Saturday, August 03, 2013



Nidara was the Hindi name – meaning Fearless – given  given to the female snow leopard cub born at Dudley Zoo. Sadly she died of a stomach infection after 6 weeks. This is a quick study of her.

The sketch was drawn with Autosketch Pro6 on my iPad. I started with a screen capture of a video frame taken from a BBC news item on ‘Midlands Today. I imported the frame into the base layer of an Autosketch file. Subsequent stages of the image were painted on new layers which were built up independently of the captured video frame. Finally the video frame was removed and the sketch saved in PGN format.


I paid a visit to Twigworth Hall last week to see the SWLA Five Decades Exhibition. It’s a display of members work organised to celebrate the Society’s 50th Anniversary. The exhibition is a breathtaking show of past and current members’ work. It was good to make acquaintance with a fine Charles Tunnicliffe watercolour of a flock of Lapwings. I may have seen a print of it in ‘Tunniclifffe’s Birdlife’ but any book illustration cannot compare with seeing the original.

I’m currently a big fan of ‘The two ‘Darrens’ that is Darren Woodhead and Darren Rees. I’ve blogged about Darren Woodhead following his appearance on ‘Springwatch’ he also tweets regularly on Twitter. This exhibition was the first time I’d been able to study one of his full-sheet watercolours painted outdoors infront of his subject. I was immediately enthralled by how he simplified the subject to accommodate the nature of the watercolour medium.
I first encountered Darren Rees’ work from a copy of his book ‘Bird Impressions’. He is another artist who works from field observations and the book illustrations consist of quick direct pencil and watercolour sketches. The painting he is showing in the exhibition is a more considered painting in acrylic – a pleasant surprise.

I’ll just have to make another visit to take a second look