background and elements.

A thing that cannot be missed, is the presence of birds. Birds? Yes, you see, this old adorable man thinks he is a bird, and more than that, he thinks (or perhaps he truly is!) pregnant.

Like a don Quixote, too much reading can turn you into what you are not, or at least into what others cannot see in you. Because… after all what’s real? What’s true?

My character, Mr. Finch, truly believes he is going to have a baby bird! He spent his whole life taking care of his dearly pets (all of them birds) reading about them, offering all his years to them. Sound like an obsession? Well, everyone have at least one! Or two!

I thought a lot in this piece, I think my hair is turning in feathers haha. I want to give him a golden warm place (similar to a straw loft or a cage ready to be open), surrounded by his pets and their pile of cages,(yes, he doesn’t like order after all), a place where he could wonder about his pregancy, about the new creature it’s going to come to the world (call it baby bird, chick, or freedom), about all his Past life and about HOPE.

This piece after all is an Ode to Hope and to those who hold it. -smiles- Hope you will enjoy the process. Critics and comments are welcome. Thanks in advance! :slight_smile: And Good Luck to all!

(And thanks Slav!)


hey Zara
I like the simple character studies you have done, I should try to do this myself more often! Its quite the freaky idea btw, look forward to seeing your progress.


Just the basic guidelines to go on, golden, yellow, orange color scale and more colors (purple,pink,green…) for the birds, I will probably add a few more and some details to the nest.

I want the light to pose on Mr.Finch adn the nest he has built (hehe)mainly, while the rest of the place remains a bit darker.

I will work on the cages in the distance and the poster/calendar pinned in the wooden wall. And of course in the face of Mr.Finch and the birds, I want them to express “Hey dude, what is he doing!?” “No idea!”
And for him I want a pleasant adorable funny face full of hope and joy, a nice waiting, reverie, I want pink cheeks and a “birdie” face hehe.

(Thanks Sean ;))


Your drawing skills are showing through the very nice sketch! I’m sure this thread will
become very interesting! You pre_lighting study looks great too!
Keep up the good work!


I think it can be interesting Mr.Finch don’t look directly at the public. The effect of (somehow) spying him, can be reached if he looks at the front, as if he were alone, as if nobody looks. The scene turn a bit more intimate, both sides :wink: and turn you all in little strange creatures as well, what you doing spying this old pregnant man and his birds? :slight_smile:

I also think if he looks at the front is like if he looks at the future, waiting with hope what it will come. Daydreaming. With the light on his face.

Is true I can try more poses without making him look that way, but I think, apart of the light on his face and what I already told, his “birdie” appearance can be clearer. I will work on his nose, little eyes, feather-like hair… What do you think?

(Thanks Varma!)


Double post


Choice of colors is really warm and good!
How about bending his head a bit down and close his eyes, as if he’s communicating with
the bird inside, now that he has both his hands on it, feeling it move?
Keep going, lots of feelings in this image!
Can’t wait to see colored feathers of other birds stand against his warm skin colors1 :slight_smile:


Thanks for the suggestion Varma! I’m going to try that one. Interesting and can work :slight_smile:

Feeling it moving? Well only Mr. Finch knows! :slight_smile: hehe


Head position changed a little, looking a bit down now. I think this way looks a bit better than before. A dialogue with his pregnancy hehe, but without losing the sense of going forward/future/hope.


After a hard week full of work I had the time to add the latest modifications in the face. I will work with this base and colors.


After using the smudge tool.


Double Post sorry.


I really love your idea on a whole :love: This is going to be a really beautiful piece. I would like to share a personal thought with you, I hope you don’t mind. You said that you want Mr. Finch to look out into the future and us the viewer to seem as if we are spying on him. The image is so open that we have a clear view of everything which doesn’t feel much like spying. The image is strong without that feel actually, just as it is, even though Mr. Finch is dead smack in the middle.
I was thinking that if you want a feeling of spying and maybe a stronger feel of secrecy and onlooking you could give us a barrier, as if we were in another room looking in. The green birds to the right could be partially replaced by the walls leading into that room. You have so many birds and a fully developed room that we already know what is happening in there and you wouldn’t lose anything by subracting that little portion. Also in doing that you could shift Mr.Finch to the right also which would hide his body a bit behind the wall; the part of his body which isn’t important actually. In doing that it would allow us to feel like we want to come in and see what is really going on and pushing him to the right would allow more light to come in from the left.
I hope you can visualize what I am saying. You can completely ignore me though, it’s just what came into my mind when you described the feel you were looking for.

Regardless, you have a very nice piece of art:thumbsup:


Hiun thanks for your great idea! It can work really wonderful! I was too concentrated in his body and the room I forgot about it and you’re right, by hidding a bit his body, and replace some birds with a wall the “spying” feeling increases. I’m going to try that!

Thanks for your words! :smiley:


Playing with some objects from the scene, following Hiun’s suggestion.


Hey! Nice job Zara… I had been staring at the variants for a while trying to figure out what it was that was confusing me. I realized there are only 2 types of walls but that each image looked very different. I then saw that it was the movement of the green birds in the cage :smiley:

So let me tell you what I see since you are the one painting and I know how it is when you have options! HEADACHE! :smiley:

Top Left: This one works very well for instantly separating the viewer from the room and is easy on the composition because the wall doesn’t spread out too far on the bottom of the image.

Top Right: This variant immediately gives the feeling of spying because the wall is extended vertically to mask some of the figure (exactly what you want)

Bottom Left: This is the same as the top left but with the addition of the bird cage which compositionally works well. I think this was the image that was tricking me :smiley: The bird cage acts as the vertical of the wall but because I see completely through the cage it didn’t feel like a wall at all :smiley: tricky tricky tricky.

Bottom Right: This final variant brings in the vertical of the wall which I like very much, (minus the extended bottom which I think steals too much of the lower portion of the image). Moving the bird cage to the left CLOSES the composition and makes the room feel too trapped, and kills the feeling of freedom (the man is enslaved in this image)

Conclusion: You have done an amazing job, and based on what you have experimented with I can definately see a blending of your variants. The best of all!
Take the strength of the horizontally short wall (top left & bottom left) and the strength of the vertically long wall (top right & bottom right) and blend them together. The birdcage suits the ride side of the image very well and the hole you have in the wall would do very well in looking through to catching a piece of the birds in the cage :slight_smile: . Leave that left side open as it gives the image room to breathe.

So actually you would really be blending the Top Right and the Bottom Left variants :smiley:

Great work Zara!!:thumbsup: :bounce: I hope i helped your decision making a little.


A gentle face, but most laying hens are deeper in the hay/coop, maybe on his knees so the nest idea is easier to read. Time is getting short though for major changes. So many things you could do with the birds in cages or out. There is also the real man and his imagined self


good work Zara!
for me, I prefer the 2 images on the left, the wall is too big for me in the others, but it also looks nice, its more like a personal taste…
I like what you did with Mr Finch’s face, I wasnt sure you could make him look bird-ish enough, but yes, he definetly has a touch in his eyes… maybe you could make his hair longer so it looks more like feathers, just a suggestion

Suerte! :thumbsup: