I have a group of 5 female pheasants visiting the garden. The deal is that they eat and I can draw and paint them. Today there were 7, two male pheasants had joined them. The males are strikingly beautiful however the females have a subtle purple sheen to their feathers. I love to see them in the garden and miss them when they don’t turn up for a day or two.
I was inspired to do a painting of two mute swans after watching them walking precarlously on a local iced over pond. The day after making my Christmas card I was driving into St Andrews and was delighted to see two mute swans flying alongside the car at the same speed as I was driving. They were so close I was captivated. I needed to remember I was driving and keep my eyes on the road.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2019.
September holiday in Canada
I was inspired to do a sketch of a Canadian Goose at the start of a walk around Fairy Lake. My sketchbook is a nice compact square pad which I have always gravitated towards. At school it was my favourite shape to doodle in. I had with me my travel watercolour paints and box of neocolor II crayons which are water-soluble. I like them as they can give texture to the painting without being too messy to work with.
I thought I would post my 15min sketch of the red squirrel. This is from my sketch book. I always like to do a study in preparation for a painting. It helps me to remember what my first impression and feeling was about the subject. Sometimes when it is difficult to get motivated these little sketches can be stepping stones to future paintings!
This little squirrel visits our garden ever so often (especially when there is a fresh supply of nuts). He or she is a delight to watch and very cheeky. I couldn’t resist doing this painting.
I am making a trip to the Isle of May and trying to decide what materials to take for sketching the Puffins and other seabirds we may see. I came across these ones I did a while ago using ink Tombow art pens in 3 tones. For the lights I left the white paper to show through. I think I shall pack them when I go.
I put out some apple for our blackbirds to enjoy. This mouse had other ideas and dragged the apple to his den so he could munch away in a safe environment.
After a fortnight of glorious spring weather we woke up to over an inch of snow. This male doesn’t have a white band around his neck just a few white feather streaks, however he is stunning all the same and not any less eye catching.
I couldn’t resist painting this magnificent fellow who briefly visited the garden. This is a male Sparrow Hawk which has that blue grey back. Today a female Sparrow Hawk visited. She perched on the same post in the garden. She is quite different with a brown back instead of blue grey. I used only three oil colours plus white,prussian blue, translucent- magenta and cadmium yellow.
I was at the Gallery in Broughty Ferry getting some work framed. Afterwards I took a walk to see if there was anything interesting to sketch. There are often Swans down on the Tay and sure enough I saw at least ten of them enjoying some late morning sun. They were also rather keen to see if I had food for them in my bag. More than one of them wandered straight up to me to the point I had to back away a bit.