Sunday, 19 April 2015

Orange Tip

Have been trying to develop a method which will make the butterfly really stand out. Currently am starting with dark tinted paper which means using some block white under the butterfly image and there lies the problem. Acrylic white makes it difficult to use watercolour over and gouache lifts too easily.
However this is the latest attempt

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Gatekeeper sketch

Last summer I travelled to Brockadale NR, just south of Ferrybridge Power Station, and was entertained by hoards of Gatekeeper butterflies. While doing this watercolour sketch I was wondering if this weather continues warming will the butterfly creep northwards into our North East area.

Monday, 6 October 2014

A couple of butterfly sketches

Following on from my summer butterfly quest, tried to develop a sketchy style which still describes the subject well enough. Here is a couple of attempts.

Green Hairstreak

Holly Blue

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Spring butterflies

Small Copper and Speckled Wood

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Green Hairstreak

Based upon sightings above Rothbury.
A nightmare to reproduce the wing colour

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Recent update

Just to add a couple of images used in recent posts

Prestwick Carr shortie

St. Mary's Sanderling

Thursday, 15 November 2012


The recent influx of berry eating migrants has presented some nice opportunities to do some sketches and first of all, Fieldfare-

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dragonfly finished -well almost

Finally managed to get some wings onto the dragonfly which just about works, so will do for now.

Friday, 11 May 2012


Am in the process of trying to capture a dragonfly image. The hard bit for me -the wings-still to tackle

Monday, 7 May 2012


During our recent visit to the Mull of Galloway I watched a Peregrine as it perched near the top of the cliffs. Below it were increasing numbers of Razorbill, Guillemot and gulls all preparing for the breeding season. The Peregrine would not have far to travel for a meal.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

More Short-eared Owls

It seems that there are Short-eared Owls all over the area at the moment. I had a spell a couple of years ago when spotting an owl anywhere was hard work. Then on the Isle of Mull early last year we watched a shortie hunting over the fell, and its been owlfest from then on -

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Short-eared Owl

Based upon a few photos I took a few days ago I tried to capture that look that only an owl can give.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


We have been over indulged with Short-eared and Long-eared Owls at the nearby location of Prestwick Carr.
So I thought I'd try a painting which captured Short-eared Owl a bit better than my photographic skills.
This one still needs a bit of work on the background

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Monday, 14 March 2011


During our recent trip to Lancashire we saw lots of Goldeneye, both male and female.
They were constantly diving below the surface making it difficult to see them close together. So I have tried to achieve that here.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Background work

I've still got this hang-up with sympathetic backgounds and so have been experimenting, in  an attempt to best show the main subject.
Am starting to favour a dark background with little detail.
Here are a couple of reworked images

Sunday, 21 November 2010


Based upon a sighting at Prestwick Carr recently this Kestrel is 'under construction'

Monday, 15 November 2010

Four-spotted Chaser

I like the idea of seeing the Four-spotted Chaser since it means Summer is just about here and many other species are not far away

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Am trying to get to grips with painting Dragonfly. I want to establish a method of painting them so that can be identified without painting every last detail. I can see already that the wing veins are going to be a problem but hey ho.
So far -

I thought the image would benefit from a bit more interest in the background - so its blackberry time.
Still a bit to do to the wings

Aand I think that this last version is just about it

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Common Sandpiper

Although I have only ever seen single Common Sandpiper I've started a sketch with a couple of these neat little birds -

This is being done in oils on a flat board. I'll add some photos as I  progress.

Have added a bit of foreground, but it seems to take something away from the picture. 

Don't know why but I like the first, part complete, sketch best. Seems to have a bit more life to it.

Have tried to put them in an upland stream as per their summer residence, but it still needs a bit work