Bird sketching day with Mike Langman at Occombe Farm

We spent a beautiful Sunday honing our drawing skills to capture the essence of birds on a bird sketching day with artist Mike Langman at Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust’s Occombe Farm. My mission was to learn how to sketch like a pro and speed up the drawing. I’m a fan of both Mike’s artwork and Occombe Farm, so I invited my sister and fellow artist, Mai-Ying, along to join the fun.  We were put through our paces, starting with the relatively slow moving (but not sitting) ducks, then hens, then lightning fast songbirds.  Mike gave us tips and taught us clever but simple techniques on how to draw faster, with constructive feedback all along, with classroom sessions in the pretty yurt and outside with the birds, even in light rain!  It was pretty tough for someone like me who often gets bogged down in the detail.  All I need now is to find time to practice what we learned. Thanks to Mike, Damian and Occombe for an excellent day! M 😀



My best hen sketches. I think there is only one good one per page, if I’m lucky! I went through a LOT of pages!

Damian Offer, Trust Director, ably assisting in the explanation of feather tracts.
Sketching from memory, after about an hour of field sketching.


Mai-Ying’s songbird hieroglyphics, sorry, sketches!

Mike’s sketchbooks

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