Seagulls Swarm – Watercolor on W/C paper 8″x10″ (2005)
Seagulls swarm over a popcorn-tossing audience, a common occurance in Canal Park, Duluth, Minnesota and probably everywhere else there are seagulls.
Capturing these birds in plein air style is very tough. It takes several boxes of popcorn to keep them near enough to sketch; first one bird, then another to represent the flock in action.
I paid a kid to keep feeding them while I sketched for about 30 minutes. Later, I just started photographing them and trying to illustrate them in the studio. On site is more “real,” but studio illustrating from reference photos makes more accurate bird images.
If you wear a hat and keep feeding them, they don’t drop things from the sky on you. I have watched them try to get popcorn from some people who ignore them and they will send their own special message to them. Yep! They know who is going to feed them, and who needs a lesson.