"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 29 January 2012


Its that time of year again when its time to make my contribution to the local bird club report. As this is a labour of love (rather than one of profit), I don't have the usual restrictions of working to a brief. Other than making sure that what I illustrate, has actually been recorded in the club area during during the year under review. So I can rifle through my old sketchbooks and see what leaps out at me as being a promising image. Over the twenty two or so years that I have been doing this, I have managed to illustrate a fair proportion of the total number of species recorded in the area- currently 269 species. However looking back some species have been drawn more often than others (the usual suspects that I like drawing; cormorants, herons and various raptors). So this year I have decided to concentrate on some previously overlooked ones.

These drawings of a Common Gull were made late in the afternoon on 11th November 2004 at Denaby Ings. A couple of months later on 23rd January 2005 I was back there again, drawing this Gadwall and a small group of Teal.

From these sketches I developed the two drawings below. Both Pencil and Ink Wash.

Common Gull

Male Gadwall

Driving along the road that crosses the moors above Ripponden I saw this Little Owl perched beside the road. By the time I had found a place to turn round and then drive back I was sure it would have gone. However, it was still there and remained long enough to do quite a comprehensive drawing.

I altered the composition somewhat for the final drawing.

Little Owl.
Pencil and Ink Wash.


Marc Heath said...

Brilliant stuff, love looking at sketches. A true art form, wish I could do!!

Stuart Brocklehurst said...

Thanks Mark and welcome to my blog. I'll post some more sketches and final drawings when I get the next set completed.