Drawing Birds by John BusbyBirds are inspirational subjects for any artist: the variety of shapes, colors, sizes, movements, and contexts means that anyone with an interest in drawing or painting from life will find birds challenging and deserving of their time. This book is written for a range of people — for beginners taking their first steps in a knotty subject, for more experienced artists wishing to tackle birds in flight, and for anyone who simply wants to see birds afresh. This book is published in association with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). As Europes biggest wildlife conservation charity, with over 170 nature reserves, the RSPB brings the spectacular beauty of wild birds to millions of people. The business of conservation is often scientific and political — matters largely for the head. But birds enrich our lives in many ways. Drawing them is perfect for clearing the clutter of our daily lives, reconnecting with nature and reaffirming the purpose of nature conservation.
The John Busby seabird drawing course
Abb's Head, Fidra and the Bass Rock. The weather, winds and swells were in the right alignment for us, as we were lucky enough to land on the Bass and remain on the island for a whole day. A unique and rare privilege of the SWLA seabird drawing week. I felt like we'd landed on another planet with , inhabitants tolerating our presence. Due to the wind that day the birds were constantly in flight around us, hovering, landing and taking off.
Greg Poole - Artist / Illustrator based in Bristol, UK
The next week long course is to be held in June at seabird colonies around Dunbar and the Firth of Forth. This is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside around 20 established and enthusiastic artists and get an insight into the diverse approaches that those artists have to working in the field. A work produced on the course by the bursary winner will be exhibited in the SWLA Annual Exhibtion the following year.
The next week-long course is to be held in June at seabird colonies around Dunbar and the Firth of Forth. This is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside around 20 established and enthusiastic artists, and get an insight into the diverse approaches that those artists have to working in the field. I am now lucky enough to be on the tutor team, and I watch with interest each year as the students go through the week, experiencing the challenges and triumphs of working outdoors. Every year the SWLA fundraises in order to provide bursary places for the course. This year, five diverse artists took part in the scheme, each on a different creative journey.
Another great week long drawing course on the Firth of Forth. What might make an equivalent for each sound we could identify. Kim Atkinson setting up the sound drawing exercise above the cliffs at St Abbs. The shared activities right there next to the seabirds, sharing the same drizzle, a potent recipe. On wednesday, day 4 we had a very brief landing on the Bass, only one hour, but the quantity and quality of work was outstanding. The time pressure seeming to force everyone into bolder, more vigorous drawing. So gathered back on the cliffs of St Abbs we did timed drawing, a bit like a short pose session at a life drawing class.
I aim to show how creatures move and to express the visual delight they bring. I try to combine accuracy with artistry. As well as portraying the natural world in his inimitable style, Busby also inspired several generations of leading artists: not simply through his drawings and paintings, but also through the more direct medium of teaching. He was born in Bradford, son of Eric and Margaret Busby. John was brought up in Wharfedale, where he developed an early interest in nature, especially birds.