The John Busby Seabird Drawing Course runs annually in June based near North Berwick in East Lothian.
Now led by Darren Woodhead, plus tutors Kittie Jones, Nik Pollard and Pascale Rentsch, it is open to anyone with an interest in drawing nature in the field whether a keen amateur or established artist. Be inspired by the energetic frenzy of the seabird colonies around the Firth of Forth at the height of the breeding season. There are about 20 participants on the course who take this fantastic opportunity to work alongside established artists and get an insight into the diverse approaches that they take to working in the field.
Enthusiasts gather for a week of drawing and painting among the many seabird sites in East Lothian. In particular the Bass Rock, the RSPB reserve on the island of Fidra, St Abbs Head, Tyninghame, and Aberlady Bay, although the selection of sites is weather dependant. Participants can opt to do their own thing or join others on visits to the sites. The tutors will be on hand if anyone would like help or guidance with drawing or painting in the field. In the evenings everyone gets together back at base to compare notes, display work and learn from each other.
Bursaries are available for a few spaces from the Society of Wildlife Artists. Fieldwork sketches, notes and finished pieces from bursary winners are displayed at the Mall Galleries, London during the SWLA annual exhibition in October each year.
Bursary reports by past awardees can be found here on the SWLA website
There is a Facebook page for those interested in Seabird Drawing.
The course was set up by John Busby in 1989 and has run annually since then. It aims to nurture and encourage everyone with an enthusiasm for sketching birds, whether a keen amateur or established artist. Although supported by the Society of Wildlife Artists it is run independently of them and of www.johnbusbyartist.co.uk.