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Top 10 Amazing Paintings on Feathers

This is a list of amazing illustrations painted directly on to feathers. Many thanks to heavybison for forwarding me the email of these! So, here are the top 10 amazing paintings on feathers. As usual, click on the image for a larger view. These paintings were all made by Julie Thompson.





















Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • Beautiful, It’s an odd one though. Digging on the wolves.

  • Denzell

    Yay… one of the first 5 to comment!

    This is one amazing list, I wonder how the painter does all this!

  • This is another one of those times the proves you can google anything, keep hitting next, and find porn. Ugh! There’s no hope. 20 Sites, 600 photos, I still couldn’t find it. It’s 6 am, and I’ve got a lease to sign. I’ll try again later.

  • rhharley


  • marqueemark

    nice, at first i’m like “paintings on feathers….”

  • Chris

    yeah, kind of a wierd list, but it probably takes some serious skill to paint that well on a feather.

  • Harsha


  • phunniemee

    Looks like a top 30 list to me…

  • stevenh

    true, phunniemee, true.

    A beautiful way to start the day, Jamie.
    Props to heavybison.

  • StormyGirl

    Amazing. The talent that this world posseses is impressive.

  • JwJwBean

    The detail on those is beautiful. The shadowing and other effects are very well done. Lots of patience, training, and skill must go into each one.

  • EnglishRose

    Wow they’re all so beautiful! I love the one with wolves- number 6. The shadows on the ground are perfect.

  • Csimmons

    Wow, pretty cool, at first i was like wtf!?! but this is a pretty cool list!

  • nellerbear

    Were these all done by the same person? They are amazing though.

  • Hannah!!

    Wow!! I wish I had this kind of talent..

    I love the geese one in #7!!

    Wow. Remarkable. That’s all I can say. Wow.

  • Sidereus

    They’re nice, but how is this a “Top 10”? Did you do any research on other feather paintings to narrow it down to these? I don’t want to see List Universe turn into Random Stuff Universe.

  • These are really awesome, but does anyone know why they’re grouped together?

  • JMAC

    you can tell this site is going downhill because this list is entirely about feathers.

  • Cyn

    18. JMAC
    this from someone who’s email is [email protected]

  • Nate

    this is kind of a lame list just being honest

  • Cyn

    well there is a difference between criticizing the site on the basis of one list and thinking a list is lame. its like anything else..each to his own. given the amount of lists, i’m sure anyone can find at least one list to their liking. if the amount of traffic and commenting is any indication, i’d say a hella lotta folks have found this site to be quite entertaining.
    and as always, anyone is welcome to submit a list for consideration of publication. :)

  • Today I went to Oxford and Blenheim Palace – it is the first time I have been out of the house in one month because of my efforts writing lists. I am sorry you don’t like this one but I liked the art and thought others might – and a graphics only list meant I could really have the time to enjoy my day off.

  • BibekLondon

    Good list Jamie. I am from london as well. i have a friend name jamie frater in my school. when i first read this website, i thought it was my friend jamie… Anyway goodlist.
    i am regular user of this website but could not be bothered to register lol.

  • WoW that must have taken a LOT of patience, they’re beautiful

  • RocknRollRehab


  • Takes a lot of skill and patience to paint that much detail on feathers like that. Totally cool.

  • babygirl2882

    I thought it was an interesting list…thanks for all your hard work…go have some fun!!

  • SarahJ

    wow cool list again! I hope you had a great day off from all your hard work here :)

  • stormy617

    I thought this was a really awesome list.

    Thank you JFrater.

    It is amazing the level of talent some people have.

    you know I think its pretty sad that people come on here and see a list that they don’t like and comment that the “site is going downhill”.

    I think this kind of thing is amazing and I love to enjoy looking at and appreciating someone else’ talent.

    If all you critics think you can do better than send Jfrater in some lists.

    I believe he has a full time job besides putting out 2 to 3 lists a day

    Give the guy a break. These lists are not that easy to put together, believe me I know I am working on one.

  • Mav

    This lists needs no ranking.
    They are all equally awesome.

  • cambrexia101

    Number 6 with the wolves is my favorite,
    these are amazing.

  • Wow, these paintings are like a dog walking on two legs – they’re remarkable not because they’re done well but that they’re done at all.

  • Jack




    sorry but c’mon, paintings on feathers?
    that is the defenition of lame!

  • That’s Jamie needing a day off.

