Sunday, October 09, 2011


HAVERGATE ISLAND 28th September 2011 A beautiful day gave the prospect of visiting the RSPB Reserve on Havergate Island. A boat trip round the Island from Orford offered easier travel arrangements. It was a worthwhile trip – there was a lovely view back to the town as the boat left which would be a good subject for a watercolour. The first bird sightings were gulls and a Grey Heron then what we were waiting to see – Avocets.

Avocet and Gull: Watercolour

Then followed a view of a pair in different poses
Two Avocets: Watercolour

The problem with observing from a moving boat is that there is no time to observe behaviour or make sketches. I was forced to rely on photographs and work up sketches from them.
Three Avocets whiffling in to feed: Watercolour with Chinese White.

These three arriving offered a nice opportunity for a painting. I’ve used a mid-toned 160gsm Ingres pastel paper to show up the mainly white birds. White is a difficult colour to modulate. White feathers sometime reflect blue on other parts of the bird the impression can be of a warm grey. There are always subtle changes. A flock of 12 or more Avocets flew over going roughly North. Were they making for Minsmere where we’d had little success 3 days ago?

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