Last week, having dropped off another supply of my Crystal Palace Monsters greetings cards with Brave Girl, in SE19, I travelled on to The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. It's a great South London museum, created by a wealthy Victorian collector who decided to share all his finds with the public at large. I focussed my attention on their Natural History Gallery where they keep cases and cases of preserved animals, birds, fish (and human skeletons, too). Fans of taxidermy should pop in (it's free of charge) but also people who like drawing wildlife that doesn't move should find it useful. As a drawing exercise, I stayed with the birds, drawing them one after another on the same piece of paper, slotting different specimens into the gaps. I think the main pencil drawing took me about an hour and a half. They are/were: (L-R: back row: Golden Pheasant, Mandarin Duck, Senegal Parakeet, Red-Legged Partridge. front row: Greenland Falcon, Common Scoter).
I'm a bit concerned that I may be straying into the current fashion for drawing animals, though. This is compounded by the fact that my follow up to Crystal Palace Monsters features prehistoric deer. Aaah! I'll be drawing foxes and pandas on brick walls, next. I'll let you know what occurs.
As a spin off from the pencil drawing, I singled out the Senegal Parakeet. Using that oil paint transfer method, I enlarged it and added some watercolour to his beautiful plumage. Yes, reader, I managed to create a dead parrot sketch all of my own.