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Dec 10 12 5:47 PM

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Although we usually draw objects such as birds using lines and shapes, this time sit by your feeder and while observing a bird try paying special attention to the bird’s mass, and the meat or fluff of its body. Instead of drawing an outline, fill in the shape of the bird from the inside out. It may help to use a drawing utensil that does not allow sharp lines (i.e. using a brush, charcoal, or the side of a pencil.) 

Upload and discuss your sketch(es) here. See examples from Margaret attached.




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lyn

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#1 [url]

Dec 13 12 9:37 AM

The silhouttes were not as difficult for me as the first negative space exercise...although I did not intend the beaks to appear as detail.
I need more experience using watercolor paints. And this is an enjoyable way to practice !


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Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#2 [url]

Dec 13 12 5:31 PM


@lyn, these silhouettes are lovely. Never thought of using watercolor for this exercise but it seems to make perfect sense. Based on your silhouettes (including crest and beak) I am guessing the blue was a bluejay and the black were sparrows or chickadees. Am I right?
Although guessing is not necessarily the point of this exercise, I kind of think its fun to see if one has captured the shape and proportions so accurately that another person can recognize the bird from that information alone. Kind of like Alfred Hitchcock's profile! :)

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#3 [url]

Dec 13 12 7:57 PM

I haven't tried the Negative Space activity yet, so don't have that to compare to like Lyn did, but I agree that I found this to be a very enjoyable and fulfilling activity. 

I tried charcoal, a different medium for me, in fact one I've never used before. I found it easy to use -- maybe it wouldn't always be, but it was well suited for this activity in my opinion. I think I'll try this activity again with a pencil or pen like I normally use and see how it feels different. 

These are attempts at a cardinal, mourning dove, and carolina wren (from left to right) -- some of the most common visitors to my feeder site. To Margaret's point, I wonder whether folks would have been able to guess that if I had not told you...


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lyn

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#4 [url]

Dec 14 12 12:57 PM

Margaret, the silouettes are blue jays and chickadees !

Elizabeth, I see the cardinal and mourning dove in your silhouettes! I am not familiar with carolina wrens, they are rare visitors to  New Brunswick. Are they common in North Carolina?

Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#6 [url]

Dec 14 12 4:05 PM

I see the cardinal and the mourning dove, and can at least recognize that the other is a wren, though species would be difficult without additional field marks--so you did a great job!  You caught the 'flavor of the jay and chickadees, too!  Nice jobs!


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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#7 [url]

Dec 14 12 6:30 PM

By the way, those previous comments were directed at Elizabeth and lyn but I was so eager to go try some that I didn't mention that...  LOL 

Anyway, here are mine.  Two were done from memory, the others from reference photographs showing what I thought were 'typical' postures.  I find silhouettes easier than negative space images since I can always make the silhouettes bigger and plumper if I need to, but judging the proportions when working from outside negative space 'inward' is harder to correct (unless you're using an erasable medium ).


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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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#10 [url]

Dec 18 12 6:51 PM

Elizabeth,

President's Day artwork...can you say more?......I recall cutting out silhouettes of profile views of the heads of Washington and Lincoln from black construction paper and glueing them to some other paper (probably red or blue, in keeping with the patriotic theme).  Washington's powdered wig and Lincoln's beard and hair (even without the hat) seemed so distinctive and easy to associate with these presidents -- almost as much as a Northern Cardinal's profile.  I'm not certain that twentieth century presidents are as distinctive in profile. 


Greg; Mpls, MN
Urban back yard with red & white cedars, pagoda dogwoods

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#14 [url]

Jan 3 13 12:53 PM

Margaret,

I love your Costa Rican humingbirds -- especially the one in color.  I will try to fit in some bird sketches while on Catalina Island, CA during our Stage 4 week.  I'm sure that there will be some different birds out there!

Greg; Mpls, MN
Urban back yard with red and white cedars, pagoda dogwoods

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#16 [url]

Jan 3 13 3:32 PM





@glecker- Thanks for the compliment! Know what's funny? I didn't even notice how different the silhouettes of the black vs. color hummingbirds were until I posted this sketch. I haven't seen you use many colors in your posted drawings. How do you feel about drawing with color? With those tropical birds I just couldn't help myself!

Enjoy your trip to the Catalina islands. I bet you will see lots of seabirds. They are great for doing flight studies.


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#17 [url]

Jan 3 13 9:48 PM

Phyllis, that's a great waxwing silhouette!  Very recognizable!

Margaret, I posted a link to a site with images of costa rican birds in another thread (which one, I no longer remember *sigh* LOL) but I was looking at the hummers there earlier and I think I recognized a few that could fit your silhouettes!

ETA:  Here's the link to the site again--still on my clipboard:
http://www.costaricabirdingtours.com/birdlifephotos.html


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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#18 [url]

Jan 5 13 10:29 PM

I though i uploaded my Silhouettes but i can't find them.  Here I go again.   Still can't find my pencils or calender which i used to draw the blue bird.  Ok so it is on the house computer.  off I go.  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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#19 [url]

Jan 5 13 10:47 PM

Yes it was on the house computer which is OLD   SLOW  I try to stay away from it but that scanner just likes to send stuff where ever it wants to.  maybe the scanner know were my calender and pencils are.  Getting really annoyed at this stage but cleaning up and throwing out as i go looking.  ginny H.  


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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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barbk

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#20 [url]

Jan 6 13 2:41 AM

Very pretty, Ginny.  In fact everyone is so talented...

Barbara, Jersey shore, backyard 1/4 acre with mostly oak trees. 6 feeders, suet, and 2 bird baths.

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