2012 The Almighty Reed and Reedlings

Posted by Tina on July 25, 2020  /   Posted in Original Artwork

Just started the illustrations for the next River Friend book: “REED: ON THE EDGE”, number five in the series. There are lots of nice things to say about reeds, both from a commercial and a leisure point of view. If you think a reed is dull, then this little book will enlighten you and broaden your mind. Not sure how long it will take to do all the drawings and paintings, but it should be out in the next couple of months. I will post when it is available.

Here are a few progress pictures of Figure 1: The Almighty Reed and Reedlings (Artist Code 2012) in the book. Note the first picture (pencil sketch on Aquarelle Arches 140lb water colour paper 14″ x 10″) is enhanced otherwise you would be unable to see it! So apologies for the uneven/thick lines.

Reedlings (Bearded Tits) live and breed amongst the reeds, usually near the edge of a reed stand. Lovely little birds with a characteristic “Ping, ping” call.
The text in the book mentions blue sky, so the background is nice and blue.
Getting the right tonal values and paint strokes for the background reed structure made me think rather.
…So, layer upon layer of subtle browns and creams to get the desired effect
Went out and cut some reeds nearby for accurate portrayal (along Bourn Brook which will be another book in the series: Stream Story 2—eventually!)
Have to paint the green reeds first because, even though they have been in water since plucked, they are drying out and shrivelling up (what a nuisance!).
Two green stems done, just one more on the left, then I can get to the old reeds, birds and nest, which is usually made from old reed stems and leaves as well as being lined with the feathery-soft seed heads of last year’s reeds. The eggs are creamy white with a pinkish hue and little brown marks—I purchased an old birds’ eggs book, from a secondhand book shop, which has proved to be a valuable resource.

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