  • Ranger

    Oh fuck you jack, jesus. People who say lame are doushe bags anyways. why don’t you write a list before you start complaining about how horrible other ones are ya dick

  • wow – so much anger on the list :) Let’s focus on the feathers until I get a new list up for today! I have had my one day off in 2 months, so now I will get back to work :)

  • AJ

    wowa………….dats beautiful……….bt..has some1 noticed dt 2 get dese feathers how many birds might b killed……..fer just mere feathers…….
    n im damn sure dey r nt collected dropped feathrs cuz deyr firm n spoilt………..

  • Jack


    Ranger, did you make this? Either way, you are making yourself look foolish by defending this list… think about it, this site has epic lists almost every day, so when i visit the site and see the latest list is about paintings on feathers, i’m going to be disappionted.

    o and i’m not sure why you don’t like my word choice, but lame fits this list accurately, here’s the defenition:
    weak; inadequate; unsatisfactory; clumsy: a lame excuse.

  • AJ: please use English – not the abbreviated language you are using.

  • Sandy

    I loved this list. The painting are not just beautiful, but also introduce us to another form of native art, like sand painting, the cave paintings in France, totem carving, and on and on and on.
    I’m wondering if those who disregard these extraordinary paintings have any talents of their own…but I doubt it.

  • Jamie: Your fans adore, but you need some time off. We don’t need you going al Britney on us.

  • King of the Horizon

    how do you even paint on a feather?well i did when i was young but that more ivolved in dipping the feather in red paint then leaving it to watch pokemon and forgeting about it do they stop the fibres from moving while painting?freezing?

  • Anderi

    LOL! The wonders of insomnia!!

    2am red rimmed eyes crack open: “Dammit! 2am AGAIN!! Hmmm… Should I carve the Sistine Chapel out of a match stick tonight or paint another landscape on a pin head?… Wait a minute! Native American iconography on feathers!! …Painted with a single horse’s hair of course!…”

    Only thing is, this should really be a list of the top ten paintings on feathers from DIFFERENT artists, not the same artist. Then it’s just a sample of the 10 best paintings this artist has done on feathers…

    How widespread is this artform?

    Good addition to the site as usual!

  • Dustfinger

    Do they just start painting directly onto the feather, or do they paint it with white paint or something first to keep the… feather thingies together?

  • jrjb

    Nice little list. Lots of birds on those feathers. LOL

  • King of the Horizon

    Please Jack.Remove your head from your *edit*.This list certainly brightened up my day.While you have the right to your own opinion i certainly dont see what gives you the right to piss on someone elses work considering that i havnt seen anything by you on this site yet(correct me if im wrong).According to yourself or at least what i made out from that last comment of yours you use this site to gratify yourself and expect to be satisfied for free.Well you see thats not the sole purpose of this site.Essentially you are complaining of restaurant giving out free food because you dont like the flavour.

  • CK

    Wow these are gorgeous! I thought this list was about paintings done about feathers but it’s so much cooler!

  • SarahJ

    I see they let you out for the day Mike Giggler, maybe its time to crawl back under your rock

  • Cyn

    Mike Giggler..your comments are in moderation. stop it!

  • rb1

    nice list, i love the one with the wolves on #6. great list

    also, i would like to say that i stumbled uppon this site a few months ago and i love it, keep up the good work!!

  • boomshine87

    Amazing! Not only can she paint, but she can paint on feathers without ruffling them up. Which makes me wonder, does she put some kind of lacquero n the feather beforehand to ‘stiffen’ it up

  • satori

    Wow-that’s insane! What an interesting medium for an artist! I can only imagine what kind of eye strain that would ensue.

  • okay. a little bizarre. but neat nonetheless

  • frozenmidwest

    Here’s a site of another artist who paints on feathers:

    Click on Gallery in the left column and scroll down the middle column.

  • Sandy


    Very cool website.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • bara perdana

    where i can buy this thing ?it’s prety

  • Nzbyrd


  • jedwardcooper

    Help. I can’t count!

    and are these the “top” paintings on feathers, or the “only” paintings on feathers?

