Birds of Greenwich Peninsula Cover Artwork

I wanted to get on and try out some cover paintings for Birds of Greenwich Peninsula, using my reference photos and the sketch I did while I was there. I felt a good palette would be purples and greens and greys to reflect the Emirates (now IFS) cable car, the river and the reedbeds, so this is what I started with. There is a balance to be struck between enough detail to make the placement of the logbook recognisable, but not so much that it gets lost behind the title and bird circles that will obscure much of the cover and double-page spread anyway. I like to keep it fairly loose and painterly in style, as it’s one of those things that being necessarily very stylised, getting too accurate renders it a bit confused as to its purpose. There’s a lot to cram on the front of the booklet so it needs to look appealing and intriguing but there’s no point in getting lost in the artistic weeds.

I used these paints and images to create the cover:

I wanted to get the Anthony Gormley sculpture in, and the cable cars, and the reeds. I started with the blue sky but left out the clouds as the paint is patchy enough to be a proxy for those. I used the gouache very wet to give some random patterns on the paper.

I’ll now scan them in and load them in to Photoshop so I can resize them before starting a new logbook in InDesign.

Here is my first draft of the birds I’m considering for this title:

  • Starling
  • Feral Pigeon
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Magpie
  • Reed Bunting
  • Water Rail
  • Canada Goose
  • Parakeet
  • Little Grebe
  • Swift
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Redwing
  • Kestrel
  • Grey Heron
  • Cormorant
  • Mallard
  • Wren
  • Common Tern
  • Blackcap
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Kingfisher
  • Goldfinch

I need to have more of a rummage in the lists I’ve seen various birdwatchers post about the Ecology Park but I think that gives good coverage of the various species and some summer/winter visitors too.

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