I am working through my list of new paintings for Birds of the South Downs, and continuing to practise my bird sketches. I am trying to use some candid photos of flocks for my sketching rather than the beautiful portraits I need for the illustrations as I want to keep the energy and motion.

I found an image on Instagram of a flock of Fieldfares so used that as I am trying to build up some muscle memory with drawing ovals and getting the general shape correct so flocks of birds all in a similar position are great. I’m still not very good at foliage/trees as I get a bit bored after a while!

The South Downs Wildlife group had another walk on Saturday but I couldn’t make that one unfortunately. The write up showed some of the birds they spotted though, with a nice photo of some more Fieldfares too, so I thought I would borrow that to sketch.

I used a stock photo of a Whinchat as a reference for the book illustration, and here is my Fieldfare painting as well:

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