fast sketches of common birds

I had an hour to sketch before the light faded.  A male mute swan seemed to be avidly defending his territory.  I think he was driving away the erstwhile cygnets.  I tried to capture this first in charcoal then in black watercolour, aiming for fast gestures to capture just the movement and postures.  Here too are earlier drawings in charcoal from the end of June: the same male in calmer mood preening,  interspersed are other charcoal sketches of lapwing, common tern, barnacle geese and black headed gulls.

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7 responses to “fast sketches of common birds

    • Thanks. I really appreciate your comments. I envy your direct and continual observational studies. An artist I met told me he’d been ringing birds since his teens, and I got that tactile sense in his illustrations, even the more abstract ones. I’ve never done this – the only bird I actually touched was a budgie. The artist I admire most at the moment is Darren Woodhead. This guy paints directly from life in the field in watercolour. I am so impressed, just bought some of his work.

      • If you ever get an opportunity to handle a wild bird – at a nature center, banding station, etc. – I’d highly recommend it. It’s a great rush to hold such a delicate, wild thing. I’ve also found interacting with dead birds (preparing museum specimens, not ‘cos I’m crazy…) to be informative: you really get a sense of their strange anatomy.
        That said, you obviously have a great gut sense of birds without doing any of that! I really enjoy your work. And thanks for the reference – just glancing at Darren Woodhead’s work I can see that I’ll need to spend some time really looking, once this grant deadline is over.

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