WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Subjects > Art Journals
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 04:34 PM
JTMB's Avatar
JTMB JTMB is offline
A Local Legend
Pacific Northwest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,336
 
Hails from United States
JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Hi everyone,

This is a new thread because I started a new sketchbook, but I wasn't sure it should be or not, so hopefully a moderator will let me know what is appropriate here. The 'Local Birds' thread is in a Moleskine sketchbook which doesn't work particularly well with watercolor or gouache as I found out in working with it. Which is fine, because most of the birds in there are in colored pencil, and I'll continue to add pieces in there when I use dry media. So...this sketch is the first one in a new Moleskine watercolor sketchbook - 5 x 8" approximately - and the paper in that book (though still not in my opinion equal to Arches regular watercolor paper) is much better for gouache and watercolor than the sketchbook.

So, since it's a new book - I started a new thread. However, since it's the same topic, I wondered if the moderator would prefer that I keep two books on the same theme and load the images into the same thread...? Let me know!

The Steller's Jay is a very beautiful metallic blue on its dorsal (top) side, with a blackish head and black horizontal stripes on its back (not visible here). As with most corvids (jays, crows and ravens), it is loud, brash, aggressive and can be tough on other birds in the area, including raiding nests. But it is also highly intelligent and entertaining to watch.

__________________
John
C&C always welcome.

Website - www.johntubbsart.com. Art blog - www.jtubbs.com.
Reply With Quote
  #2   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 07:10 PM
mhimeswc's Avatar
mhimeswc mhimeswc is offline
A Local Legend
New Jersey
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,894
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

New sketchbook, different media - my guess is that it's okay to start a new thread. I like your Steller's Jay. Do you sketch your birds from life, or from references, or both? Are you an active birdwatcher?
Reply With Quote
  #3   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 08:21 PM
JTMB's Avatar
JTMB JTMB is offline
A Local Legend
Pacific Northwest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,336
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for looking! Right now I am mostly sketching from photos that I've taken or from magazine photos, though I have done some sketching from life. Birds are about the worst possible subjects to sketch from life until you are very familiar with them. Actually, I'm very familiar with them, and they're STILL tough to do... ! I want to do more of that, soon I hope.

Yes, I am a serious birder. I retired about two years ago, and right before I retired I went through Seattle Audubon's very intensive master birder program - the equivalent of two semesters of advanced field ornithology, essentially. Heavy emphasis on visual ID, birding by ear, habitat, breeding/nesting and migration characteristics of all the species that have been recorded in Washington state (about 500 species in total). I lead field trips for both Seattle Audubon and Eastside Audubon in the area and do volunteer bird survey work for the city of Seattle in their primary watershed, plus monthly bird counts in one of the major parks in Seattle.

In a way, knowing the birds well is a handicap as well as a blessing for drawing them from life I think. For most of the species in WA, I know very well what they're supposed to look like, so I'm highly sensitive to something being wrong about the drawing (bills are still giving me major problems for some reason). Obviously it's easier to get a good likeness from a reference photo than a live bird, so I haven't cut the umbilical cord yet. That's one of the reasons I jumped on this new forum - having the motivation of a regular journal will (I hope!) drive up my abilities at least a little.

My wife is studying to qualify for the master birder program as well, so it's a joint activity. Three years ago we re-landscaped our backyard from essentially nothing but bare lawn and (fortunately) seven fir trees to a bird-friendly yard with almost no lawn and a bunch of shrubs and some additional trees, plus a small recirculating stream. In the six years I've been keeping a life list for our yard, we have ID'd 85 species in the yard (this counts flyovers and 'heard-only' birds where the ID is positive).
__________________
John
C&C always welcome.

Website - www.johntubbsart.com. Art blog - www.jtubbs.com.

Last edited by JTMB : 06-20-2010 at 08:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 08:57 PM
robertsloan2's Avatar
robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
A WC! Legend
San Francisco, CA
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 33,558
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

John, that is so beautiful! I've seen photos of a Stellar's Jay, and you got it spot on. You captured a metallic look that didn't come through in the photos I've seen, that's where your experience really matters.

I did the same thing with multiple threads for different sketchbooks by medium. Even if the subject is the same, this one's all in Water Media, so it's different. I like being able to know which one's which and I've got five threads going which I was encouraged to do by moderators. So relax and keep your water media birds in here.

If you do any on loose watercolor paper, they probably ought to be in this thread though.

I've got my Water Folio in one, and Folio One which is the Moleskine sketchbook (mostly pen drawings), plus All Media Book which is getting full, Itty Bitty Book of Kitty which is themed on subject and a Scribble Sketch Books thread for "all other sketchbooks." So don't feel too bad about just having two, so clearly different!

I think it helps when it's a specific art journal to see it in order in its own thread, that's like leafing through that book.
__________________

Robert A. Sloan, proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Site owner, artist and writer of http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com
blogs: Rob's Art Lessons and Rob's Daily Painting
Reply With Quote
  #5   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 09:23 PM
DrDebby's Avatar
DrDebby DrDebby is offline
WC! Guide
Nowheresville, Idunno
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,034
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Stellar jays are very aggressive. Years ago when I had a cat, there was a mated pair that would nest in the maple in the backyard. They terrorized that cat. This is a very good likeness. The background and tree add a lot to the picture.
__________________
Debby
Guide - Fiber Art Forum My Website_My Etsy
Reply With Quote
  #6   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 09:40 PM
JTMB's Avatar
JTMB JTMB is offline
A Local Legend
Pacific Northwest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,336
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Thanks Robert and Debby! OK, I now officially have two art journal threads going... .

