Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Colour from the season - Goldcrest gold

My dad encouraged me to draw birds, but not dead things - so I did wonder as I drew this dead Goldcrest what he would have thought of this post.

Tragically this one was killed by a friend's cat and so he gave it to me. While I would far rather it hadn't died, it was a rare opportunity to draw one from life [sic] and to document the colours in its crest and feathers.

It's the UK's smallest bird, this one's a male and so has a brilliant yellow crest with an orange centre, (the females have just pure yellow). I documented the hue of the feathers as accurately as possible but it's impossible to translate the almost iridescent brilliance of the real thing into flat colour.

outline pencil sketch,

drawing at least twice lifesize -
used a magnifying glass to see detail...

ink wash and acrylic...

More info about the Goldcrest on the RSPB website here

(I realise that birds and feathers aren't necessarily seasonal but I include them here - just because...)

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.