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Woollies Pigeons

3 Sep

Ink sketch: Woollies pigeon #1.

I sometimes go for coffee to Waterstones bookshop in Swansea, where the cafe is upstairs opposite the old Woolworths store. After Woollies closed, the signage was colonised by pigeons; before that, the signs were always lit up and too hot for the pigeons to sit on.  I liked to sit in the big old window and it gave me a great view over the street and started sketching the pigeons. I’d never drawn birds before and I found that they never keep still. Not when I’m looking at them anyway.

I went regularly for a few months and did dozens of drawings, using a variety of Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens.  Because they’re constantly moving, the sketches are very impressionistic and capture the essence of the birds rather than trying – and failing – to be accurate zoological drawings. Recently the store was re-opened with different signage and I must make time to go back and draw the pigeons on their new perches which is very different to the old Woollies lettering; it’s more loopy.


Ink sketch: Woollies pigeon #2.


I mounted some of them onto hand-coloured Zercoll paper, which I squeegeed with a gold metallic Acrylic System 3 paint, thinned with Acrylic medium. I squeegeed it straight onto the paper, rather than using a screen so it was very textured, rather than flat.

It’s very civilised sitting in a café in a bookshop in a converted early 20th century cinema, sketching. Must do it more often.

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