#311 Blue-throated Hillstar

Critically Endangered

Normally I check on the IUCN website for the animals I am painting. These hummingbirds are a fairly new species, only discovered in 2017. They are not on their site as far as I can find, not even listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN. There is very little information about them partly from having been so recently found. They are also not exactly located in a convenient area, being from high in one spot of the Andes in Ecuador. It is expected when they are classified, they will be listed as critically endangered. There are thought to be around 750 of them. Having only one habitat and limited numbers is a big threat because some big event by way of disease or natural disaster could wipe out the whole population. Their habitat is threatened by several things such as livestock over-grazing, fire, etc.

Well now you get to see how horrible my handwriting is when I'm writing quickly and not trying to make it look nice. I've decided that even though I'm close to the end of the year, I really should make colour swatches of all the pencils. I have rather a mishmash of pencils, some that are quite nice, some that were inexpensive. Probably unsurprisingly, I tend to like the more expensive ones a bit more. They have better pigmentation. If I want lots of pigment, the ink pencils are the best for that, but also one kind of pencil I do not have very many of, none for the green page in fact. I am not the sort who likes to have the most expensive or newest version of anything, but when it comes to art you can generally tell a big difference between hobby quality and professionally quality supplies. If you have a child who is a budding artist, I know it is tempting to buy the cheapest crayons, coloured pencils, pastels or watercolour paints. If you do though, often it can lead to more frustration than enjoyment. If you can't get a true black, or cannot blend the colours the way you want, or cannot get the sharp lines you need for instance, it is aggravating and can make someone think they would not enjoy the medium without ever really even getting to experience what you can accomplish with the medium. I am not saying to shell out for oil paint that may be $10.00 per ounce, and I would not personally suggest oil paints for children because of the toxicity anyway. I am suggesting that if you have a young child who is wanting to create with watercolour but is frustrated with the little set they have you get them for school, try getting a studio quality half pan set. If all they have used is tempera paints, a nice set of tubes of acrylic paint could make a huge difference to them.

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