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  #61   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-05-2010, 09:42 PM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: Local Birds

Oh wow. I've seen hooded mergansers in art before and even did one from a WDE reference once, but never like this in full display. That's extraordinary. Beautiful colored pencil painting with great textures and depth of color. Well done! You keep doing birds I'm familiar with and it makes me smile to see them done so well. The pose on this is so cool with its hood extended.

Thanks for the details on its habits and diet too. I never knew that.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:49 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Thanks again Robert, Debby and Viven. And yes, lovely can certainly be used as a term for male ducks - I doubt they would mind at all, considering how much they appear to like to primp before and during breeding season!

I was initially going to just include sketches done after this forum started but looked back through the ones done before and decided to post a couple.

This one is a Black-capped Chickadee - the standard variety of chickadee most folks are familiar with. This was done in Prismas from a photo I took at a place I worked a couple years ago. (My office window looked out at a greenbelt and I had feeders set up and got an amazing variety of birds to show up.)



This next sketch was done with Sigma sepia pens. It is a Bar-tailed Godwit, a shorebird that we see only rarely on the Washington state coast. We have a large flock (several hundred) of very similar Marbled Godwits that always winter over in Tokeland on the Washington coast and occasionally one of these Bar-tailed Godwits will be mixed in.



The final image in this post is a Great Horned Owl gliding in to grab some prey. This was done in Sigma sepia pens from a magazine photo.

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Old 06-06-2010, 02:10 PM
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DrDebby DrDebby is offline
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Re: Local Birds

The chickadee I recognize. I may learn birds yet. Great pen drawings. That's a great angle on that owl.
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:29 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Beautiful. All three of these are so great. I love the chickadee, I've seen those many times and you have it so perfect. The feather texture is excellent and that pose is wonderful. Gorgeous pen drawings of the owl and Bar-Tailed Godwit. Well done!
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:01 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Thanks Debby and Robert! Here is the one I finished last night - another fairly quick sketch. This bird is a male Yellow Warbler, one of the most common warbler species found pretty much in the whole US. The male in breeding plumage has the faint reddish stripes on the breast and is a beautiful bright yellow - thus the name ! This bird's song is one of the easier warbler species songs to recognize - it is characterized as SWEET-SWEET-littlemoreSWEET.

The background is pretty scratchy - I decided to put it in because otherwise the coloration of the bird washed out too much against the beige Moleskine drawing paper. However, I didn't spent much time on it - would have been better to do a watercolor or gouache wash, but at least it did pop the bird forward a bit. Done from a photo reference in a magazine.

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Last edited by JTMB : 06-08-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:32 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Isn't he a pretty one? Great job.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:37 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Your Yellow Warbler is great! So much detail. Beautiful proportions and I trust it's accurate. Love the feather structures and shading. The background was a great idea to make him pop forward too. He really would've vanished against the cream Moleskine paper.

I also know how hard it is to get a smooth colored pencil background on that paper, did one colored pencils sketch in mine and am going back to pen and ink because it was too frustrating. This came out wonderful. Well done!
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:18 PM
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Vivien Maloney Vivien Maloney is offline
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Re: Local Birds

Like your latest bird sketches and the duck one is great. I love its flection in the water. These birds are all different species than what we get in NZ - very interesting.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:38 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Thanks Debby, Robert and Vivien! Actually Robert, I may have drawn the warbler ever so slightly too long proportionally - not much, but a tad I think. I've started to sketch them from life (haven't had the courage to post the results quite yet - soon) and they really are challenging. Warblers in particular are tough because they are constantly in motion, and usually in brushy habitat or high up in trees. In addition to binoculars, serious birders use spotting scopes (ours is a 20-60X variable power Leica) to get excellent, close-up looks even at distant birds - except most birders won't even try to get a scope on a warbler because it's basically impossible and becomes more frustrating than helpful.

Vivien - It is always interesting to compare birds from very different locales. I haven't really done much international birding at all, but New Zealand is at the top of my list if I ever do. My wife is from Hawaii and I remember a couple years ago she went there on a business trip and stayed with her mom while there. I went birding one of those days and found a rare (for around here) American Golden-Plover. When I talked to my wife that night on the phone and told her, she nonchalantly said, 'Oh, that's nice. There are several of them feeding in mom's backyard right now.'
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:25 PM
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Re: Local Birds

I can imagine how crazy it would be trying to follow a warbler with binoculars or a scope. I have a set of binoculars and they're cool when I see something in the yard -- but not if it's moving fast. Then I lose it way too easy having to follow with my whole head rather than just my eyes.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:14 AM
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Re: Local Birds

This one was done tonight while watching TV in the background. I took more time on this one than the previous sketches - probably 2 1/2 hours here, using Polychromos pencils. The reference image is a photo I took at a pond near our house several years ago. This is an adult female Red-winged Blackbird, a very common denizen of marshy areas everywhere in the country - it's actually one of the most populous species in the US. There is a pond about a quarter mile away from us that has a number of these birds and they pop in on our backyard feeders regularly. They are very athletic in their ability to perch on flimsy or very small or cramped perches. The males, of course, look much different from this bird - they have the bright red-orange epaulets with everything else jet black that give the species its name. The dominant males have larger and brighter epaulets, which they display to potential rivals that stray into their area.

This drawing covers both pages of the Moleskine sketchbook so is about 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

C&C always welcome, of course!

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:17 AM
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Re: Local Birds

I absolutely love the blackbird. It pops out realistically on the whole page! Keep them coming.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:28 AM
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Nancys Nancys is offline
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Re: Local Birds

An ambitious project and one the rest of us will enjoy. What a good idea.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:57 AM
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Re: Local Birds

I've always loved chickadees. I don't think that I've actually ever seen one, but they are so cute, so I'm glad that you included one. I love the owl and the redwinged blackbird.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:24 PM
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Re: Local Birds

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTMB



the best yet - a lovely one
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