I just overheard this dialogue.
'Are you ready, my dearest sweetheart?'
'Yes, beloved one. Although I am a bit apprehensive for losing my grey monochromatic tones, I am looking forward to the colour wash'.
'But, sweetest of hearts, I am so worried you won't recognise me because you will turn from grey to brown tones, but I... I will have outrageous colours... not a single colour won't stick to me!'.
'Fear not, dearest husband, it is unthinkable that I will fail to recognize you. You are my lifelong partner. But if it reassures you, let's remember a colour code. I will quack; 'Brown, Grey and White', and you will identify yourself with; 'Red, Orange, Blue, Green, Brown, Yellow, Black & White, Purple, Pink, Off-White and Indigo Blue'.
'Say that again?'
I immediately understood how stressful the drake was becoming and the last thing I want on my desk is a nervous duck. I therefore quickly started adding colour to help him remember his colourful plumage. I am very eager not to overlook any single colour because I wouldn't forgive myself for breaking up this sweet couple.
Artist info: I am using Arches paper & Derwent Graphites and Watercolour pencils.
Ornithologist info: Mandarin ducks are breeding successfully in the Netherlands, and at least some of the populations are likely to maintain themselves in the wild.