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September 18th- dawn and dusk skies and long- tailed tits

The last few days have been fine with cold nights and warm afternoon sunshine. I was up before dawn this morning to paint the sky. A walk to the west of the village and I found myself on frosty grass. I watched a beautiful dawn with wispy cirrus cloud blowing south to north. A few song thrushes were flying around looking rather lost; often an indication that they are arrivals from Scandinavia. They might have travelled overnight and were perhaps looking for an area to rest and feed.

Long- tailed tits are occasional visitors to the garden at the moment. As the weather turns colder I would expect to see them more frequently. The flock often contains a chiffchaff or two. They are a challenging subject to sketch, never really staying still for long.

I painted a sequence of four fast watercolour skies on Wednesday evening. Sketching skies in watercolour is great practice for an artist. It fine tunes observation of subtle colour but perhaps more importantly teaches you to look closely at, and never take for granted, your chosen subject.

Sky studies after sunset- 16th September 7.08-7.31pm
Before sunrise- 18th September 6.30am
Long-tailed tits in the garden.

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