I’ve been a bit quiet on here due to working on a BIG project that I can now share – I have been creating illustrations for the first-ever Female Falconers Club Calendar.
To celebrate and support women in falconry, these illustrations are of club members and their birds of prey.
The calendar is a complimentary gift for members.
Since having a bit more time during lockdown I’ve been researching and looking into yet more techniques for pencils, which I am now putting into practice with this new piece, and I am rather happy with how things are going. No matter how long or how many drawings you do, there’s always new things to learn – it’s never boring!
Wedding invites I was asked to create for a falconer friend. Several sketches and ideas were suggested before finally arriving at a lovely image of a pair of peregrines ‘kissing’ (in reality feeding each other).
The cards were then held together using a leather falconry jess and eyelet (for the non-falconer – these are used on a hawk’s legs), completing the theme as many of their invited friends were also falconers.
The invitations were sent out but sadly due to Covid the wedding has now been postponed, which is a shame as these cards have been one of my favourite designs I have done. A new date card will be issued in due course and I wish the couple well for the future.
Something I’ve wanted to do for a while but not had the time is a colour swatch of my pencils. I am forever just scribbling on bits of paper when I am deciding which colours to use on a piece, and since I also had some new colours I figured lockdown would be an ideal time to do this.
During the process, I also discovered that the colours react a little differently on watercolour paper than on normal stock, a lightbulb moment that explains why I have been having trouble with this paper since I started using it. Going forward this has improved my latest piece a great deal – you never know when you will learn something new!
It has been a long time since a piece has frustrated me as much as this one did! What seemed like a straightforward colour scheme turned into a nightmare – I changed the tone so many times that it started to damage the paper and I still don’t think the colour is quite right but I can do no more. A combination of taking too long, reference material that wasn’t right, and my brain still struggling with oil-based pencils.
I did learn a lot though, so it is not all bad, and I am determined to master these new pencils.
“Draw a barn owl” they said. “It will be a challenge” they said. Many many swear words later and I am still not sure it is completely finished.
It is useful to go back to a piece later with fresh eyes, you will often find that any flaws or bits that you disliked somehow no longer seem to be there. One silly thing I couldn’t get my head around was the feet which somehow didn’t seem right. It was only after walking away that I realised it was because I was so used to seeing captive barn owls with leather anklets.