I recently spent a week on Heron Island learning to draw birds.
I’m not normally into resort-style holidays, but Heron Island has a unique ecology and during the summer months is alive with birds and turtles. Heron Island is located off the Queensland coast, a 2hour ferry ride from Gladstone. Its a small island dominated by Pisonia trees and surrounded by coral reefs.
The tour was organised by NatureArt Lab (www.natureartlab.com.au) and led by their naturalist team Julia and Alan Landford, and artist Zoe Lawrence. Zoe was our tutor for drawing birds in coloured pencil, something I’ve never attempted before. In amongst nature talks and walks along the beach, we learnt how to sketch the local birds, apply watercolour washes and overlay our drawings with coloured pencils.
I’m not usually a ‘morning’ person, but I was up at sunrise each morning to walk along the beach to observe turtle nesting behaviours and witness turtle hatchings on their dash to the sea. I learnt that the hatchlings swim for 3 days and nights before they stop to rest and feed. So amazing!
During the workshop, I completed one finished drawing of a Pied Oystercatcher as well as numerous gesture sketches of the birds that surrounded the resort. Now that I’m home I plan to continue my bird drawing practice (I need lots of it to improve!) and I am currently repeating the drawing of the Oystercatcher as I learnt a lot from my mistakes on my first effort.
Thanks to Julia, Alan, Zoe and the other wonderful artists who came on the tour. Visiting Heron Island and seeing turtles was on my ‘bucket list’ and it was even more awesome being able to focus on my art as well.