Black headed gulls in Teesside


This sketch of black headed gulls was put together using pictures taken from various trips to Saltholme RSPB NR. I wanted to capture their movement in flight but could never get a single photograph that gave enough detail. The time between coming into land and hitting the shingle islands is so brief any hope of a sketch is simply impossible. Instead I took a series of pictures and tried to make a composition, taking distance and scale into the frame. It didn’t really work, but it was fun trying and I think there’s a little encouragement to make me try again. I keep revisiting this site for inspiration. This page shows how Martin plays around with the composition using small tracing paper sketches until he finds the right balance.


19 Replies to “Black headed gulls in Teesside”

  1. Hi. I think the sketches capture the wheeling, uncordinated movement of gulls in the air. The various poses could be the time-lapse journey of a single gull. I like the simplicity of your shadows. Jane

  2. I really like all the different angles of these gulls. Lovely sketches… Looking at this reminds me of the flurry of gulls by the seaside here. Although, I’ve never seen a gull with a black head 🙂

  3. Very interesting and I like the drawings very much. I am so drawn to water and life in and around it – I love living on Puget Sound. As we consider downsizing my partner is more interested in Mountains – beautiful but do not help me feel centered. We are having a blustery spring day and the gulls are are playing on the wind – it feels like joy.
    I think it would be hard to catch with a camera also.

    1. Thank you Patricia. I too hold the same love of water, especially the ocean, although I have a love of mountains, but only those free of people. I must look up Puget Sound. Thanks again for your kind comments.

  4. I think this is very successful. You have captured the diversity of postures and your ink work is really good. I’m starting to read John Ruskin’s Elements of Art. Your drawing inspires me.

  5. Lovely sheet. Nicely composed. I didn’t mean to ignore your question about my approach to teaching perspective. Been busy with a house move and next week is the annual trek to Point Pelee on the north shore of Lake Erie for five exhausting but invigorating days of observing the spring migration.

      1. Absolutely everything will be migrating. Or it seems that way. The real stars of the show are the wood warblers. Want to see my list when I get back?

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