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Dec 24 12 11:52 AM

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Birds are some of the most photographed animals in nature. Find a favorite photo of a bird, either one you have taken yourself, or from another source. Draw what you see in this photo. Post the photo and you drawing side by side online. Please list the source of the photograph and mention why you chose this photo in particular.

Tip: If you feel you are struggling with this activity, try drawing square grid lines on your photograph. Then draw a square grid on your paper and copy what you see square by square.

Upload your sketches here. Examples from Margaret attached.




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#1 [url]

Dec 27 12 3:54 PM

Realizing there are no birds in my yard....  Having a rough year, I went to my local friendly Pet Smart and they let my photograph their lovely little birds.  That was nice of them.  I had a little break this week and got a chance to draw this cute little finch.  I love it.  Really happy.  Still need to get better images.  sorry about the photo quality



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

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#2 [url]

Dec 27 12 7:58 PM

That's a lovely sketch, aallan!!   Margaret, your hawk is knockin' my socks off, too!!!


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 28 12 10:50 AM

Nice, clear drawing, aallan.  What a bill on that finch!   You've given me the idea of visiting a zoo or the raptor center to draw their birds for a change of venue this winter.  Margaret, now I know what a prey bird feels when being pursued by a raptor.  Yikes!

I chose a photo of a raven I took near the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center of Olympia National Park near Port Angeles, Washington for a number of reasons.  First, it's about the nearest I've been to such a large wild bird.  I recall some apprehension seeing the size of its bill (I always catch myself wanting to call it a beak, then correcting myself.)  Second, the bird is doing a fair job modeling its bill, feet, wings and feet to carry forward the lessons of the past few drawing exercises.  My proportions are a bit off on its left shoulder.  I think I was subconsciously making it more brutish that it was.  Most importantly, it's a favorite memory of my first visit to the wild areas of the Pacific Northwest. 

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




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#4 [url]

Dec 28 12 1:10 PM

@aallan and @glecker -- phenomenal repros, wow.  As our project continues, I find myself wanting to frame more and more of these and hang them around the house. Do you feel that way about your drawings?

I'm curious to know what tools you both used for this exercise -- @aallan was that a marker or watercolor you used for the shading?  What kind of pen?  Same question for you @glecker. Is that pencil for the shading?

Beck

p/s. We'll have some exercises in Stage Four that encourage field trips. Stay tuned!

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#5 [url]

Dec 28 12 3:30 PM

Greg, your mention of beak vs. bill here inspired me to ask a question about the difference between the two over in the Jargon thread. Hopefully you and others can chime in there to help us discover the answer. 

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#6 [url]

Dec 28 12 5:21 PM

The pen I generally use is a Cross holder with 0.7 mm gel rolling ball refill.  But I'm happy with a lot of the rolling ball pens.  The main drawback is that I'm afraid they are not "waterproof".   Sometime I do want to try using water to blend and soften the lines somewhat.  I've learned of that technique from reading a book on "keeping a sketchbook" (by a Brit, by the way some words are spelled) -- though I haven't tried it out yet.  You're correct, the shading is pencil, which oddly enough is a golf pencil.  Somewhere along the way, I found myself in possession of several boxes of stubby pencils -- no erasers.  The size reminds me to hold the pencil more like a piece of charcoal -- but it's less messy.  The pre-sharpened points are quite sharp and hold up fairly well.  For outdoor notetaking (and some drawing too) I use simple ball point pens, whatever I might have at hand.
 
Greg; Mpls, MN
Urban back yard with red and white cedars, pagoda dogwoods

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#7 [url]

Dec 28 12 6:24 PM

Great drawings,  once again I am falling behind but with happy company in the house.  Will play catch up again when i get quiet time.  Glad I have been able to enjoy and see all of yours they are great.  My son in law Graph artist just handed me a 0.7 rolling pen.  yahoo.  Was showing him the sketchings, reading the supplies used.  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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#9 [url]

Jan 3 13 1:02 PM

Beck,

The library book I'm reading is

How to Keep a Sketchbook by Michael Woods, 1933-?

 

In the captions and few paragraphs that accompany reproductions from a life's worth of sketchbooks (pen and ink, watercolor), Woods cites the year, location, media, paper type and size; but even more importantly, he describes his impressions, the trip he took, the weather -- all presumably from the the memories that his sketches jogged for him.  A great example for the rest of us aspiring to keep logs of our observations over time.

 

Greg; Mpls, MN

Urban back yard with red and white cedars, pagoda dogwoods

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#10 [url]

Jan 3 13 1:13 PM



@ginny- it's great to hear how you've been sharing this project with your family. Has anyone else been sharing their sketches and experiences beyond the online world, with family, friends, and/or strangers? What's that been like?

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#12 [url]

Jan 3 13 8:37 PM

Took me three days, but I finally finished one  o.O  Not a total success...the proportions are a little off...but at least I was able to get one done! 



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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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#14 [url]

Jan 3 13 8:43 PM

Thanks, Nick.  Still having trouble hanging on to stuff...  o.o


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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#15 [url]

Jan 3 13 9:19 PM

Lovely drawing Hazel. Very nice use of positive and negative shading.
And, glad you're taking your time to heal!

Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#16 [url]

Jan 4 13 12:55 PM



I was way too impatient to finish the details in this one! 
Very nice work hazelrunmama. You know when I was a sophomore in college I enrolled in a drawing class then proceeded to break a finger playing rugby. It turned out having a splint on my finger actually made me draw very differently. It made my touch much lighter, which was good because I had a very heavy touch normally. Hazel have you noticed any differences either unexpectedly good, or frustrating while drawing after your injury?



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lyn

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#17 [url]

Jan 4 13 2:53 PM

This exercise overlaps the "wing and wing tips"  and "reproducing bird photos" activities. I took the photo while watching the European Starling strugglling to balance at the suet feeder. When I looked at the photo I had a new appreciation of the beauty of this 'nuisance bird', one I usually consider hawk bait.
So, I tried to capture the backlit wing and the feather groups (primary, secondary, underwing coverts and axillaries); and the tension of the starling grasping the suet cage.
And to be patient with layering the watercolors !



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Suburban yard with trees & shrubs, New Brunswick, Canada

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#18 [url]

Jan 4 13 7:55 PM


@ HRM Amazing job! Thanks for sticking with us in spite of the pain, though please do take rests if your hands are telling you to.  You really captured that eastern phoebe beautifully - and successfully taught me how to understand the banding lingo! Thanks all around. 

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#20 [url]

Jan 4 13 9:58 PM

When do you just say no to feathers? and WHY are hummingbirds so awesome to look at  - and TTHEENNN you try to draw them and they make you sad.... why?  I hate you bad humming bird drawing.... I will try again


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

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