Monday, 19 September 2016

Raymond Sheppard bird sketches (Part 1)

A conversation on Twitter led to me promising to publish a selection of Raymond Sheppard's sketches of birds. These are all generously provided by Christine Sheppard, daughter of the artist. Many will be quick photos taken as a reference but beggars (namely me!) can't be choosers. If these help elevate Sheppard's popularity, I'm happy.

The filenames of each of these pictures (if you click on them and download them) are Christine's filing system so I have left them as they are to help us know which we are talking about. My labels appear below each picture here.

I'd be very grateful to any bird experts as to what the species are where I don't know or have made a mistake!

Duck in flight

Mallards in flight

Duck in flight

Pelican sketch
 The above picture is the sort of sketch that Sheppard drew in his teaching books "How to draw birds" and "More birds to draw"  It shows the structure and shape and weight






 Interesting in the above picture how Sheppard has indicated the bird's feet movement

 The following couple of sketches are named, reasonably, by Christine as "crested bird". I'd be thrilled if anyone wants to have a guess so I can go hunting a bit more intelligently than I have to date. The bird has a crest, 'bunched' plumage and red legs, but what's it called?

"Crested bird"

"Crested bird"

Duck with chicks


Egyptian plover

 Sheppard has written "Young occipotal" on the left hand of the two vultures shown here, referring to the skull size and shape.
Part Two to follow soon


  1. I came here from Andreas Deja's 'Deja View' blog. I was so impressed by the Sheppard sketches he showed, that I immediately bookmarked this blog too. Incredibly deft and knowledgeable pieces of work, and I especially like the look of toned paper sketches.

    On the identification of some of the subjects: I had a strong impression that I'd seen the 'crested bird' before, somewhere; and I had, many times in person, at Belfast Zoo! They're known as 'screamers', and from the markings of the birds in the sketches, I'd say they're the same species as housed at said zoo: the southern screamer, Chauna torquata.

    Also, something about the 'turnstone' sketches made me search for lapwing images, evem though I knew they didn't match the coloration of the european northern lapwing. They do bear a certain resemblance to the banded lapwing though! (A bird I'd never heard of until now!)

    1. Thanks ever so much Warren. Even with tools like Google Images it's hard to know everything, so I'm grateful!