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Every day on my way to work I walk past an art shop. In the window they have the most beautiful paintings by an artist called Karl Martens. He paints birds, but focuses on the negative space around the bird taking inspiration from Chinese art. They’re so expressive.

Karl Martens

Karl Martens' Beautiful Bird Paintings

You can buy some of his paintings here and here, but be warned, they are expensive.


Quite a few birthdays fall in March. The first one is that of a bird-loving friend, who is studying birds for her PhD. For her birthday I made a card for her with an adorable Kentish Plover (Charadrius Alexandrius).

Card detail

Kentish Plover

I got inspiration for the bird from a beautiful collection of bird photos. The website is in Dutch, but it is easy to navigate. I came across the Kentish Plover in a variety of poses and finally settled on this one. The technique I used is very simple: I sketched the bird with pencil, selectively went over the lines with a uniball gel pen and then achieved a water colour effect by going over the lines and shading with a wet paintbrush. I learnt this technique at least five years ago in an art class and its still useful.

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