I prefer to work off my own photographs wherever possible, which means I need to spend a lot of time in the bush and on the road when I'm not painting.
I have a huge respect for anyone who photographs birds. Seriously. You have to sit still for hours, perfect your stalking technique, and once you've located the bird, adjusted the settings on your camera, and found it on the camera screen, more often than not, it's gone! Perhaps that only happens to me?
I'm super happy with my croc shots, particularly because I don't have a fantastic camera or great photographic skills. These pics were taken from the bird hide at Marlgu Billabong in Wyndham. This big old croc swam lazily along and climbed out of the water to find a spot to sun himself on the bank, right in front of me but a fair distance away.
A raft of ducks (I had to Google what a group of ducks is called) slowly gave way to each side to make a way for him, and calmly went back to the water's edge when he was past. I was thinking he was going to try and catch one but the ducks seemed to know he wasn't looking for a feed, judging by how chilled out they were. I also have not yet found the time or patience to learn how to use Lightroom and Photoshop, so while most of the pics which I take might not win photographic prizes, they are good enough for me to use for reference material for my paintings, seeing as I don't do hyper realism.
I also spend some time doing sketches on site when it isn't too hot.
Then, back in my studio, I refer to my photos and sketches and compose my paintings.