The last day of the Seabird Drawing Course in June was spent in at Aberlady, a rocky coastal strip cut by a river emptying between sandbanks into the Firth of Forth.  I made rapid sketches in charcoal of curlews probing the sand.


Pickings seemed lean when suddenly, one found a crab.  His whole demeanour changed as he set off up the bank with another in hot pursuit.  I had only left myself a tiny bit of empty paper for this avian drama.


Although using the scope, I was practising watching, closing my eyes to fix the image and then drawing without a second look, rather than trying to copy moving birds directly.I don’t capture much detail but I am trying to get a better sense of movement.  Charcoal is such an expressive (if clumsy) medium for this.

On the far bank, under storm clouds, were a line of dozing eiders.  I took watercolour notes for a later painting.



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