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Mother Moorhen feeding her chicks

Water Babies

A few weeks ago, I demonstrated in pastels for the Sutton Coldfield Society of Artists, and I chose to paint the moorhen that I saw some time ago, feeding her chicks in a nest set in a willow cluster in a flowing stream.

I was very taken by the devotion of the mother bird, bringing morsels of food for the tiny birds, and the many ripples and reflections in the stream made for some interesting pastel marks. I have already tried this theme in acrylic, but I think I prefer the looser style that the pastels created.
The Art Society were very attentive, and asked many interesting questions about the birds and the pastel technique.
After a little more work tidying the picture up, I'm fairly satisfied with the image.
Water Babies