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Song Thrushes on Bramley

May 5, 2011

Song Thrushes

I have an old Bramley apple tree in my garden which provides me not only with delicious apples, but on hot days some dappled shade. Sitting quietly uder this tree, allows me to get a little nearer to my local wildlife, and as you can see these guys just sat directly overhead. With the occassional look of checking me out they remained for several minutes, enough time for me to make a quick sketch on a scrap of paper.

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As you can see it was a glorious blue sky that morning and the leaves were fresh and young and they made a good design feature. I feel this painting has worked well overall, and I have implement this design in a few other sketches.

Preliminary Study

As you can see I did a prelimary coloured pencil study to allow me to get an initial feeling for this painting. I dont necessarily do this for all of my work. My initial sketches may be the most starved of my attention, just a few lines. It is those few lines that may sit in my notebook for months or even years. Then as if  by magic, those few meagre lines are the catalyst  for my inspiration. That said, it can still be weeks or months of work before I’m satisfied. This painting was stacked against a wall so many times I have lost count. It was accompanied by two other paintings, which coincidentally, I’ve finished this week…well I think they are finished, mmmm! 

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Prints are available at my site. 

Song Thrushes on Bramley,art by Roger Gregory bird artist,

Drawing Bald Eagles, an ideal subject for artists

May 2, 2011

I am excited to be able to tell you, “…Bald eagles sleep with their heads took under their wings”!  Thanks to the British Columbia Bald eagle web cams I have been able to learn a great deal about the nest life of Bald Eagles. These magnificent eagles are a delight for everyone whether you are a birder, artist or none of the above. And these eagles make ideal subjects  for drawing.

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 You can now get up close and personal and get some great poses to fill your sketch books. I use them to keep my drawing and sketching skills sharp. Here is quick drawing that I did this morning before breakfast. It didn’t take me longer than half an hour, and I can listen to the world news whilst doing it. If you do enough you will soon have a portfolio of artwork, and you don’t need to limit your subject choice.There are webcams for Osprey,White Tailed Eagles, to name a few;I have put a few links below to start you off.

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Great for Beginners and seasoned artists alike

  1. Daily sketching exercises. It only takes less than 1/2 hr a day.
  2. Take screen shots for more detailed work and save them in a file for future use.
  3. Build your own digital portfolio of your favourite images.
  4. Use  Microsoft OneNote I do this to write my own observation notes, that way I don’t forget where I put them.

Benefits to Eagles

  1. No disturbance to the birds
  2. Added security, because everyone is watching around the world!
  3. No huge carbon footprint to get yourself there.( That doesn’t count if your on your holiday…well,that’s my excuse!)

Artist’s benefits

  1. No falling out of trees , trying to get a look.
  2. Not being chased by bears! Though  this one usually doesn’t apply in the UK…not yet, the beaver has returned hasnt it?
  3. No jet lag…this is one thing I don’t like…I’m a creature of habit.
  4. More money to buy paint and canvas to produce more Bald Eagle artwork.

I have seen some inspirational material which I’m sure I could use… but do keep a look out for the chicks….they’re just great! If you know of any webcams you would like to share with my readers please post a link in the comments box.We may be able to create a library of virtual bird drawing resources.

Bye for now, see you soon.


  1. British Columbia Bald Eagle web cams
  2. RSPB Goshawk live feed
  3. Loch Garten Osprey live feed
  4. Chichester Peregrines live feed
  5. White tailed eagle



Jack Snipe with Kingcups

May 1, 2011

Jack Snipe with Kingcups, (or Marsh Marigolds if you prefer). The  connection between the subjects was during a visit to the Alvecote Nature Reserve, just near Tamworth. Some forty plus years ago the area was once a huge smoking  colliery spoil heap. Not so today, over the years there has been a lot of trees planted,  it now resembles a nature reserve and can be a productive spot for birding.

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With more than 300 acres to explore, reports state that you can grab at least 125 species here throughout the year, including little ringed plover, grasshopper warbler and snipe of course. Even the Osprey has been sited here , so there is plenty of scoping opportunities…


Warwickshire Wildlife Trust reserve SK250040



John James Audubon remembered

April 26, 2011

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Google’s image of birds is too small, especially when compared to the size of the reputation of the bird artist they are celebrating. Audubon the french american naturalist and artist born this day in 1785. So here is just one of his memorable works of art for you to appreciate his outstanding artistic rendition of birds.  

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The composition is truly awesome as he attracts you in to the picture, then with  an elevated wing leads you through to the next subject, such a clever artist. You can define an underlying circular path as he takes you on a journey of discovery through his art. There is certainly a lot one can learn from studying the old masters.

Bird Art and Photography by Nigel Tinlin

April 16, 2011

Nigel Tinlin is the photographer behind this truly inspiring image. The composition is  artistic and endearing and worthy of praise. Nigel was definitely in the right place at the right time, and the pale blue sky for the background just accentuates the details of the Arctic Terns.

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One can only try to imagine the conversation between these two birds, Nigel took this picture whilst visiting an arctic tern colony at Low Newton by the Sea. I wish I had Nigel’s skills and patience in composing such excellent photographs.If you take a visit to his blog you will see a red squirrel and fox in the snow, both of these pictures are truly noteworthy and if you are a collector of nature photos then here  is a place to visit.  You can also get these images as greeting cards…so here is the link to Nigel Tinlin’s site.


NT Nature Photos

Bald Eagle cams British Columbia, No1 viewing material.

April 15, 2011

If there is ever a page to bookmark for eagle lovers, then this must be one.With eight web cams filming every move there is a lot of reference material for birders and artists alike. I had my first sighting of these beautiful eagles as I was driving towards Arisaig on route 245 between New Glasgow and Pictou, in Nova Scotia some ten years ago, but I will bring you more about that in a later article. Here is a couple of screen shots to wet your appetites…

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This is only a screenshot of a nesting bald eagle, I think its pretty good. I think I will be tuned into these nesting eagles and get some real insight into their behaviour whilst on the nest. Thanks to the guys who put up the eagle webcams they have done us all a great service. The picture below ia a wide angled shot and the tree was gently swaying from side to side, so for those of you who suffer motion sickness,…you’ve been warned!

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Relevant posts 

Drawing Bald Eagles an Ideal Subject for Artists


British Columbia Eagle Cams Do share this with your friends, they would love to get this link.

Curlew Lake

April 14, 2011

To hear the haunting curlew’s cry just adds to the atmosphere of the day. Stimulating the creative process, this is just like an alarm bell for me to start drawing, to gather the field sketches. This  is the this latest work that I’ve produced in my little studio. Again the venue for this picture was taken from my local lakes at Kingsbury, Warwickshire.

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It can be a  struggle to get to the point where I think the composition is right. This was certainly true for this painting, there must be at least half a dozen drawings on the canvas and as many amendments  to the acrylic painting underneath this final rendition. Because if it doesn’t feel right, I have to keep going until those “feelings” go away.

I decided to go for a close up of the Curlew to allow  for a tight design in the water surrounding the subject. I have also tried to keep a limited colour palette. In doing so, I have omitted such  items such as the reflections of clouds, sun, etc therefore concentrating on the design of the overall picture.

 I am working on a much larger painting, in which I have incorporated the elements of the sun into the artwork, and I will put it on the “Work in Progress” page in a little while.

I do have the habit of “resting” my pictures and then coming back to them several days later. This enables me to make alterations and add any finishing touches. Though I have known the time period to be months rather than days. But eventually they are all completed…simply because they have a story to tell.