Here are some of my studies of lapwing made last winter. I am often asked which species I paint most. Alongside the common swift the lapwing is amongst my most frequently painted bird species. We are fortunate to have a few pairs breeding nearby and they are just beginning to return; males have started to display, performing impressive aerobatics over potential nesting areas.
Lapwings are beautiful in every season. I love to sketch a winter flock which displays such a variety of plumage and crest length. Their crests can indicate the most subtle breeze like a tiny weather vane. Look closely at the wing and deep blues and alizarin crimson hues contrast with deep metallic green sheen, all of which constantly change with light and movement. In winter areas of the white face are an attractive raw umber colour. Add to this the elegant structure of the bird and it is an irresistible subject. I am quite sure I have missed rarer species when I am absorbed in sketching lapwings, but who could regret spending even a second studying such a beautiful bird?