I have been clinging on to winter recently. I relish being out in and sketching in cold conditions. I enjoy all the seasons, but I always look forward to the return of winter. Cold weather sketching produces unpredictable results. The watercolours on the moors were made despite the paint freezing on the metal tin! Sea spray can also produce some interesting results. But the experience of painting en plein air far outweighs any disadvantages. Wildlife just appears around you, the sensation of cold wind and the sound of birds or waves combine to make it an experience far removed and much more rewarding than painting in a studio.
Lovely to have a Hawfinch near to home again. I hope to spend much more time with this charismatic bird over the next few weeks. When I sketch a Hawfinch it feels like drawing a cartoon bird with its large head, huge beak and beady eye. The head is packed with muscle which operates the beak to crush hard seeds and fruit stones such as cherry to extract the kernels.