Shelducks

I choose the ducks that appear to have settled down by the pool at Charlotte’s Ice Cream Parlour, but sleeping ducks are soon disturbed; preening ducks soon go on to the next stage in their routine; and all of them, as soon as I get my watercolours out, seem to remember that they’ve got urgent business in the duck shelter and they disappear out of sight altogether.

It’s such a pleasure attempting to draw them and, like my attempts at creating frames for a comic strip yesterday, I realise that all I need to do is keep at it, try my best and some of the character of each bird will come over in my drawing.

After dinosaurs, mallard drakes were one of my earliest inspirations for drawing natural history. They’re so handsome at this time of year and even a basic drawing soon appears mallard-like when you add the bottle green of the head, the brown of the breast and the yellow of the bill.

When Sir Peter Scott was a young school boy and wanted to paint nothing but ducks, his art teacher told him:

“Go away and paint a pudding, when you’ve learnt to paint a pudding, then you can move on to painting ducks.”

As so many of my sketchbooks feature drawings made in coffee shops and tea rooms, I think that I can say that I’ve now had adequate practise at painting puddings.

Bring on those ducks, I’m ready.

 

2 Replies to “Shelducks”

  1. They are lovely sketches Richard. I love drawing ducks too because they are beautiful, interesting and not too hard to sketch before they move away.
    You really have captured character in the duck sketches. I’ll have another look at your other duck posts.

    1. We suddenly seem to have moved into spring today, so I hope I can spend more time drawing ducks, and other animals. Wednesdays were my favourite days when I was on the Natural History Illustration course at the Royal College of Art. Week in, week out, we’d spend the whole day drawing at the zoo. Bliss!

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