  • Frazzzld

    Wow, I never even knew this type of art existed. It must take a truly patient person. :)

  • Spiritwolf

    Cool to see someone else who appreciates the usage of the natural BARRED peafowl feathers for Native American art! Natural barred peafowl feathers are one of my favorite choices to use too. I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked people who had peafowl or were selling peacock tail feathers, if they also had the barred or the black feathers with whitish areas near the quill end, and was told that “nobody ever wants those, everyone wants the typical “eye” peacock tail feathers!” The blackish ones with the tinge of white on them make good natural imitation eagle feathers, with the added attraction of being iridiscent in the sun!
    Also cool to see someone else who likes the challenge of doing realistic lifelike Native American art instead of the too-common geometric stuff!
    Julie, I’m guessing you are like me….that you enjoy the challenge of creating something that looks so real that it could step off of the feather! :)

  • Feather painting isn’t that uncommon among Native Americans and people who participate in pow-wows. Feathers have long been painted, decorated, and worn by Native American men and women. Feather art just hasn’t yet found its way into the mainstream in the way dreamcatcher and some other Native American art forms have. (And its probably better that feather art hasn’t gone mainstream….when other forms of Native American art have become popular in the mainstream, cheap imitations also sprung up everywhere, resulting sometimes in less appreciation for the beauty of the original art using natural feathers and materials.

  • Those who would criticize this art form apparently don’t know what it is like to be a natural self-taught artist, to know that creative drive that burns like a fire inside you when it’s lit. When the creative drive is awake, it is so strong you can’t ignore it. When youre working on such things as this, you don’t even think of patience or impatience, your mind is on making the images that are burning inside you, become reality. Sometimes you can almost feel like you’re a spectator watching your own work evolve, as the force of creative spirit flows through you.

    And for the ignorant who comment about birds being killed, you need to educate yourself a bit about birds. Birds regularly molt (shed) their feathers. In fact, killing birds for their feathers would be like killing the goose that laid golden eggs! I personally am happy that my friends who raise birds let me scavenge their aviaries year after year when their birds are molting. That way, I get a nice collection of colorful feathers all the time, donated again and again by live healthy birds!

    Re: feather condition
    Feathers in good condition naturally stay together unless they have become dried out. When birds preen themselves, they spread oil from an oil gland through their feathers. That oil helps waterproof their feathers as well as to keep the feather together.

    And as for those who call this art lame, such people are probably the sort whose taste runs to such things as toilet seat art, and other junk, garbage and ugly stuff the people pass off as “art”. I’ve seen some stuff hanging in museums that looked more like messes I’ve had to clean up after doing artwork (or messes in the bottom of kitty litter pans!) than art! If those who call this work “lame” think they can produce better art…then prove it!

  • Julie Thompson

    Wow, I’m overwhelmed!! :)
    First of all, to the one who posted this list – thank you so much, I am so happy that you thought enough of my paintings to go to the trouble of posting a list about them. I’m so glad you enjoy them! And thank you, to so many of you who left such kind words about them.

    Some of you may not like them, that is fine – what a boring restricted world it would be if we all had the same tastes.

    As for questions, it looks like Spiritwolf has done a wonderful job of answering much of them.

    It is true, that none of these feathers have been plucked from any bird. One look at the quill tip will tell you that, in those photos where you can see it. In a feather that is naturally shed, the quill shrinks at the tip as the feather “dies”, cutting off blood circulation to the feather. You can see that by the tapered tip these feathers have, like a pencil tip. A plucked feather will look more like a drinking straw – no taper, and very much alive – and very painful for any bird that would endure such a thing. Oftentimes during molt, these worn out feathers they begin to shed actually start to itch – a lot – which is why sometimes you’ll see snips in part of the feather’s fibers. The bird is actually pulling its own feathers out of itch and irritation. Most of the time though, they simply die off and drop.

    As for technique and procedure, I don’t coat the feather with any heavy duty stiffener. I do lightly spray the feather with an acrylic fixative, which is about like using hair spray – the feather is still very soft. the acrylic helps protect the feather from organisms that would otherwise eat it. I can paint directly on an untreated feather, but I prefer the added protection of the acrylic spray.

    When painting, I work in many layers, using very small brushes,and I work in the palm of my hand which allows for the natural graceful curve of the feather. This adds to the three dimensionality of the finished piece. I use the contours and the layers to bring the image to life. It’s not very evident in these scans, because in scanning the paintings they get pressed flat on the bed – which slightly distorts the image with a “fisheye” effect. I prefer scanning, though, because a) I can show much more detail in the digital image, and b) I’m a lousy photographer!

    I stumbled upon this site here because of increased traffic at my website. Thank you, I’m so glad that many of you enjoy these paintings as much as I enjoyed painting them. If you have other questions, please feel free.

