A scattering of grain and chickens for this week’s Illustration Friday. I was working on a portrait commission – fine lines with a touch of colour. This piece of paper was the palette for the watercolour pencils. The chickens were drawn over the top with pen and inks (and are also a commission from my mother).
I do not romanticise chickens, but I remain broadly fond of them. When I was growing up, the chooks were my business (care, feeding, egg collection, book keeping and so forth). I was even a subscriber to a monthly poultry magazine, I knew all about hatching temperatures, Sebrights and Wyandottes. I could make and use a chook-crook and could sing “Landrace Rooster” complete. Sometimes when I went to lock them up for the night, I would look into the roost – the rough branches which made the perches had been worn satiny by generations of chicken feet and the birds would huddle down for the night crooning peacably among themselves. It was a very relaxing atmosphere – chickens are much nicer when they are asleep (fortunately, they are also easy to hypnotise).
In other news: Our comics anthology Kinds of Blue is now launched and available to buy online!