Whether it's hummingbirds and their freaky flying abilities, or the swarming murmurations of starlings, birds are, by nature, fascinating creatures. But unless you're an avid birder, or have access to a powerful camera, it's hard to get up close on these elusive critters.
Based out of London, England, artist Zack Mclaughlin provides us with the next best thing: amazingly intricate and detailed life-sized models of various bird species, made out of wood, paper and resin and painted with life-like colours.
Think the hummingbird above looks real? Here's how Mclaughlin constructed it: beginning with a wood-based body, he builds this hummingbird feather by feather. Below is another photo of the same bird, half-finished.
Here are a couple of photos of very realistic-looking Great tits (or Parus major, the common name always sounded odd to me).
On his Etsy store, Mclaughlin says that his works spring from a deep love and admiration of nature:
I have always loved creating things, be it a drawing, painting or 3d model making. My inspiration always comes from the natural world as I really do have a childlike sense of wonder and awe for everything that nature creates. As I have this fascination with nature I love trying to recreate it in my own way so I can take what magic there is home whilst leaving the true beauty out there to continue inspiring and growing.
The little details -- from the faithful tones of colours, down to the delicately and individually cut feathers -- are what makes Mclaughlin's bird look hyper-realistic. Apparently, the difficult part comes in gluing the hundreds of these tiny cut feathers, one by one!
Some of Mclaughlin's birds stand, while others, like the Arctic tern below, can be hung as mobiles. Mclaughlin has also made owl sculptures that sit as wall-lights, and birds made out of vintage paper.
Inspired by a deep respect and fidelity for nature's beauty, Zack Mclaughlin's sculptures are one creative way to get up close and personal with the birds. See more over at Zack Mclaughlin's Deviant Art page and Etsy store.