Saturday, 21 November 2009
Having just got back into Yorkshire ive recently set up a small and rudementary art studio in the porch of my new lodgings. Not only does it provide fantastic natural light but is situated in a fantastic area and allows me to watch some stunning garden birds between pen strokes or brush strokes. Although i have a lot of artwork to be getting on with for bird reports and for people i always make time to illustrate for YORKSHIRE BIRDING (http://www.yorkshirebirdingmagazine.blogspot.com/)
Not only are some of my good friends involved in the production of the journal but for me there is nothing better than doing art that involves local birds, in local habitats, for local people. The beauty of illustrating birds is the fact that you constantly see beauty all around you irrespective of whether it is in the city or on a lichen covered dyke wall.
The attached illustration is of a Baillon's Crake found by Andy Roadhouse(JO)during the autumn just gone at Spurn. Sadly i wasn't there to see it so had to rely on photographic reference to produce this illusration. Looking at the final piece i would have liked to made the throat a little paler and the nape somewhat paler. Also i would have liked to elongate both tarsus a little but as you will see if you begin to follow my blog that i have an on going battle trying to accuratley depict the legs and feet in proportion to the body but you never fail until you stop trying i suppose.
I did these illustrations during October 2009 on Fair Isle whilst i was working there as an Assistant Warden. Not only does working on such a Beautiful Island provide unforgettable birding experiences but it also allows you to meet some fantastic people. Although im not entirely happy with how this collective piece materialsed i wanted to draw something to show how grateful i was to Micky Maher for his time, help and altogether great company during his autumn stint on Fair Isle. Not only did he find the majority of the rarities featured in the composition but also kept me informed about common migrants on a daily basis. For this reason i presented Micky with this piece as a memoire of his time on the island. Most of the White's Thrush, Rustic Bunting and Siberian Stonechat decorations were done from memory but the Blackpoll Warbler was hastily sketched from my photographic references. In hind sight i wish i could of sketched the Blackpoll warbler from life but due to poor light conditions,the birds welfare, the crowds and pure adrenaline i had no other option. Thanks once again MICKY