Follow by Email

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Wildlife Studies for 2015

One of the things I love to do as an artist is to paint the wildlife that Gary and I see on our travels - it started a couple of years ago when I started to paint the birds that visited the garden - as a record of what I saw and since then my art has been mainly focussed on painting birds and other wildlife that I see throughout the year using photos taken as a reference. I've said  this before that there is something extra special about painting something that you've had a memorable experience of because you relive the moment as you're painting it.  This year I thought it would be really nice to record these sightings in more of a journal style, writing notes about the experience and giving information about the subject - like a diary to look back on - so that's my main aim for this year - to produce an artist's diary recording the wildlife sightings and experiences of the year.  I'm sure I'll be doing the odd 'proper' painting as well - but I hope you'll enjoy sharing our wildlife sightings with us through my paintings this year - it will also give me an incentive to keep this blog up to date which I've neglected terribly again lately!  I've already done 3 of the types of studies I'm talking about - this first one records the many turnstones we saw earlier this month on Criccieth beach on the West coast of Wales - we made 2 visits to this beach and both times these turnstones were busily feeding amongst the seaweed covered rocks and sandy beach - beautiful little waders and a real pleasure to paint - here is the resulting diary page

We also saw lots of oystercatchers on the same beach, also busily feeding and more timid than the turnstones, flying away long before we got near them - I managed to get some lovely views while sitting quietly on a rock, watching them through the binoculars and getting some decent photographs with a long lens.  Here are the studies I did of these lovely waders, so easy to recognise with their bold black and white markings and bright red/orange beaks.

The next set of studies is from a visit to the high tide on the Wirral last Friday - the high tide pushes a variety of waders close to the shore, namely knot, sanderling and the odd dunlin - they are not spectacular looking birds with their dullish brown and grey plumage but when there are thousands of them in coordinated flight together, landing to form a carpet of grey and with the sound that goes with them it's a wonderful spectacle to behold.  Here are some little studies of some of the birds that were close enough to get photos of

Thank you for looking in - and I'd love to hear what you think of this way of recording our wildlife experiences


  1. Just had a quick look in on this Sharon - in a bit of a dash - but impressed and will take a closer look later, but first impressions are excellent detail both in illustrations and text.

    Kind Regards


  2. Fabulous idea to produce the diary and these pages here are first rate. The finished article could be the basis for a wonderful book. Love both the idea and execution. By the way do you follow Tim Wootton's work? He occasionally produces similar annotated sketches and has a great book on painting birds, not that you need that.

  3. I like your idea of the journal and I too have started one, right now more words than anything else, but think it will be an excellent way to get to some real thoughts, processes and truths. I like the pages you have done here and am going to blow it up to read further the notes. Am glad you are doing well and had good holidays and look forward to upcoming posts.

  4. I wanted to try like this, but it was not easy at all. You've done this. Fantastic!!!

  5. A fabulous start to your diary.. I just love these sketches with the notes... they look so "arty!!"

  6. Love your journal. The bird paintings are beautiful and I am looking forward to seeing more of them.

  7. These are very impressive illustrations Sharon and a great start to your journal. A great idea!!

  8. Thank you so much everyone - I'm enjoying doing them and they will be something to look back on with great memories of the experiences

  9. Sharon. These are wonderful.A great idea to capture the magic of your days with the birds.They would make a fabulous book.Look forward to more of your super artwork.


I love hearing from you, thank you so much for leaving a comment - I will always try to leave a reply and pop over to visit your blog if you have one - although sometimes I may be slower than others, have a wonderful day xx