Nova Scotia bird art


This young Merlin paid a brief visit to our garden back in December, causing consternation in the visitors to our bird feeders. It took up a commanding position on our weathercock, perhaps dreaming of heading south, and I was able to take a quick photo through the office window. I do like the juxtaposition of the bird and the hard steel perch. The background of the original photo was a mixture of dead branches, blurred due to the focus, and I wanted to give some impression of that without taking too much away from the main subject. I almost left the background white, but in the end am glad that I went for some colour.


The original photo, with our rather battered weathercock. Apparently we were enjoying a south-westerly wind at the time.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I like to work in watercolour pencil and am quite addicted to collecting new sets. I mentioned my new Derwent Graphitint pencils in the last post, but didn’t say that, when ordering them, I was also tempted by a set of 72 Derwent Watercolour pencils. They arrived in the same package. Initially, I was not overly impressed, when I did my colour chart (a grid of the colours, wetted, on watercolour paper so that you can see the true colour of the pencil) they seemed scratchy to use. However, I persevered and found that, for this picture, they were my go-to pencils. I think they needed a little work to get the true pigment going. The set is quite rich in browns, though not in greys, but my Marco Renoir set makes up for that. I really think I’m getting to a good place with the pencil sets (and maybe even won’t need any more for a while!).


‘WeatherMerlin’, 6 x 8 inch, watercolour pencil on lightweight watercolour paper.


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