Heron ( take off)

Heron ( take off)

Hi everyone, Thursdays seem to come around so quickly, and I realise it is time to write another blog. I seem to twitter on about the weather or the state of things, and life trundles on. Last week it was unseasonably warm, but this week the temperature here in the UK has dropped considerably. I think because we experience big changes in a short time, us Brits talk about the weather a lot.

A walk on Sunday near Croyd in North Devon and it felt like summer ...


I hope wherever you are in the world that you can take joy in being outside, I walked with a few friends yesterday and we marvelled as the mist lifted and the reservoir came into focus, those steely greys were as beautiful as the bright blue skies, of a just a few days before.


Then my familiar walk up my trusty hill, and I say hello to a tree or view I see daily, but that changes constantly.



I am still recovering and taking things a a much gentler pace, late nights are a thing of the past, and if I overdo things, I certainly pay for it the next day, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I wrote this blog a few weeks ago, so I could give myself the odd Thursday off...now I think I'll pop the kettle on x


Today I wanted to show you how I go about painting a heron taking off. I think I may well have gone through this process before but nevertheless it is a subject I love to paint so here goes.

First I found a good photo and sketched out my heron


Next I went for the details. the eye is tiny so I used my smallest brush, using cadmium yellow and leaving a tiny white dot of unpainted paper. I then added a black pupil 

Next the beak and the top of the head. So the beak I painted on a dry paper. The head, not wet in wet so much as wet in damp. The paper is damp but not really wet.

Now the closest wing and this is mainly done in indigo and instinctively . The first dilute wash of indigo is my first wet layer then I add darker layers while it is still wet. You can see the delicious reactions that can happen.

Then I move onto those long slim legs, which I hope will also merge into the water, he's flying out of.

Ah there you go, plenty of splashes and sploshes. Be instinctive and let the watercolour do the work. The quicker and more instinctive those marks the better ( I think )

Then the far wing , I want to hint at the markings without being too precise.


Back to blog


Thank you, Is really beautiful


Such a breath taking lift off….hope I am able to catch that “lift off”…herons are favorite of mine too…Than you for sharing yours


Merci pour cette jolie démonstration de héron ça paraît simple mais c’est en fait très difficile à réaliser. En France en franche comté nous avons aussi des temps très changeant, la semaine dernier nous fêtions l’anniversaire de ma petite fille dehors en petite robe d’été sous les cerisiers en fleurs et aujourd’hui tout est couvert de neige.


Great blog, I’m pleased you are slowly getting back to normal. Thanks for the lovely blue heron – I think I will attempt to paint him. When we were living in SC we had frequent visits from a beautiful blue heron.


Beautiful views how inspirational and good for the soul.
Love the Heron I see plenty of them where we live but have not been brave enough to try and paint one for at least 5 years now, the ladt time I painted one I felt it just looked flat. Maybe now I should try again with fresh eyes and your great blog advice.
Thank you it’s a brilliant blog

Diane Hayward

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