The Barnacle Goose (branta leucopsis) winters on coastal grassland pastures and marshes. This watercolour was painted in December 2009 from photographs taken at Saltholme RSPB in Teesside. It was a challenging subject, as I tried to capture the grey bleakness of winter, while showing these magnificent creatures in all their glory. I took lots of pictures that day, yet still found the need to use extra resources to get the colour right. I produced the background in photoshop, so this picture is a slight hybrid of watercolour and digital retouching. I think it worked really well.