I post these sketches of nesting kittiwakes for completeness and my own reflection.
This was Sunday, the first day of the seabird painting course. It was drizzling intermittently. I realise this was the first full day I had ever spent just drawing birds.
I struggled, balancing an umbrella against a stack of lobster creels, holding it against the wind. My bulk teetered on a ridiculously small folding stool. I was swearing under my breath as I dropped one thing then another.
I found it hard to really look, fiddling with binoculars and putting them down to draw. Then I used a scope with my left eye, trying to draw using my right. Neither was satisfactory. I just could not retain the image long enough in my mind to draw from it.
I used my familiar pair of acrylic inks, paynes grey and sepia, topped off with a simple layer of sap green. I tried drawing directly with the brush. OK, these are sketches of moving birds, but as the week went on, I saw what others can achieve in watercolour in outdoor conditions. There is a mile to go here …
Later in the week, comparing my crude pencil sketches with those by other participants, I realised I shade with diagonal lines only. There is no subtlety, no building of shapes of through blocks of tone. Well … this is called learning.
By the time I attempted this last sketch, rain closed play. You might just make out the birds nesting amid the rain spattered inked wall.
The next day was rather better.