Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Turnstone drawing progress

Since my last blog post ive been rather busy with preparations for forthcoming shows and so havnt progressed with this one as much as i would have liked.Today however has been a good day in the studio,one of those all too rare days with little in the way of interruption allowing me to really get stuck into the drawing without all the fits and starts of everyday life intruding.I have managed to complete the stretch of water above the old anchor chain and added some pebbles protruding from the surface.The chain itself is one of those gloriously textured objects that are simply made for graphite and ive absolutely loved depicting the chain with lots of lovely darks in there to really give a sense of solidity.the chain was worked up in the usual manner starting with successive layers of H,HB,B,and 2B with the details roughly worked in with 2 and 3B pencils.ive now moved onto the first turnstone clambering across the chain and plotted in the feathers on the wing and completed the head and nape of the bird.I originally saw these birds at the end of the winter and these two were part of a larger group foraging around the waters edge in Hillhead harbour here on the south coast of hampshire,uk.They are depicted in they're winter plumage which isnt quite so grand as theyre summer colours but nonetheless beautifully subtle.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Turnstone drawing started

many of my regular blog followers will be aware of my upcoming exhibition of bird art at Titchfield Haven nature reserve and this piece is destined to be one of the exhibits.On the seaward side of the coast road from the Haven is HillHead beach and harbour,a long stretch of shingle stretching for several miles,incidentally the scene of an oil spill earlier this week that has necessitated the closure of the beach from hillhead all the way to Hook spit which adjoins my local beach at warsash.i hope the clean-up will be rapid and restore the beach to its usual state before any problems arise for the thousands of breeding birds in the nearby Haven.Early this year i observed these little turnstones scurrying around the harbour at low tide foraging and clambering over boat anchor chains and ropes and thought it might make a rather charming this piece ive sketched in a couple of turnstones,one balanced on an old anchor chain the other foraging and ive added shallow water and lots of far ive blocked in the background water tone with an h grade pencil and blending stump and ive started to add ripple details with an hb pencil and the blending stump.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Wildscape magazine Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010

I am delighted not to say surprised to learn that i have won the Wildscape magazine Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 competition with my image 'The Egret pool'.I had almost forgotten that i had entered the competition way back at the start of the year and didnt seriously expect a graphite piece to win and so i am totally chuffed at the prospect of this image hanging(virtually)in the Wildscape Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Lapwing drawing complete

ok i'm calling this one finished.i hope ive managed to get across that 'still of evening' feel here.Its one of my favourite times to be out birdwatching on the marshes and around the scrapes as the light is so wonderful here on the south coast at this time of year.Normally at the time of day this drawing is depicting everything starts to quieten down as the birds settle in for the evening and lone birds will often be found wading around foraging for food in the fading light,a lovely quiet time just to sit and watch.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

New wader drawing

In this new drawing i'm attempting to portray a still evening scene of a lapwing on the edge of a scrape at Titchfield Haven.I'm concentrating less on detail and more on the lighting and shadows here to try and convey the evening light.So far ive blocked in the water and blended with a blending stump before adding a few dark highlights and lifting out some lighter ones.The subject itself is largely darkened by backlighting and now ive moved onto portraying the wet mud and vegetation that surrounds the scrape itself,again with backlighting there will be some very strong contrasts in tone here.I'm happy that it's progressing well so far and hopefully it should be complete within a day or two.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Black-Headed gull and chick sketch 7" x 10"

With so many exhibitions on the horizon ive been a little busy over the last week or so getting drawings out to the various venues and on the odd decent days ive been out again with my camera photographing subjects for future drawings.Last week i headed off to one of my favourite spots at Titchfield Haven nature reserve armed with camera and binoculars to try and capture some of the hundreds of youngsters about at this time of year.As i have an exhibition coming up in august at Titchfield i thought it would be good to try and have a few images of young birds on the walls.This is a quick little study i did to get me back in the swing of things as ive been away from the drawing board for a few days and depicts one of the many hungry gull chicks being very vocal.