The Rules

Learning, drawing, BIRDING!

When I first started this blog in 2013, I set myself the challenge of working my way through the Collins Bird Guide, drawing or painting one bird a day (ish!) after reading and absorbing its description

I decided to do this because I wanted to try and widen my species knowledge and improve my artistic skills, and also make time to do something creative every day. I work full time (in a decidedly non-environment-related deskbound job) and up until September 2015, was also studying for a degree in Environmental Science with the Open University (now completed!) so I didn't have much free time in which to go out birding, which would be the best way for me to learn. However I hoped that drawing and painting would at least enable me to increase my knowledge and skills in a different way.

My paintings and blogging have evolved somewhat since 2013! I now tend to take longer over each painting (having initially aimed to try and keep them fairly quick), so I post paintings less often but hopefully they are of a higher quality. I also try to do a few drawings every time I go out birding to try to improve my field drawing, which is slowly improving (I hope). Additionally I blog about other nature-related stuff, mostly trips I've been on and my efforts to increase my knowledge of the natural world, especially plants.

Since I finished my degree I now have a bit more free time on my hands in which I am hoping to do more bird painting and drawing. I have ideas for a few different projects so keep checking back for news on those!

A huge THANKS to all the amazing photographers who have given permission, either directly or via Creative Commons, for their work to be used by me.

Unless otherwise specified, all work is ©Jane Tavener, 2013-16.

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Here is a Pinterest board of my favourite work so far.


  1. What a great idea, and a great way to increase bird knowledge as you have to look very specifically to draw them - your paintings are wonderful - I'm looking forward to following progress!

  2. Thank you Jennifer :o) just had a look at your blog and website too, and I love your sculptures - especially the birds! So chunky and tactile. Some of them remind me vaguely of Inuit stone sculptures of birds. Lovely stuff!

    1. Little tip:

      If you can ever get to East Germany, visit the Mecklenburger Seenplatte around Waren (M├╝ritz).
      You can find up to 300 pairs of Sea Eagles there (the half of the whole population in Germany).
      a fellow student at the final OU module

  3. Ah sounds awesome, thanks for the tip Andreas :) I've never been to Germany but it's somewhere I really want to visit.

    Good luck with your studies - in fact good luck to both of us :D can't wait til we have our degrees!

  4. Hi Jane

    I'm from a local bird ringing group and would like to ask you a question in relation to your paintings, could you contact me on please.

    Thank you