It was incredibly windy on the morning I saw these Carmine Bee-eaters nesting on a flat riverbank in Linyanti. It was so windy that I couldn’t even begin to sketch them, so instead I concentrated on memorizing their stunning colors and trying to figure out if I could even create these colors from the very limited palette I have available in my field sketch kit. After a few minutes we moved away and stopped for morning tea and even though the wind continued to blow, I got out my paints and huddled down next to the vehicle to create this sketch. Although it may be far less dramatic and detailed than many of my other field sketches, the fact that I managed to create this sketch at all (and get close to the stunning colors of these amazing birds) makes this quite an achievement in my eyes!
These field sketches were created during my Aug/Sept 2015 African trip. All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches.
This Original Field Sketch is watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″ and priced at US$300.
A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.
Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.
Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of a bull elephant drinking.