November 24th- dawn near Gilling East

This is a studio watercolour composed from field sketches. As well as being enjoyable in itself sketching skies in watercolour gives me a huge amount of reference. This is a late autumn sky at dawn. The meadow just west of the village was covered in a heavy dew with a few small patches of frost. I regularly see barn owls here at dawn or dusk, by standing very still the owl is often so intent on hunting that it fails to notice me and flies very close. I have surprised several barn owls by doing this; on one occasion the encounter was so close that the owl hissed loudly at me as it air- braked and swerved to avoid me.

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