Picture Profile 2016: Turtle Doves (Commission)

Artist Code 2016: “Turtle Doves” Graphite drawing. Completed 8 October 2020, on Aquarelle Arches 140lb cotton rage 12″ x 16″

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. The commissioner sent me a photograph of the Birthday Boy opening his present, and the beautiful wide smile was enough for me, most humbling.

Resources for this work are my own photographs taken at Pensthorpe Nature Reserve in Norfolk a few years ago. The doves along with other wild fowl and birds, 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 used it for the backdrop).

I was much taken with the beauty of these birds so have decided to use my preliminary sketch from this commission to produce a water colour painting (Artist Code 2017). 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).

Artist Code 2017 will be a colour version of the Commission (Artist Code 2016). There will be more background added

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