Sometimes I get inquiries about using my bird photos as references for paintings. I'm generally happy to oblige, and I really like it when the artist sends me a picture of the finished product. It is amazing how different painters can capture the essence of birds in so many different ways, from ultra-realistic duck stamp painters to fantasy worlds.
I'm not a student of art, but I know that I like Wes Hyde's stuff. Wes asked me if he could use a Western Bluebird pic of mine for a reference. After peeking at his web site (http://weshyde.com) I knew that whatever he did with it would be cool. There is a very western flavor to what he paints, so choosing the Western Bluebird really fit his style. Still, the picture is pretty surreal- it reminds me of the kinds of dreams I have before big trips or after long, productive birding days (visions of birds are involved but not always in ways that make logical sense.) Here's the pic he used as a reference:
And here's a pic of the painting (posted by permission):
So check out Wes Hyde's stuff- you won't be disappointed.