Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Cadair Idris and the Fairbourne Wigeon Roost

Last Week I found a Wigeon roost at the mouth of the Mawddach, There are several hundred wigeon on the estuary and around 50 - 100 roost on the bank of this particular inlet depending on the tide (I think a dropping tide from early evening). The attraction here is the juxtaposition of wigeon shapes, saltmarsh and shadows cast by Cadiar cliffs.
I returned to study the composition again today (top), but close to spring highs with a rising tide this evening the wigeon hauled out further downstream. Overcast, so didn't get the strong light on the mountains and birds that I wanted, but good for colour (cb,ru/cb,rs+az/cr) and composition (needs more foreground) experimentation.

In fading light wigeon at roost just visible against mats of the beached seaweed they seem to predominantly feed on. Colours merge so that sand and water become the same hues of grey tweaked by adding pink (rmg) yellow (ru) or blue (cb).

Friday, 11 February 2011


Female goosander at Llyn Coed y Dinas, preening on the dry mud bank of an island.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Monday, 7 February 2011

Monotype Printing

First attempt at print based on 26.01.11 drawing. Watercolour monotype using two plates and simple (wB, tY, cR) palette. Possible to see basic colour scheme works well although could tone down in places and emphasise light and form with bolder shadows, leave highlights especially on the necks, emphasise markings and create stronger focal point.
1st Plate, 2nd Plate >>

Friday, 4 February 2011

Curlew and Traffic Cones, Dolydd Hafren

High winds shook the stilted hide at Dolydd Hafren and howled eerily through the corrugated roof. Struggling with a shaky telescope I sketched curlew bracing themselves against the onslaught and scanned the Canada geese for a pair of white fronted that had been sighted yesterday. The flood water was up too but towards dusk dropped rapidly leading me to scrap several compositions. In a last attempt to save the day, I focused on a near group of curlew scouring the freshly soaked ground and the flotsam of dark twigs which they merged into in the failing light. A few tyres and traffic cones washed up offer ample composition possibilities; devices to draw the eye towards or even better, away from the camouflaged birds (ref:JB) - something to return to.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Peregrine, Ynys Hir

Mild and windy with breaks in the cloud. The teal I had calmly been painting were suddenly flushed by a peregrine which flew into the sun (partly why it may not of struck) drawing my attention to the landscape at my back. After several days struggling to paint green landscapes in the studio I made it my focus to capture the rich green (cb+aur -dark: wb=aur) pasture glowing in the light as well as the peregrine silhouetted above.