gannet greetings

Hi everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the festive season! Today I thought I would finally get back to posting some other illustration projects I’ve been working on. I mentioned before that I volunteer at a local bird rescue charity. Recently I was asked by them to do an illustration for a ‘Thank you’ greeting card. I came up with a few ideas, but the one I liked the most was of two gannets greeting one another. Gannets (in New Zealand the most common gannet is the Australasian gannet, Morus serrator) engage in a behaviour called bill fencing, which is a sort of greeting display. If you haven’t seen them before they also have a very cool behaviour- a torpedo-like dive- that they do from mid air to catch fish underwater (see a video of that here <– after watching this you’ll see why they need such flippery feet!).I thought the gannet greeting was quite a nice idea for the card.

Here is the final artwork, done in acrylics, with a watercolour wash background (is it really bad to mix the two mediums??- I never have before and was sort of expecting it to be a disaster!) on Fabriano watercolour paper.


and then put together all the design elements in photoshop, including a hand-lettered ‘thank you’:


It was a great project to work on. If anyone is interested I am thinking of doing a tutorial on how I made the vectorised signature at the bottom corner. Its so useful to be able to add your signature digitally after scanning in artwork!

Until next time,



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