After many sessions of visiting a purple martin colony and observing from the roof of my car, I finally saw one of those enormous dragonflies held in a female martin's mouth as she brought the prey to her young. Even though I have seen this in photographs, it was hard for me to believe the size of those dragonflies. Even more fascinating is the fact that a nestling can swallow that size prey!
Below you see the painting I created by combining this observation with a different flight pose. I used a lot of imagination to create this painting and its background, making every hour spent with the colony well worth the effort. All that you observe while in the field gets internalized and comes out while you're painting. Even though I have a plan of sorts in my head as I start, I never quite know what the finished result will be.
purple martins at Vickie's Sketchbook.