  • BB

    After traveling to Costa Rica and seeing these there, I was surprised to see this form of art on the site. It reminds me of how small world we live in. But it also reminds me of how each artist is different, and so is their work. The paint on these feathers seem to use what seems as a slightly thicker base but with that, the quality of these rival the ones I saw in Central America. The technique Ms. Thompson uses is very interesting, I admire her awareness of three dementions. Wonderful work! Thx for sharing

  • 8D How amazing that artist actually posted here! (You’re fantabulous 8D)

  • Ren

    Absolutely the most beautiful paintings I’ve ever had the pleasure of laying my eyes on…The detail is amazing and so are the colors…how blessed you are to have such talented hands and a gifted eye for color…


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  • Lois

    Looking for an artist to demonstrate the art of feather painting . We are located in West Palm Beach Florida. Know of anybody? Thank you. Lois Z.

  • hannah

    how much do they cost 2 buy

  • aymericone

    Such a pointless list!!!!!!!!!

  • Honeypot08

    Hi I seen your painting on the feathers and sheared them with a wonderful women who is our town artists and we were both amazed, she would love to know more about you and what kind of frathers these are. can you please get back to me ASAP. thank you

    you are amazing great work.

  • Mark

    Wow! How do you do that?!

  • Bibhey


  • yummy


  • Glowbug

    Absolutely beautiful! I studied art in college (fat lot of good it’s done me), but I’d never even heard of painting on feather as a medium. Innovative stuff. I’d cheerfully disembowel someone to learn the technique….

  • Amber

    Damn!! That’s pretty sweet.

  • val

    it is the most amazing painting i’ve seen.
    you have such a talent.

  • Anne

    I do feather painting too, but not that fine of detail. I did a fox nestled in the snow on a pheasant feather. It was perfect and I sold it for $30. I think I undercharged, but a native american bought it for his boss.

  • cheryl

    MY freinds and i seen these feathers ,they are fantastic!! we were wondering if you sell them ? can you please let me know?they would make great christmas presents.

  • sugen

    amazing feat…pleasing to the eye…a challenge to the mind

  • Whoah! Such artistry! And they cost how much? ;)


    These are absolutly gorgeous. Can they ordered from web site or catalogue. I would like more information, please.

  • Joe watkins

    Great work!….I am also a featherpainter, but do larger pieces.

  • JwJwBean

    Joe: Your artwork is very beautiful also.

  • lucy

    Hi There,

    These are beautiful.

    I would like to know where I can order a catalogue?

    I live in Cape Town, South Africa.

    How much would it cost in total for me to order (including shipping cost)?



    Lucia Teixeira

  • cyncity

    Hey this came out excatly a year ago!!!!

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  • Julie Thompson


    I am so sorry- I’m not a member here and I was not getting notifications of comments and queries from this list. My apologies for not responding sooner. I came over when my website indicated an increased number of visits from this site.

    Lucy and Brenda, I don’t have a catalog, merely past pieces that I post online at my site, my blog, and occasionally on Facebook and Myspace. Lately I’ve been doing commissioned pieces for folks, they tell me what they’d like and I paint it for them. This has, understandably, kept me very busy- birthday gifts, Eagle Scout gifts, Wood Badge gifts, etc. If you drop me a note at [email protected] I will check with my shippers for the shipping cost to South Africa. Within the continental US shipping is $20. For out-of-country I would need your post code to get an accurate estimate.

    Joe Watkins – kudos! You do beautiful work! how long have you been at it?

    Glowbug – I hadn’t heard of it either when I started doing it 20 years ago. Necessity being the mother of invention, I was trying to find a use for all those beautiful shed feathers from my mother’s 20 peacocks…and found one. ;)

    Many thanks, all of you, for your kind words and your interest. I would be happy to answer questions, either by email or here – and I promise I’ll check in. Apologies, I did not mean to neglect questions.

    Kindest regards,
    Featherlady Studio

  • Yum Yum

    So beautiful – not seen anything like that before. :)

  • Joe watkins

    I think julie’s work is very nice, but I did not make the quote above that has my name on it. what kind of site is this?

  • Joe watkins: Have seen some of the more recent lists? You could have a doppelganger.

  • mustafa

    wooowww beautifulllllllll i have no words to say simply outstanding keep it up

  • paapu

    really superb.i drumstuk by seeing this.

  • V. Hofseth

    Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t it kind of cheeky of you to advertise your own similar work on a list of somebody else’s work?

  • isyourollin420


  • nicoleredz3


  • 3yood

    Where can i buy these feathers

  • how much it cost this painting. try this friends it is good to display in your house or in a restaurant.


    good work. this art work is what I’ve looking for, it fits to my taste in paintings.

  • Selena Scott

    I love the pictures that are painted on the feathers, I wish I could do that. Thank you for sharing them with me.

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