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Nov 26 12 4:26 PM

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As you complete stage one’s activities, try different tools (cheap and fancy pens, markers of varying nib, pencils of various hardness and sharpness, papers of various weight and tooth) to see what you like best.  

Try this: Start with what’s in your pencil/pen jar and a clean page. Draw lines and circles, think about the weight of the drawing utensil, how it feels in your hand, and how much resistance it has against the paper. Fill a page with circles and lines, making note of which drawing utensil you were using, and your experiences with each. Basic bird shapes are circles and lines, which is why we are practicing with these shapes.

Once you’ve found your favorite drawing utensils, try different types of paper including recycled, newsprint, cocktail napkins, post-its, etc. 

How does the tool you’re using influence how you draw? What tools make it easier to draw? What tools make your drawings better?

Upload any sketch(es) that seem illustrative of your experience here. See attached sketches from Margaret as an example.



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#1 [url]

Nov 29 12 7:00 PM



Not sure if you can read it, but I took notes as I tried out different drawing implements, and also compared each pen/pencil with how it appeared on a post-it. The texture was a bit smoother on the post-it note, and the coloring was pretty drastically different- it was a fun side-by side comparison. My favorite right now are the super inky black pens, but I do like the shading possibilities with the ball point pen- that surprised me. 


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#2 [url]

Nov 29 12 10:50 PM

Very cool using the post-it comparisons.  It sure does change the look of the resulting doodles!


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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#3 [url]

Dec 2 12 12:26 PM


@hazelrunmama Thanks so much! I was pretty surprised at the difference too, and I use post-its a lot. Anyone found any drawing tools you like better than others? Any surprises?

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#4 [url]

Dec 2 12 8:49 PM

I was surprised that I liked the Koh-i-noor ink pen as much as I did.  Pencil is more comfortable for me since it's erasable!  LOL  But I really had fun with the ink pen.


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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#5 [url]

Dec 4 12 2:59 PM



@hazelrunmama Glad you found something new! If you're having fun using a pen, one idea is to get comfortable with ink on an activity where you can't make a mistake. Have you tried "Drawing to See"? You're not allowed to even look at the paper until after you're done- it's a really great exercise in observation. And you won't have to worry about erasers!

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#6 [url]

Dec 6 12 1:23 PM

Hazel my erasor stinks  too hard smudges.  Al rubbed his finger on my drawing today and really made me annoyed.  I wrote smudged by Al   if I had a post it I would have put it on his forehead.  lol Ginny H.  

Ocean Co. South NJ Walled patio 10 Crape Myrtle, Pine forest and bushes oak cherry lawn pond. one seed feeder, one suet, 4 hummingbird feeders, one sock.

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#7 [url]

Dec 7 12 4:14 PM

I experienced an eraser-smudging issue today as well. You can see it in the drawing I just posted over in Gesture Drawings. I was trying to start the outline with pencil, then fill in the details with pen, then erase the underlying pencil marks. I guess I didn't wait long enough for the pen to dry and ended up with smudge marks! 

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lyn

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#8 [url]

Dec 9 12 10:55 AM

Everyone's comments and drawings have encouraged me to begin, even if a week behind. Like several of you I sketched  years (decades) ago. And before I retired, my occupation required the production of technical drawings using straight edges and then CAD. It is a pleasure to bring out the pencils and sketch. 
I have also taken my small watercolor kit out of the daypack. Often I make landscape sketches with pencil and paints during lunch breaks when hiking.  I look forward to adding  birds au plein air.



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Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#9 [url]

Dec 9 12 11:12 PM

Lyn, in the middle at the bottom of the first page, is that pen and ink?  I really like the quality of the lines!


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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lyn

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#10 [url]

Dec 10 12 12:02 AM

Thanks Hazel, those lines, on the bottom center and right, were made by experimenting with watercolor paint and three brushes, a #2 round, a #0 liner, and a 1/4 inch angular. I think it helped that I was warmed up from drawing all the pencil lines.

Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#11 [url]

Dec 10 12 12:05 AM

Very cool.  I may have to explore a little further using my stash of brushes!


