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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Nuthatches and Monty!

Last week's challenge on Paint Colorful Birds for fun, was to paint a nuthatch, one of my favourite native birds.  I used two of Gary's photos for the challenge, one in the nuthatch's classic pose (above) and the second one I just liked the pose.

I've also been enjoying watching the Dyfi Osprey Project live streaming of Monty trying to get himself a female and thought I'd pay a little tribute to him by doing a quick watercolour, he's certainly a handsome dude!

Friday, 19 April 2013

More BHGs and the Yorkshire Three Peaks

© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist
Black Headed Gulls

This is another painting done in memory of Dave Smith for a tribute we're having to him over on Paint My Photo.  I'm in the middle of another but it's turned into a bit of disaster and I'm desperately trying to rescue it!  Have lifted the background out twice now and am waiting for another to dry in the hope that something half decent will appear out of the mess!  

In the last post I mentioned that Gary and I were going to attempt to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks last weekend - the three highest mountains in Yorkshire over 24 miles and we walked it in just over 10 hours (the record for running it is around 2 and a half hours!!) The weather behaved itself at first but in the afternoon it started blowing a hooly on the higher ground and then came the torrential rain as we topped mountain no.3 Ingleborough ..... it was a long and very wet walk back to the start.  After a lovely hot shower at the campsite we treated ourselves to fish, chips and mushy peas from the local chippy and a glass (or two) of wine to celebrate.  I can tell you I slept well in the tent that night despite the howling wind outside!

Mountain no.1 Pen y Ghent

Mountain no.2 Whernside

A very cold and windy mountain no.3 Ingleborough

This was a good practice for the Excalibur Marathon which we're walking for charity next month - it's a couple of miles more and couple of hundred feet of ascent more - just hope my legs have recovered by then!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Come Fly with Me

This is another watercolour done in memory of David Smith a photographer from PMP who sadly passed away last September.  It is one of my favourite photos of his of 2 black headed gulls in flight.

© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist
Come Fly with Me
in memory of David Smith

this is David's original photo
© David Smith

I've also got some very sad news to share - our beloved Carneddau ponies who can normally survive extreme weathers have had a particularly harsh time up in the mountains recently during the severe snow we've had here and at least 40 have perished. You can read more about it here - we were talking recently about how they would be coping in the severe weather as we often come across them on our walks - and now we know - so sad. You can read more about it in this article from Grough.  

This weekend Gary and I will hopefully be attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge - the mountains of Pen y Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough on a 24 mile hike (weather permitting as the forecast looks a bit unsettled) - more about that on Sunday if we do it! In the meantime have a wonderful weekend whatever it is you're doing!


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

More birds and a Cafe Scene

I had a bit of a marathon painting day on Sunday - trying to make up for not having painted anything for most of the week!  After painting the Pied Wagtail from the last post I went on to paint some other birds and a quick street scene ... not the sort of subject I normally do but fancied having a go for the loose watercolour group which is run by Judith Farnworth on Paint my Photo.  

I have to admit I did rush this one and didn't give the figures much attention so I may tweak it a bit or even paint another street scene with a bit more care and planning this time.  I've had some useful feedback from the loose watercolour group - pillar not straight, figures too fussy etc. so lots to work on for the next effort.

I also finished off a rooster I was painting which is going to an artist friend of mine in France.

....and finally to finish off my painting day, I did two more birds for the wonderful facebook page started by Robin Berry in conjunction with Gerard Hendriks -Paint Colorful Birds for Fun.  I'm having great fun painting a new bird each week, the latest two colourful birds being a Southern Carmine Bee Eater and a Lazuli Bunting.  It's nice to learn about some birds which are new to me as well.  

Southern Carmine Bee Eater

Lazuli Bunting

My daughter Sian has been busy posting to her blog again Wildlife with Whitley, and she was thrilled that some of you popped over to see her photos and leave a comment - I really appreciate you taking the time to do that and hope it encourages her with her photography and love of wildlife. Hoping to get some painting done tonight even if just a little one!  Hope you're all having fun and enjoying life out there in blogland!   Bye for now!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Wilbur the Wagtail

© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist
Wilbur the Wagtail

Regular readers of this blog will have read me mention a site called Paint my Photo. We have a monthly challenge there and this month we are painting in memory of one of the much loved photographers who have posted their beautiful photos for artists to paint from since PMP was first created a few years ago.  David Smith aka PixelBloke on PMP sadly died last September and this month members are asked create a piece of artwork using his photos as inspiration as a lasting tribute to him.  The Wagtail painting here is my contribution but I'll probably paint a couple more before the end of the month.  I was drawn to his photo of the Wagtail as I love photographs of common birds that are often overlooked and I just loved the pose of this little cutie!

Some of you may remember that my daughter Sian started a blog a few weeks back - she hasn't been posting to it much but has posted some photos there today that she took at Chester Zoo last week - it would be lovely if you could pop over there and give her a bit of encouragement!


Thank you for popping by, don't forget to leave a comment so I know you've been and have a wonderful day xx

Monday, 1 April 2013

Painting Colourful Birds for Fun!

Thanks to fellow blogger Peter Ward of The Watercolour Log, I found out about a wonderful facebook site which I think is run by Gerard Hendriks and Robin Berry (2 artists I admire a great deal) which sets a weekly challenge to paint a colourful bird.  As you may know I LOVE painting birds so jumped at the chance to have a bit of fun.   Last week the challenge was to paint a flamingo so I thought I'd try out the brusho I've had unopened in it's box for the last few months. At first I thought I'd made a right mess but think I managed to rescue it - it's certainly very colourful!

Brusho Flamingo
© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist

 Then I tried some flamingoes in watercolour - flamingoes are quirky looking birds and wanted to make a quirky painting so just painted the 3 heads sticking up

We Three Flamingoes
© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist

This week's challenge is to paint a red cowled cardinal - a bird I'd never heard of before - I've heard of cardinals but not a red cowled one.  Anyway I painted this from a photo I found on google as I liked the pose

Red Cowled Cardinal
© Sharon Whitley the Rambling Artist

These gorgeous birds are native to North Brazil and I never expected to actually see one of them in the flesh the very day after I painted this - in Chester Zoo. I was thrilled to bits as I do prefer to paint subjects that I've actually seen for myself - so of course I asked Gary to get me some photos and here's one of them - now I can paint another and know that it's from one I've actually seen yay!!!

To see other paintings of these gorgeous birds take a look at the facebook page HERE