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Watercolour Painting

New realistic watercolour painting of ‘Avocets‘.
I composed the group from photographs of Avocets that I had taken at Paradise Park. The birds were behind a wire fence, however, I was able to get close to the birds and take lots of shots. Then take the bird positions that I wanted and leave out the background and fence. I added a simple sandbank background for my painting, which could be on the Exe Estuary. I wanted the birds to be the focus of the painting.

Pied Avocet

Recurvirostra avosetta

Avocets are a long-legged wading bird, which sweeps its up-turned bill from side to side whilst feeding. They feed on aquatic insects and other small creatures, in brackish/saline wetlands, such as the Exe Estuary.
They lay 3-4 eggs in May, in loose colonies. They incubate the eggs for between 22-25 days. The young fly from 35-42 days, staying with the family group, to start with.
Avocets had been extinct in the UK but returned from 1947 onwards. I can still remember I first saw one on the Exe Estuary, as I went past on the train. I was very excited, not that my fellow passengers seemed muchly bothered!
They are unusual, beautiful birds with there long blue legs. Also, they are of course now the emblem of the RSPB.

Materials etc.

For the painting, I stretched Arches, Aquarelle 140lb watercolour paper onto an MDF board. Pushed through my pencil drawing using graphite transfer paper and started to put down the background washes. I finished the background before starting to paint the Avocets themselves. The paints I was using were Winsor & Newton, watercolours, with a Pro Art no.20 and a couple of round brushes – sable no.6 & a no.1.

A3 ~ Sold

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