Picture Profile 2413: Rape in the Corn Stalks (English Grey Partridges)

Picture Profile 2413: Rape in the Corn Stalks (English Grey Partridges and Rape). Artist Code 2413. Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% cotton paper 140lb. 12″ x 16″. Completed 3rd June 2024

I came across this very interesting 8min video about Grey Partridges from the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. This lovely little native game bird is being helped by farmers and others to recover its numbers – “the partridge is invaluable as an ecological barometer…”. [WATCH VIDEO]

This is painting number 6 of 6 for a special exhibition July 2024, having done this one before number 5! I was walking along Church Drift, Comberton when I heard the scratchy-flappy call of grey partridges amongst the corn stalks. I caught a glimpse of several birds, male and female, and a vision came to mind. This painting is the result. As for the other four paintings already done, I used a limited colour palette for this one too, using just a few colours to mix all the others – it was a most interesting experiment. As I love using white paint, rather than leaving white space (I find that too difficult!), I felt these paintings needed an extra zest so used white gouache to promote the vibrancy of the light in the composition(s). It took over 120 hours to paint this particular picture but it felt most satisfactory once completed. The resources came from my own bank of photographs, including the snapshots of fast moving partridges and stationary corn stalks and rape, taken at the time of my walk along Church Drift. A lovely painting to do of these beautiful British native game birds.

Below is a little film of progress whilst painting the picture. The music is me singing a song I made up especially for my eldest son’s wedding quite a few years ago which my other two sons and I sang at the ceremony (Title: Just a Little Reminder). The song goes on longer than the film because I have not yet worked out how to synchronise music and pictures!), but of course you can stop it whenever you like! Below the film are shown the other four paintings done so far.

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