Work in progress – ink outlines for the rose-crowned fruit dove study.

I’m still ‘getting to know the neighbours’ in Beechmont. I mean the plant and animal neighbours! And I suspect this might take a lifetime, what with the amazing and beautiful diversity up here, and the extensive Lamington National Park right on out doorstep.

This is the first in perhaps a series of bird studies, in an attempt to get more familiar with the birds we catch glimpses of in and around where we live. It was was inspired by the rose-crowned fruit dove who has been visiting the native olive tree (Notelaea ?longifolia*) behind our shed. I’ve drawn the bird close-ups from photos, the native olive from life, and the sketch down the bottom of the pages is from memory.

I’m a great advocate of drawing directly from nature – you can observe, and try to capture, details, behaviour, patterns and light that are often missed or distorted by photos. But it can be very hard to get a good look at the fine features of living wild animals. By studying photos, the next time I see that critter in the wild I will be able to interpret what I see with greater clarity. That’s the aim, anyway 🙂

Finished journal page after watercolours were added. Plus those native olive fruits!

Detail of the rose-crowned fruit dove study.


  • I now think the native olive is probably Notelaea venosa, but it doesn’t really fit either description. However, Ray tells me the taxonomy of this group of plants is under revision, so maybe my confusion is justified this time [icon icon=icon-smile size=14px color=#000 ]