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Hen harrier hunting grouse illustration

Hen Harrier chasing Red Grouse

 

This week I very much enjoyed working on the landscape painting of a pair of hen harrier chasing down a red grouse:

 

The first step was combining all the elements into a decent composition.  This was complicated by the fact that the moor-land was based on a real location, Beacon Hill in Powys.  However, my lovely clients at Radnorshire Wildlife Trust were positive and speedy in their feedback.

 

Working on the final was wonderful, although I find painting heather (purple) into a generally grassy landscape (green) an ongoing challenge.  I tend to paint the landscape first, and then the animals at the end, rather like slotting them into a completed jigsaw.  Finally, one often has to smooth out the colour differences by putting a light wash (of yellow ochre, in this case) over the whole lot.  I’m pleased with the result, and am also pleased that I can paint just as well at 3am as I can during daylight hours.  Painting the main hen harrier was a joy.

Other work coming in has been possible interest from a Russian design company.

Planning a grasses workshop

I’ve also been asked to take a workshop on drawing grasses with Ross Botanical Art Group; so have been out trying to see what’s still around.  I want to compare three very different species, and thus far have got samples of rye grass, cock’s-foot, and Yorkshire fog.  They’re all rather the worse for wear, and I’d like to source some wheat and brome too; so that might justify long autumnal wanderings in the fields.  I’ve started preparing a hand out on grasses anatomy, below is a grass “culm”:

The dragonfly landscape has been tweaked and is now ready for colour.  In fact, it’s stretched on the board and I’ll get started on the sky (I always start with the sky) as soon as I’ve posted this.

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Lizzie Harper