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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lyn

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#12 [url]

Dec 10 12 12:23 AM

Yes, dust off your brushes! It's easy to just pick up a pencil, but a little water and a small paint box is not much more effort to set up...... I  will need a lot of practice to develop agility sketching with the paints, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#13 [url]

Dec 10 12 7:47 PM

Here are a couple of tips and bits of info re: watercolors from John Muir Laws (from his book and then on his blog), if you're interested in playing around.  I've just started playing with watercolors myself, but haven't applied any to my bird sketches yet.


p/s. In a couple weeks, we'll be giving away some watercolor supplies in the raffle.

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lyn

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#14 [url]

Dec 11 12 4:48 PM

Thanks Beck for these links. Good reading and very useful illustrations.

Here's a photo of Law's suggested field paint box, with my set-up for "window watching".

John Muir Laws has interesting suggestions for replacing the standard color pans.
There are very limited art supply options in my area. Do you know of any online stores that sell individual color pans?


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Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#15 [url]

Dec 12 12 12:41 AM

I would think that a place like Jerry's Artarama might have them.  I know that Artist and Display Art Supply Store in Milwaukee has them (http://www.artistanddisplayonline.com/artists_watercolor_large_pans-c-500_510_510010.html?osCsid=a0bb0a390bda266814055d0688a2232e) and you can order from there online. 


West central WI in a large tract of county forest with a 20-acre woodland wetland just to the south. 
BOSS, sunflower hearts, nyjer, suet, dried meal worms (all year); nectar and grape jelly (spring thru fall).

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#16 [url]

Dec 15 12 12:07 AM

After messing around with inks and pencils, I am a pencil girl all the way. I think this is partly because I am also fond of my erasergrin.


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In Ashland, OH. No feeders (boo starlings and house sparrows) but near a small creek, nice mix of trees in area but hardly any flowering plants. Most gardens decorated with shrubs.

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#17 [url]

Dec 17 12 5:52 PM

@nicole_h_: Did you experiment with any different paper? Sometimes the paper can make all the difference. Perhaps try some of those same sharpies and pens on some different paper and see if that affects how much they bleed and how you feel about them...

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#18 [url]

Dec 18 12 8:19 PM

I did not try any other types of paper but I may have been a little biased on that part of the exercise as I really like thicker, blank paper which is what my notebook is. If I have a choice, I'd choose my thick paper and prismacolor pencil every time! If there is no choice, I'd just have to make it worksmile






In Ashland, OH. No feeders (boo starlings and house sparrows) but near a small creek, nice mix of trees in area but hardly any flowering plants. Most gardens decorated with shrubs.

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#19 [url]

Jan 9 13 4:19 PM

So in our meeting today, the facilitators were talking about birdwatching and sketching setups and wondered how everyone is setup to watch their birds for PFW and also, for those of you sketching along, how you've incorporated drawing tools into that.  

For example, this is my desk and outside the window on the right there, are my feeders.  I have two: one suet and one squirrel proof.  It would be ideal if I had a pair of binoculars and also a pulley system so that I could have the feeder higher.  As it stands now, I take a ladder out to refill it so I can get it a little higher, but I'd like it to be level with my two-story apartment window.  

These are my sketching supplies.  I have lots of different paper (my feedersketch journal, my normal sketchbook, some vellum) and also a bunch of micron pens, a non-photo blue mechanical pencil, water colors, gray wash markers (not pictured) and my computer.  The iPhone I'm using to take a photo of everything is also important as it's how I "scan" in my drawings. 

When I'm watching birds, I'm generally in my chair looking out the window with a sketchbook on my lap.  Ideally I'd be at the desk, but the angles don't work with the feeder low and far away.

What does your setup look like? What would you change if you could have it just the way you wanted? 

Beck

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#20 [url]

Jan 16 13 10:54 AM

I'm really excited about this that I discovered the other day.  Using ball point pen and paint marker, they blend a little bit. Paint markers can be - "difficult" to say the least. They jam up, explode all over the place, run, and are just giant globs of paint after a few lines.

BUT - if you let the glob run and mix with the ink of the ball point pen, you get some interesting patterns.  If you let the paint stay thick and globby, it will stick to the other page, so I used cling-wrap to spread the ink, let it soak into the paper and hold he pattern.

Let me know if you get to try it out



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It's a great day to make things. abbiaallan.com/home.html

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