Pheasants in the Rain

Just time at 4.30 for a quick session drawing the pheasants that have been gleaning spilt sunflower seeds beneath the feeders for most of the day.

Working in fountain pen with regular ink speeds up the process of drawing. I’d normally use Noodlers waterproof ink because I find it so useful, being able to add a wash of watercolour without the ink running but, in the time available today, regular ink seems to flow more freely. Besides, I’m in the mood for a drawing with an inky quality to it. For once, I won’t add the red, green and red gold of the cock pheasant’s plumage.

60 seconds looking, 8 seconds drawing

I enjoyed watching The Great Painting Challenge from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo yesterday. The warm-up exercise that Pascal Anson gave the contestants, urging them to spend 60 seconds looking at the elephants, then only 8 seconds drawing, is more or less what I’m trying here – except without Pascal standing there with his stopwatch: the pheasants are so active that I’ve got no choice other than to try and take a mental snapshot of a pose, then draw the whole thing. But I do then work on the details of the plumage in short bursts.


The Big Painting Challenge

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  1. Thanks for all the lovely posts on your blog Richard. I saw beautiful pheasants in England when I was there in 2014. It was very sad to hear that they are bred to loose for hunting.

    1. They breed so many that there are always dozens that get away. I’m told that every additional pheasant (above a prearranged quota) shot on one of our local shoots is charged at £35, so no wonder the woods sometimes seem knee-deep in pheasants. Not terribly good value as you can buy a Scottish pheasant, oven ready, for £5.50! It probably costs me that in the sunflower hearts they eat over the course of the year. If only I still had my dad’s old shot gun . . . (sorry pheasants, I didn’t mean that!)

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