Friday, 21 February 2014

Goldfinches and German Shepherds

I've been working on a new portrait this week, of two extremely handsome German shepherds. I really enjoy drawing this particular breed of dog; I find the stark contrast between the dark and light fur very appealing and the markings around the eyes and eyebrows are stunning.
It always makes a world of difference when my clients provide me with clear, sharp photographs. In this case, the reference photos are perfect, with every detail in focus which really makes the process enjoyable. Every tiny fleck of colour in the eyes is there for me to see.
I've made good, fast progress on this piece, considering it's an A3 which is my largest size option and usually takes quite a while to complete. I only have the neck fur of the first dog to finish before I can move on to his brother. I haven't yet hit any major issues (touch wood)  to hold me back, so I've been able to work swiftly and calmly-my favourite!

In other news, I was volunteering at Pulborough Brooks on Tuesday again. In comparison to the rather quiet days we've had, no doubt caused by the horrific weather we've experienced where only the truly brave and hardy individuals have ventured out to us, the centre was BUSY! Of course, I soon remembered that it's half term and that explained the groups of thigh-high children running around. It made a pleasant change to see the centre buzzing with lots of people although it certainly wasn't a stress-free day! 

Despite being kept busy, I managed to find a few moments here and there to peer through the scope and found the reserve to be as busy as the centre, even with the intermittent showers. There was a sizeable group of corvids, mostly rooks with a carrion crow and jackdaw or two in the mix. We've noticed the fieldfare grouping together in larger numbers, probably due to the flooding limiting the field space available for foraging. I saw a group of around 40 and in amongst them I managed to spot three goldfinches holding onto the taller grass, swaying in the wind. That was a treat for me as we don't get them in our garden and I've only briefly spotted them once before. 

I'm excited to see the different wildlife as the seasons change; Spring isn't far away and with breeding season approaching, it should be interesting to watch for new spand different behaviour.

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