Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've uploaded some newly available mammal illustrations on my other blog:

Monday, April 27, 2009

I've started a new oil painting a few days ago. It's an Indian Pitta in its typical habitat.
This is the preliminary, quick watercolour sketch:

I prefer to draw the shapes right with the paint and not with pencil. I used raw sienna here:

I used the same raw sienna for a thin underpainting for the leaves, to achieve the warm atmosphere. Here you can see the first layer, the leaves roughly blocked in, and also the main colours of the bird.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wakeup call at 5.30, back to my Stonachat base. It was very cold, I saw dew on the grass!! The birds must have chick already by now, as they were bringing food for them, and the female was also quite active, nothing like an invisible brooding bird.
Probably you're bored now with all the same lighting, but I simply cannot resist painting it (note: it was quite windy, food in the beak, spider web stuck on the twig):

Here's the place, the bird is encircled on the photo:

During sketching I can see Great Crested Grebes on the river (today they were dancing), Common Terns bypassing, Coots chasing each other, Cuckoos coming and going, a Kestrel hunting on the opposite side, Blackcaps, Nightingales, Whitethroats singing in the bushes behind me. You would never think that I'm in fact in the capital!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I almost went back to sleep, but then I forced myself to get up to my Stonechats.
I made this sketch of the posing male:

Here's a photo of the pair:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

At last I was strong enough to get up early to be by the river at sunrise (after several days of unsuccessful intention). I wanted to sketch Nightingales, but they didn't seem to be cooperative, so I chose a nicely posing Stonechat (they have a nest nearby, I could see the female also).
I made this one page, because it was quite cold, and started to rain quite heavily:

Here's a photo of the bird. The sketch was done in more bright lighting condition.

I'll go back in the next days to make more sketches. The setting was so beautiful (the top of a Blackberry bush) that I'm sure I'll make a painting of this bird.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I've finished a watercolour today. Scanning through my digiscoped photos, I found a nice Blackbird sitting amoung hawthorn berries. I decided to convert the photo into a painting.
The preliminary pencil drawing is quite complicatied:

I've started with the background colour mixing cobalt blue and burn sienna. I've used this mixture also for the shadows on the branches:

I've missed to photograph more stages, so next you can see the result. I've painted the bird last. The painting is 27 x 36 cm, on Arches watercolour paper. It's for sale for 280 EUR.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My son found a butterfly pupa some weeks ago. We suspected that it belonged to the Swallowtail. We've put it in a jar.

Yesterday I noticed a big change in the surface of the pupa, its skin became transparent and I could clearly recognize the wings of the butterfly:

Today I missed the emergy of the butterfly, although I was sitting only 30 cms from it (probably I was concentrating on my work too much). So I could observe only when it was pumping liquid into its wings and flew away. You can see that I used double sided tape to attatch the pupa to a twig:

I had time to make this sketch of the freshly emerged butterfly:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I made this quick sketch of a blooming plum branch in the garden this afternoon:

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I've completed this Woodpecker plate recently. It shows the males of the 3 species occuring on the British Isles. This is also for the Irish bat book (Woodpeckers are very important for creating roosting holes for bats).

At last I could spend a beautiful whole day sketching. I've visited a fishpond system not far from home. Some ponds are drained, so they attract large number of birds.
I could sketch a good variety of birds, here they are.

Black-tailed Godwit with male Ruff. I was surprised to see that male Ruffs are almost as big as Godwits:

I've photographed a flag-tagged Ruff:

Restign Avocet and Shelduck with Godwit in the background:

A nice, reddish Ruff male:

Caspian Tern in evening light:

Evening scene with Black-headed Gulls, the Caspian Tern and Godwits in the foreground:

Male Reed Bunting with not completely black head:

Friday, April 03, 2009

Delachaux et Niestlé French publisher has just published this book with my mammal illustrations:

Here's a sample page showing my young Roebuch painting:

You can find more detail about this book on the publisher's webpage:
Search by the title 'Guide du pisteur débutant'.
I've got some of my illustrations back that have been published recently. They are for sale and can be checked here:
Here's another chick-plate. Great Bustard, Montagu's Harrier and Short-eared Owl (easy to find out which is which):

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I've painted some shorebird chicks. Top row, left to right: Black-tailed Godwit, Kentish Plover, Redshank. Lower row, left to right: Colared Pratincole and Stone Curlew.