“The Red Kite”
Blog, Coloured Pencil, Wildlife

“The Red Kite”

“The Red Kite”, coloured pencil on Strathmore paper, 600mm x 290mm by Martyn Fox.

Red Kites are a great success story of conservation in the UK, having been reintroduced a few years ago from a population in Spain. They were unfortunately persecuted to extinction in the UK, but have since bounced back very well. From their original reintroduction sites in Wales, they have since bred very well and spread out across Gloucester and down in to the South West of England. It was here that I saw my first (and so far only) Red Kite in the wild, and it was a memorable occasion indeed. It was just effortlessly gliding over the countryside looking for food or a nesting site, and it was so low to the ground that I could clearly see the beautiful warm reddish brown colours of its feathers, the greyish head. There was no mistaking its distinctive forked tail either, though in this piece you can’t see it as clearly due to the angle.

This piece did present some reasonable challenges: getting that steep angle and relatively shallow composition meant that the detail and tone had to be balanced just right, otherwise it wouldn’t have looked right. However, the final result does I think, speak for itself. I’m really pleased with the warmth of the feather colours and the way the composition fades into the whiteness of the paper towards the tail. The focus is also mostly around the head and eye area as this is closest to the viewer, and I think it really draws the attention into the piece because of it.

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