Alan Dalton post's birding diaries and original artwork from Sweden. Established in 2006, this now long running blog is now a complete overview of my birding experiences. As an artist I greatly enjoy sketching birds in the field and you will find a wide selection of that work here, from fieldwork to finished paintings. I am very passionate about my artwork and try to depict birds in their natural habitat, as I see them in the wild. My artwork is for sale and can be viewed at
As regards to my photography, since 2008 I have used a Nikon D90 DSLR camera coupled with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens for since March 2012 for bird photography, all previous images being digiscoped. Regarding sound recording, I have been usung a Telinga Stereo Dat Mic and parabol to record birds in the field, coupled to a Marrantz 661 digital recorder, a superb piece of kit. Interest in butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies has recently seen the accquisition of a Sigma 150mm macro lens. I hope you enjoy the blog and please feel free to leave comments or contact me at

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Common Redpoll; Watercolour; 40cmx30cm

The first stages were completed very quickly, with quick, strong washes on colour, which were aloowed to bleed into each othere. Afte this had dried a little I quickly added the darkest area on the main subject..

Using some washes and then more opaque, thicker colour, I quickly added detail to the braches as well as a little further detail on the Redpoll. I added a larger branch to the foreground as I was not happy with the overall composition. When I was happy with the overall values I stepped back and let it dry..

The finished painting, a little further detail added to the bird and branches, the legs were added last.

Early this afternoon I was making a cup of tea when I heard the familiar call of Common Redpoll outside the window. I had a quick look and found there were four birds present near the feeders, incruding a really nicely marked adult male with a really vivid red crown. I grabbed the scope and a made a few sketches, before deciding to get the watercolour box out. I made a very quick sketch with minimal detail and quickly laid down a few washes of colour. The birds remained outside the window for around 90 minutes and by working quickly I was able to build up the branches soon after the paint had dried, whilst I was waiting for that to happen I took a few more detailed sketches of the male bird. I kept working very loosely and quickly and after the birds had left I worked off the sketches to complete the main supject. The whole piece took just three hours to complete and I made a point of not overworking the paint, resisting the temptation to add too much detail. I'm quite happy with the result as it happens, the quick painting giving it a nice spark. Very nice to get the paints out again as well, it had been far too long...

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