Pen and Ink on illustration board 8″x10″ Rapidograph Tech Pen.
Graceful seagull in flight; they are a joy to watch and both fun and funny characters to sit and observe. Catching them with a pencil sketch and later converting to pen and ink works best. Grabbing photo research helps, but there is nothing like watching and sketching to get the feeling of how much they enjoy flying. Makes you want to stretch your arms out and try. If you watch the children watching the birds, they mimic their flight with out stretched arms and share their popcorn to encourage the joy. Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota – one of the best places to see both children at play and birds at work.
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.