October drawing of the month: Flying Dunlin

Flying dunlin watercolour and fine line drawing (c) Ella Johnston
My October drawing of the month is of a flying dunlin.

As the co-founder of Dunlin Press this bird is particularly important to me and Dr B. We are very fond of these birds, very soon they’ll be scuttling around in the mud on Wivenhoe quay.

Work in progress: Flying dunlin watercolour and fine line drawing (c) Ella Johnston

I’ve been drawing dunlins for a little while now, and even have a print of another dunlin drawing available on Folksy, but I’ve never attempted to draw a flying dunlin before. They are quite magical when they fly. I normally spot these wading birds in groups scurrying around on the mud as the tide is coming in during twilight so it’s quite hard to see them at first. You can just about detect them by a little flash of white on their bellies. It’s only when they fly do you see them fully as the white plumage underneath their wings catches and twinkles in the moonlight, it’s lovely.

dunlin print by Ella Johnston

I created this illustration with washes of watercolour and picked out the details with a uni-pin fine line pen, you can see me adding some detail in the video below…

Beginner’s Guide to Wading Birds

Waders and Shorebirds Illustrated Guide by Ella Johnston

As you know last week myself and Dr B launched our latest book The Migrant Waders. The publication features 21 illustrations of wading birds by yours truly. To accompany the book I’ve produced an illustrated poster of wading birds inspired by vintage bird guides I’ve come across in various antique shops and thrift stores as well as on pinterest.

Waders poster by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk

Waders poster by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk These illustrated bird guides have been enduring classics in terms of design and I must admit I’m very pleased with my own version. It’s great to see the birds all together and I’m tempted to do a guide featuring my garden birds too.

Waders poster by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk

As well as the poster I’ve also produced a set of postcards featuring the birds. Waders postcards by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk

There are six postcards in the set depicting a redshank, lapwing, curlew, greenshank, avocet and golden plover. Waders postcards by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk

Both the postcards and the poster were printed on textured high-quality gesso paper – I love the way it holds colour and it also shows off the fact that these illustrations were originally created on watercolour paper.
Waders postcards by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk

The poster and the cards are available at my various online shops on Folksy, Etsy and Not On the High Street. You can also buy them (along with the book) at the Dunlin Press online store.

Greenshank postcard by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk

Waders poster by Ella Johnston. ellasplace.co.uk