This afternoon my niece (10 years old) rang to see if I wanted to join them (my sister, her and my younger nephew aged 8) over Skype for a session drawing a cuckoo together. Mr E was awake, fed and happy so I jumped at the chance.

They were drawing a cuckoo to illustrate their nature journals having heard lots whilst out on walks previously. We chose a photo on the Internet and got drawing.

It was interesting to hear my sister’s instructions to the children “look at what shape that makes… It’s like a rainbow” or “let’s follow that line down there” or “I can’t see those feathers on the photo!”, and these comments influenced how I viewed the picture and how I drew it.

It was also interesting how often one or other of us said “oh no I’ve ruined it now” when actually in the end we all had pictures that though they maybe didn’t look exactly like the photo, definitely all looked like cuckoos . It was fun to look at each other’s drawings and comment on what we liked about them or how we could tweak them to make them even better. And the thing I love most about this sort of thing is having the opportunity to really look at a bird and notice new things about its markings and shape.

I’m really pleased with my cuckoo, though i found the colours hard to replicate, not least because I only had a set of 8 crayons to choose from. Though the cuckoo’s feathers looked lilacy in the photo, when I added that sort of colour to my picture it doesn’t look quite right. Is that because I’ve not got the right colour and was trying to dry mix blue and pink, or is there another reason? Maybe it all just needs to be toned down with some more pencil over the top.

And Mr E? He survived me taking an hour out to draw. He had tummy time on his mat, alternating between playing with toys and listening to my sister and niece singing him songs, and when he got fed up I tried colouring with him sitting on my lap… That didn’t work as he kept trying to grab the pencil… But it was fun, and a really lovely way to spend the afternoon. And we even sang a song in French about a cuckoo!


4 thoughts on “Cuckoo”

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