Here are a few photos to begin with!
It's taken me a while to get round to finishing my drawings and paintings due to Life getting in the way, but I finally completed the last one this weekend, and buried the poor hawk in my garden. Even though it was dead and obviously didn't care either way, I felt kind of bad about keeping it in my freezer for so long - every time I got him out, the sight of his poor stiff frozen body made me feel a little sad. I guess I am just a bit of a softy! Maybe that was why I found that actually, I didn't enjoy drawing and painting the Sparrowhawk as much as I thought I would - although it was a great chance to really closely observe the details of his feathers and structure of his body, I found it a very different experience to copying a photo of a living bird, or trying to sketch birds from life. The closed eyes and lifeless pose made a much bigger difference than I was expecting.
As I'd never attempted to draw or paint from a dead bird before, I tried a few different approaches, in both pencil and watercolour. Initially I was very unsatisfied with the results but after a few attempts was able to do something I enjoyed producing much more, and was happier with.
|My first attempt, in pencil - not too pleased with this.|
|My second effort, switching to watercolour. I like this even less! It's 'overdone', I've slapped on way too much paint - needed to be more restrained. As it was going badly I stopped halfway through so it's not even finished.|
|I decided instead to focus in on small details rather than trying to draw the whole bird - these were time-consuming and I found somewhat frustrating to paint (I lack patience) but I'm happier with the results.|
|Back to pencil, trying to just sketch the structure of the wing feathers without adding any detail at all. I like this much better!|
|More watercolour details - OK but not great.|
|Another pencil sketch focussing on the structure of the wings without any other details - again, I like this.|
|Final drawing, again concentrating on structure of wing feathers. Got really into it and made the lines super-strong!|