Monday, 22 April 2013

Illuminated Cranes

Cranes from left to right with: bulrushes and celandine, common dog violets and water parsnip.

Here are three illuminated Cranes I have created for my blog banner.  They depict the Eurasian Crane, and are adult birds as can be seen by the red plumage on their heads.  Such beautiful birds lend themselves well to art.  Having a background in illustration, I was keen to get drawing straight away and the actual pieces are painted in gouache, my favourite medium using fine brushes. 
Each Crane is depicted with flora from the Somerset levels which can be seen in full bloom during the summer months.  I’m looking forward to seeing the wild flowers as I’m keen to observe the other creatures that are drawn to them, such as dragonflies, bees and butterflies.

 I found some examples of early illuminated manuscripts depicting Cranes, courtesy of the British Library.  The designs are quite stylized however I think very beautiful!

Miniatures of Cranes from left to right: England;  England, N. or Central; England, S. (Salisbury?)

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