Friday, February 7, 2020

sketching common owl, cranes and night heron in Comacchio

Hello, such a long time since I posted anything here.
I hope you had a good start on 2020.
Here are a collection of sketches I did on an outing with friends; I chose a yellowish paper knowing the weather would be gray and misty, and that owls tend to that color.
Pencils, watercolor pastels and an inkbrush were the simple techniques I used.
It was uncomfortably cold and humid, but I like mist and the subdued shades it creates; the dry reeds too were the same color of my paper.

The cranes were in great numbers- 780 counted in a field, many more scattered in the fields that form part of the Park of the Po river Delta. Unfortunately they are very shy and the distance, plus the mist and poor light made it very hard to catch shapes and jizz. They were very busy feeding.
The roost of owls was bang in the centre of the small town of Ostellato. Up to 41 were counted on two pine trees in the garden of a school; they have chosen those trees and stick to them, each owl returning exactly to the same position every morning. It was incredibly easy to focus on them in our telescopes, even too close!
Night herons were on a large willow in one of the ponds, quite visible but also hidden by branches.
A lovely lemon yellow chin, and shades of cool gray will require a fresh drawing on white paper, or will be lost.


  1. I can't imagine seeing 41 long-eared owls (that what they look like to me). Last week I posted a blog saying it had be 40 years since I'd seen one.

  2. How did I miss this!? How wonderful...


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