24 July 2013

Peregrine Falcon

I know that I have been so slow in up dating my blog. It is not that easy to do it constantly. But here are some sketches from June.

A female peregrine falcon brooding her chick.

And this is the chick when it got bigger!
After the Seabird Drawing Course I was so inspired that I went to sketch the pergrine falcon chick with a set of water colour! I must keep doing this.

The mother brought a rock pigeon to the chick. The chick ate and ate and ate and it flew away somewhere. It could already fly very well. After a few minutes, the mother came back with another prey but the chick wasn't on the cliff. So she had to go and find her with the prey!

The mother peregrine.

12 July 2013

Birds in scenery

I've always wanted to draw birds in scenery rather than a detailed portrait of them. Maybe because I am more interested in nature as a whole and the interaction between species and the habitat. St. Abbs head is certainly a place to make such large scale paintings. And I just love the place so much!

When the sun shines on the rocks, the lichens gleam in yellow and orange and the sea turns to be in beautiful blue green. It is beautiful but it only happens for a moment when the sun is out.

Guillemots were all trying to sit on the tiny rock sticking out above the surface of the sea. The ones swimming tried to climb on and pushed those standing on the rock and the ones standing pecked them back into the sea.

This year, we were lucky enough to be able to go on to the Fidra, an island also in the Firth of Forth and owned by RSPB. I learned that Robert Louis Stevenson spent many childhood holidays on this island. It is said that he got inspiration for the Treasure Island here!

And Fidra has some breeding puffins!

6 July 2013

Trying new things

The Seabird Drawing Course gave us motivation and inspiration and opportunity to try something new. Even tutors seem to be taking it as a chance to do something new. We were all influenced by other artists! It is so lovely to work with other people.

I played around a little bit with colour paper. Crayon on some scrap paper that my friend left behind.

Painted on the coloured paper, which I made by rolling out the leftover ink.


Kittiwakes at Dunbar. They are nesting at the Dunbar Castle, the remnant of the one of the biggest castles in Scotland. Now it is a very popular apartment for kittiwakes. It was so hot that day and the kittiwakes were opening their beak, sticking their beautiful orange tongue!

1 July 2013

Bass Rock Gannet

I joined the Seabird Drawing Course again! It was as amazing as last time, or even more! I had been looking forward to it since it finished last year.

When I arrived at the campsite, I already found a familiar face, Greg Pool, one of the tutors and I was welcomed by all the other campers. I can not explain how happy I was when I entered the hotel and saw some familiar faces from a year ago! It was incredible to feel at home at this amazing place with all the amazingly talented people.

From the very first day, we went on to the Bass Rock, where it snows in summer. The millions of gannets were there calling, fighting, sleeping and preening to each others as they were last year. But because of the late spring, we didn't see any chicks. Parents were still incubating their egg.


I love going back to the same place and doing the same thing. Because I know what to expect and have some more knowledge about it, I start to see things that I miss at first. Since I read part of Bryan Nelson's The Atlantic Gannet to write my picture book idea, Snow in Summer, I was thinking of their habitat and motions with meanings rather than just a beautiful, incredible scene or postures to draw.

"When you draw gannets there, you have to think about the energy of Bass Rock itself. Gannets are merely tiny things flying about on its surface," Mr. Busby was saying. To feel the energy and try to include it in the works, you have to be out there in the field. And maybe that is why sketches from life are often stronger than those works made in the studio.

The second day on the Bass, it got windier and windier. Gannets were flying and enjoying the wind. But because the normal boat couldn't come close to the Bass Rock, we had to be rescued by a rib. And since even the rib couldn't stop by the rock, we had to jump on to the rib one by one when it came closer. But it is this wind that allows gannets to nest on this island.