pencil drawings of birds


birds sketchbook 1People ask if I draw a lot of birds and I say, ‘No, not really…’  Then I think back over the subject matters I’ve worked with and actually, there are a fair few birds in there.  So here is a lovely collection of my feathered friends, from sketchbook, to the final few I worked up into my birds series.

There’s something I like about their demeanor – short quick movements suit my short quick drawing style; the tilt of their head gives them a human-like quizzical expression.

So as I draw and draw, a few start making themselves known as the ones to paint.  It all started with this cardinal a long time ago…

cardinal bird a garden bird in america

To which I added four more… They’re all available to buy online in my redbubble shop, in various retail places in Bristol, and they’re currently in an exhibition at the Better Food cafe until Saturday 13th December.  I’m hoping to send them on a little tour around Bristol, so maybe you’ll see them up…

watercolour painting of Splendid Fairy Wrendiademed tanager redbubbleKing of saxony

GradGallery Exhibition this week

harmony exhibition held at gardens gallery by gradgallery artists


I am part of an artist collective called GradGallery – we all share a keen sense of design, art, and a degree from University College Falmouth.  What this means is that the collective power amassed in our most current exhibition will blow your socks off.  The exhibition is being held at the Gardens Gallery in Cheltenham everyday until the 17th July, open from 10am to 5pm. The artists showcase a range of styles and subjects, working with editorial, narrative, children’s, fashion and more.







My own work was created afresh,  inspired by the title of the exhibition.  The theme first took me down the route of music/instruments/singing birds and I came up with some bird characters playing with their physical properties.  Below is an example of my bell birds.


watercolour image of birds singing and playing instruments in a tree.


I also came up with the idea that relationships have a certain harmony, even relationships that are not the norm or are not appreciated through misinterpretation.  This led to my Twisted Love Stories.  I enjoy giving people a different perspective on things they think they know and Twisted Love Stories seemed to be a perfect vehicle for that.  For example, those of you familiar with The Spider and The Fly, I have my own version – ‘Mr. Bicuit’s Grisly Death’.  Ever wondered what happened when the birds and the bees get on down?  Cue ‘BeeBird Misfit’.


If your curiosity is piqued, then you better get yourself over to Cheltenham!  Private view is tonight, 6:30pm to 8pm.  I hope to see you!


I hope you appreciate my mashing of ‘zoo’ and ‘hooray’ together for the title of this here entry – I felt it summed up the entry well as  I was able to spend the afternoon at the wonderful Bristol Zoo Gardens last week; like a kid in a candy store, stuffing my sketchbook with visual goodies.  Unleashed into the zoo I didn’t know where to start first!  A couple twists and turns found me some birds, the only one that sat still enough for me to vaguely capture it was a special magpie thing that I forget the name of…

azure-winged magpie

pencil sketch of black cheeked lovebird













I think it was an Azure-winged Magpie, at least that’s what oh-mighty-google informs me it might be.  There was also a  delightful collection of black cheeked lovebirds too.

Daffodils are always good fun to draw with their wiggly trumpets –

pencil sketch daffodils and lavender













I found feeding-time at the meerkat enclosure.  There were little babies scuffling around, they were so cute!  I bet they’d look cuter in my pocket…  As it was feeding time and they were twitching scampering meerkats, my sketches of them didn’t turn out so hot.


meerkat pencil sketch











Apes and monkeys seemed better at holding still for a wee bit longer –

pencil sketch gorilla







pencil sketch of a howler monkey

pencil sketch of howler monkey staring out a window











pencil sketch of ring tailed lemur












I had a go at some mark-making with the different types of trees I could see, as well as playing with blending, getting the right colour, for the tulip tree flower I drew.  Some other plants featured too:



collection of trees at Bristol Zoo Gardens

various flowers at Bristol Zoo Gardens














As the zoo was emptying out and the zoo was within minutes of closing, I couldn’t not get some lion action!  Although considering the image I got, I don’t think action was much on his mind…



pencil sketch of lion sleeping in the sun at Bristol Zoo Gardens