My two geese Aglaé et Sidonie, provide me with hours of fun and pleasure..watching them is better than owning a home cinema! I sketched them this weekend, the first time since I got them earlier this year. I thought it was going to be easy..sketching them. I know them by heart, seeing them every day and watching them, feeding the, following them,  being followed by them. When I close my eyes, I can so clearly see them  and I can so easily tell them apart. But sitting with the pen in my hand, brought forward all kinds of problems. Even when after changing to a pencil, I couldn’t escape the problems.

..Two adorable geese, Aglaé et Sidonie..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm)

I jumped in and tried to capture them while they floated in their fountain(actually MY fountain they took over!). That’s when I realized how little I understood of  their morphology! I had trouble sketching their wings and the build of their lower bodies, the length of their necks in relation to their bodies, their typical thoraxes…they are so different from ducks and mine looked like some mongrels of geesed ducks.. so much for thinking I know my geese! So it was back to doing some real studying.

..Two geese in (my) fountain..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm)

From a distance, it was fairly easy  getting hold of just the shapes and suggesting their actions. They are ideal for studying, because they move slowly(and funny) and rhythmic, with an elegance that originate in their long necks and sideways glances.

..two geese from a distance..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 26x18cm)

Their backsides are quite interesting with their wings crossing one over the other and lying on top of a cute, quirky fantail.

..Two geese’s cute swaying backsides..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm)

They have such beautiful character, aren’t mean at all. It seems they love company, so they love lying by my feet or anywhere close by our activities, and they love being by the horses. Only with the chickens do they have a love/hate relationship.

..Two geese watching me as intensely as I did them..

(watercolour and pen in Hahnemuhle watercolor sketchbook, 19x20cm)

The top sketches are the best of all those I did the weekend, trying to understand these two ladies. When I close my eyes now, I actually see them much better! so doing all of this work was really wroth it. Capturing animals is not only about the perfect technique, but also about their character, which to me is more important than the perfect rendition of their morphology. I a feel quite chuffed with the expression in Aglaé in the above sketch..the typical tilt of her head and watchful sideways glance she throws me. Man, I just adore these mesdemoiselles!

à bientôt


8 thoughts on “Sketching two geese in action.

  1. Oh, Ronelle, the sketches are so charming. in some of them you have captured their personality–and a goose is all personality.! I never thought about it before, but now that you mention it, I can see that their slow motions would really help with the chance to capture their gestures. Each one is an individual, I believe, because the two that we had on the farm were unfriendly biters, but that was probably because we got them from some neighbors who may have mistreated them. You have just made my morning with your wonderful friends enjoying Your Pond.


  2. Well, Ronnell, as a former “goose girl” I can say, confidently, that in photo geese 5 you have 2 brilliant geese – the middle one and the lower right. Spot on! All of the sketches show both the whimsicality of the birds and the frustrations of the artist. I can imagine them thinking “let’s do some silly diving and see if she can draw that!”
    My geese often did crazy things when they saw me coming with a camera!And the only time I drew them? Snakes with feathers! 😦

  3. It’s wonderful that you have time to sketch again now that the wedding is over. I love the first sketch and I think you did a very good job of capturing their form.

  4. Thank you everybody!

    @Barbara: thank you, I love these two geese, they are really so funny in their manner. Do you have geese?

    @Pam: Thank you..I’d love to see some gees from your hand too..

    @ annie: so nice to hear from you. Yes, I agree, a goose is ALL personality. And I also know some who are plain scary, I guess I’m lucky with our good natures ones?

    @diahn: Snakes with feathers..that’s not far off!!

    @ Bridget: Thank you!

    @Robyn: Yes, I feel fortunate to have geese.. and all my other crazy animals..all the birds always make me think of you.

    @ Susan: Thank you..yes it it is far too quiet now after the wedding!


Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s