Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rock pigeon tree

We are having stirrings of Spring at last, after a long, relentlessly cold winter. One of the first signs is when the ash trees that have been planted all along our street pop out their little pom-poms of yellowy green fluff, and the indigenous rock pigeons descend from their rocks (I presume) and come to feast on what is apparently their favourite food. In the early mornings and evenings these branches that lean over into our garden from the pavement are crawling with the grey, black and white spotted birds, until some rude noisy dog or person frightens them away. I'm not sure why they disappear during the day, but it may have to do with the bees that take over as the sun rises - the whole tree starts humming!
I drew these ones from my kitchen window where they couldn't see me watching them at fairly close quarters - I had to put their bright yellow beaks, eyes and feet in, but it makes them look a bit like cartoon birds. I used water-soluble graphite, watercolour, gouache and 2B pencil to try and get all the features of bird and tree, and didn't really succeed at all - more practice required!

This morning I went to an art book launch in town and sketched a little bit - you can see it over on Urban Sketchers if you will...

5 comments:

Robyn said...

Cathy - You pictures always have so much movement. it's wonderful. I think this collection of greedy little birds is very successful and I love the tree-full above.

RHCarpenter said...

I love the greys against the bright yellows! Wonderful :) I could see working this into a larger painting, Cathy.

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Robyn and Rhonda - they just don't look an awful lot like the birds do - I made their heads too big, but the colours are striking - I think what made me want to try and sketch them!

Cathy said...

It's brilliant! It's full of life! I could almost see the birds move and feast!

However, I must tell you I disagree on the "long" winter we've had... for us europeans expats your south african winters are so amazingly short compared to ours in Europe!!! But it's only a matter of point of view!! I entirely agree on the "cold" bit though - even as a European!!!

Cathy Gatland said...

I know, we're really spoilt Cathy - this one has just felt so long in comparison to others! And our houses aren't heated or insulated well to cope with it - mine is freezing!