The season of frosts and snow sends us many visitors from the north to swell the ranks of numerous species of wildfowl that already call our islands home. I like to get out whenever I can to experience the drama and atmosphere that large flocks of birds create. The colourful plumage of many of these birds make wonderful subjects to paint and I have indulged myself with some of my favourite species in recent weeks. I love to see the birds in huge numbers out on the water or roosting on the shoreline but I prefer to paint them in small groups. I think this gives a more intimate portrait and allows more detail on small scale drawings, the birds themselves being allowed to fill up most of the composition. I hope you agree?