Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Colours from the Season - Rook feather black

Right in the middle of clearing one end of my studio to display work for Art Trek open studios last week, I was given a young dead Rook that had been killed on the road. Too big to be stored alongside the Thrush and Bullfinch currently in my freezer, I had to struggle to make time to sketch him but as always with drawing, I felt much the better for it.

A juvenile Rook looks a lot like a Carrion Crow, and so is difficult to identify, but the colour of the beak and shape of the head, suggests that this is a young Rook. Unexpectedly majestic close up; Victorian Gothic black plumage with iridescent purple highlights; dusty brown downy back feathers; slate grey beak and, on the sides and underside of the beak, slashes of pale pink...

Bank holiday sketching...

Right handed...

Photographed progress of the sketch.

If you happen to be in North Devon next weekend, please drop by my studio (looking fantastically tidy) and say hello! Second and final weekend for Art Trek open studios with Jacqueline Leighton Boyce, Judith Westcott and Mary Melling.

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Colour from the season - Swallow feather blue

The Swallow's journey back and forth between the U.K. and South Africa is miraculous, they arrive in April and May and usually depart in September, travelling 200 miles a day, maximum flight speed 35 mph! They are such an uplifting sight to see and herald the Summer, (as long as there's more than one of course).

Sadly this Swallow got trapped in a barn last Autumn and couldn't make the journey to it's winter home. Desiccated as he was in reality, I chose to paint him at peace and who knows, perhaps he's already flying in another life.

Such iridescence in that blue - truly extraordinary..!

pencil sketch...

paint before a touch of ink.

Many thanks to Judith for bringing him round for me to sketch, see her wonderful lino-cut prints here

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.