Knepp Estate which is tantalisingly close to me (by which I mean it is not that far in miles but it’s a right pain to get to) are part of the White Stork reintroduction project initiative, and rather wonderfully, they have just installed a webcam on one of the active nests. As you will have reading a previous post, I like using webcams to practise sketching birds as it is better than using photographs. There are some amazing photographers out there but that in a way is the problem: the images are too good, too perfect, too clear and crisp. When field sketching, it’s important to learn how to capture a) something that is moving, and b) a bird in less than auspicious lighting or positioning. Being able to practise drawing the same bird from all angles is a great way to get the hang of foreshortening and seemingly weird proportions. For these sketches I did pause the camera as I am not familiar with the general body shape of White Storks, and even though these are unlikely to be on my personal patch any time soon, getting to know how birds of all shapes and sizes fit together is a useful skill.

I am using my Hahnemühle Grey Book for these sketches with my Derwent Drawing pencils; specifically the white, sanguine, and a bit of olive earth for the grassy bit in the centre of the nest. The dark pencil is my Blacking Pearl which is a bit softer than the Palomino. The grey paper works well as the stork’s feather’s are quite grubby in places! There was also a little Pied Wagtail there this morning, and I drew that one live, so didn’t pause the livecam as I am used to seeing them here around the farm!

Here is a link to the webcam:

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