I was fortunate enough to be commissioned to portray the beautiful turtle dove for a “birders” 80th birthday—being his favourite bird. The commissioner contacted me on a Monday when the birthday was the next Saturday. In that short time, all I could produce was a graphite drawing, see bottom of this post.
I was much taken with the beauty of these birds so have decided to use my preliminary sketch from that commission to produce a water colour painting. Heart on sleeve, I shall post progress as and when. Below is my preliminary drawing which today (Sunday 29 November 2020) I have just transferred onto my lovely Aquarelle Arches cotton rag paper ready to paint…. (pencil lines have been enhanced so that you can see it better).
Resources for this work are my own photographs taken at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Norfolk a few years ago. The doves and other wild fowl, including Bearded tits/reedlings (painting already done of these), were in a very large aviary, and the birds were acting as near-normal as can be in such circumstances. Ruffs were cavorting, and the male turtle doves were parading—hence the title. The background is a sawn tree-stump surrounded by wood anemones taken in Switzerland a few years ago (but which could easily be in Britain, so I am using it!).