Wildlife Artist - Martin Ridley

Images of the barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)


 Photo of Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis)On this page you can see how I develop the composition for a painting depicting a flock of landing barnacle geese.


Flock of Barnacle Geese on the Solway Firth (Branta leucopsis)

To study the barnacle geese I went to Caerlaverock one of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust visitor centres. There are several distinct populations of barnacle geese. All barnacle populations are migratory, breeding in the far north and wintering on the coasts of northern Europe. On the Solway Firth I was observing the population of geese that come from Svalbard, a migration of some 3,200km.

These are just some of the compositional drawings that I produced back in the studio. I find this phase of a painting's development very exciting as I imagine the potential of the finished painting. Throughout this period my mind re-experiences the times that I had with the geese out in the field. All this feeds into the end result and shows how important it is to paint what you know and love.

see how initial sketches are developed into a composition

A landing flock of geese is always going to be a complicated composition. I find that the best way of developing the layout is to keep things fluid. I shift lots of drawings on sepatate pieces of paper. I can thus experiment with a myriad of options.

see how initial sketches are developed into a composition

A drawing can be swapped for one of a different scale or with different wing positions. Different overlaps between birds may be tried and rejected until the whole flow of the flock pulls together. I'm looking for a natural and yet attractive grouping.

Barnacle Geese at Caerlaverock Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre

Navigate this project

Shop Items

Pink-footed Geese Print - Reproduced from an original oil painting

The Frozen Puddle, Pink-footed Geese

Available as a limited edition print

Wildlife art prints from Aquila

Limited edition giclee print reproduced from an original oil painting
Prints are signed by the artist
The prints are on Somerset Velvet watercolour paper (100% cotton, acid free)

Alert Pink-footed Geese - Canvas print from an oil painting by Martin Ridley.

Alert Pink-footed Geese Print

Available as a canvas print or a framed print

Wildlife art prints from Aquila

Canvas prints reproduced from an original oil painting
The prints are on heavy weight canvas with a matt laminate surface

Please note: These pink-footed goose prints are produced following
your order and are posted to you direct from the printers.