One of my happiest childhood memories is walking in the local woods, looking for fallow deer. It’s something I still love doing today, and these days such activity brings the added bonus of inspiration for a painting.
Last week was no exception. The welcome spring sunlight enticed me out for a gentle ramble through the woods. I’m always surprised that such beautiful countryside attracts relatively few people, and on this occasion I encountered no one during a two hour walk.
Fortunately my encounters were with wildlife: buzzard, nuthatch, marsh tit, a single fallow deer, and then three more. I loved the way the dappled light fell across the deer, echoing their spotted coats.
So I returned with ideas for two paintings, but as the views were brief I’d had no chance to sketch. Sketching a species is imperative as the artist learns so much about the appearance and structure of the animal prior to painting.
Luckily I live near a deer park which has both a small semi-wild herd and a few tame fallow deer. It provides a perfect opportunity to gather the photographs and sketches that I need.
Now that I have both the inspiration and the reference material I’ll be working on a deer painting over the next few weeks. I’ll post the painting on the blog when it’s complete, so watch this space!