Incredible pictures of Native American scenes by artist using feathers

An artist has taken realistic art to the next level by painting portraits of birds onto FEATHERS.

Julie Thompson creates tiny pictures of eagles, hummingbirds and other wildlife scenes by painting directly onto the wing feathers of peacocks and turkeys.

Delciate: Julie spends hours carefully creating her intricate designs.

Delciate: Julie spends hours carefully creating her intricate designs.

The American artist sometimes takes as long as 40 hours of work to complete one miniature portrait.

She started using the unusual material in 1990 when her mother started keeping free-roaming peacocks.

A whale leaps out of the water in one of Julie's designs.

A whale leaps out of the water in one of Julie’s designs.

Although there is a market for their decorative tail feathers, the plain wing feathers that dropped out naturally appealed to Julie and she looked for a way to use them.

The secondary flight feathers from the wing provide a strong and broad surface to work on and Julie started designing Native American pictographs using acrylic paint, and then moved on to still lifes before starting work on epic wildlife scenes.

The mini-canvases have been so popular that she is collating a book of her work and teaching the skill to students at workshops.

Julie needs a feather light touch to paint the intricate scenes onto the feathers of peacocks and turkeys.

Julie needs a feather light touch to paint the intricate scenes onto the feathers of peacocks and turkeys.

Julie, from Fairbanks, Alaska, said: “I select a feather with the painting already in mind and I use the natural colours and patterns of the feather to provide a background for the image.

“It’s been a process. I didn’t paint much at all before the feathers – you could say the feathers taught me to paint.

“In fact I am still learning. Each painting teaches me something, which I apply to the next painting.

“I love doing it and as long as I’ve still got the eyesight I’ll carry on.”