Hopefully folks won't mind me putting on my Audubon trip leader hat and opining about birds on occasion. So...

Steller's Jay is one of the most-misspelled bird names on the planet. It is with a 'er' at the end, not an 'ar' - it is named after a biologist who also gave his name to Steller's Sea Lions and possibly some other bird species as well.

Here in WA state, we have three resident jays - Steller's, Western Scrub-Jay and Gray Jay. We could possibly have a few Pinyon Jays in the far southeast area of the state, but they would be rare. Occasionally we get an eastern Blue Jay that strays into our state, causing a rush of birders to see it to put it on their state list of species. The Western Scrub-Jay used to be fairly rare in the state, but has been expanding its range dramatically over the last decade or so. It is now not all that unusual to see one or more in the Seattle area, and within ten years they will probably be fairly common. Gray Jays are the notorious 'camp robber' jays of the north, and here we have them only at higher elevations in the mountains or in the central and northeastern tier areas bordering Canada.

__________________
John
C&C always welcome.

Website - www.johntubbsart.com. Art blog - www.jtubbs.com.
Reply With Quote
  #7   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 09:58 PM
mhimeswc's Avatar
mhimeswc mhimeswc is offline
A Local Legend
New Jersey
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,894
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

85 species identified in your own back yard! Awesome!
Reply With Quote
  #8   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-20-2010, 10:18 PM
JTMB's Avatar
JTMB JTMB is offline
A Local Legend
Pacific Northwest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,336
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Hi Michelle,

Yes, we are fortunate in that regard. Although our back yard is relatively small (about 80 x 70 feet) and our front yard smaller yet, we have a variety of habitat nearby and also live on a ridge overlooking a valley that is a flyway for a lot of migrating waterfowl in spring and summer. We border a golf course, and the rough on each side of the fairway is good for some of the more open or edge habitat species. About a quarter mile up the course from our yard is a very nice water management pond and we get a good variety of duck species (and Great Blue Herons, and the sporadic cormorant) flying behind or over our yard to get to the pond. On the other side of the fairway is a heavily wooded, mostly coniferous (120 foot-tall Douglas Firs, plus some cedars and hemlock) ravine and so the mature woods species live there and fly to the yard to eat at our feeders, or we can hear them when they're calling or singing. There is a pair of Peregrine Falcons that has nested successfully now five years running on the cliffs by famous Snoqualmie Falls, which is only about a mile as the falcon flies from our place, so several times per year we see them in a snag near our yard, or flying over while hunting. There are lakes in the area so we get the occasional Osprey and Bald Eagle flyover, and in migration we get multiple species of geese, and we even had a lone Snow Goose fly over once. The best flyover ever was a flock of eight Sandhill Cranes.

A number of the 85 species, of course, are 'one-day wonders' in migration that just happen to stop in for a drink of water or a morning of eating before they head on elsewhere. I just looked at my spreadsheet and 12 of the 85 species we have only seen one time - the other 73 are two or more times. Our most recent exciting additions were a Nashville Warbler in migration (common in the mountains and east of the mountains, rare where we are) and a Lazuli Bunting male on two days (quite uncommon on this side of the mountains).

__________________
John
C&C always welcome.

Website - www.johntubbsart.com. Art blog - www.jtubbs.com.
Reply With Quote
  #9   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:33 AM
robertsloan2's Avatar
robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
A WC! Legend
San Francisco, CA
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 33,558
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

That is so cool you have such a perfect spot for variety in birds. I don't get many birds in my yard here because we have Zoe, a Siberian Husky who's very good at catching them. They learned to stay out of our yard or up at high altitude, which makes it a little easier for me if they're in the tree by my window. But still, I don't see as many as I did last year and I'm pretty sure it's the dog.

Sorry about that misspelling. I'm usually good at spelling but I'm bad at names, so that cancels out. I'll try to remember Steller's jay and Steller's sea lion from now on. Thanks for letting me know. I think I've seen the Stellar spelling so many times that's what stuck.
__________________

Robert A. Sloan, proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Site owner, artist and writer of http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com
blogs: Rob's Art Lessons and Rob's Daily Painting
Reply With Quote
  #10   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-21-2010, 11:45 AM
prismalos's Avatar
prismalos prismalos is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 186
 
Hails from Belgium
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Beautiful colors put together here, John! It's a great idea to move on to wc paper that can withstand more washing punishment. Keep up with the bird info too!
__________________
It's not GREEN! It's SEA GREEN! Check out my new project "Skeleton Society" ==>> The 29th Dimension

-Raymond-
Reply With Quote
  #11   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-21-2010, 06:23 PM
DrDebby's Avatar
DrDebby DrDebby is offline
WC! Guide
Nowheresville, Idunno
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,034
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Seems I misspelled it too. Sorry. I will correct that.
__________________
Debby
Guide - Fiber Art Forum My Website_My Etsy
Reply With Quote
  #12   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-21-2010, 07:14 PM
JTMB's Avatar
JTMB JTMB is offline
A Local Legend
Pacific Northwest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,336
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

Thanks, Raymond. Debby and Robert - no problems at all on the misspelling; I'm sure I misspell many things in my posts. I just did the post for educational purposes.
__________________
John
C&C always welcome.

Website - www.johntubbsart.com. Art blog - www.jtubbs.com.
Reply With Quote
  #13   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-22-2010, 12:17 AM
JTMB's Avatar
JTMB JTMB is offline
A Local Legend
Pacific Northwest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,336
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

I tried another gouache in the Moleskine, and it turned out so-so, but I figure I'll post the not-so-good with the hopefully-a-little-better tries.

This is a Spotted Towhee, one of my favorite woods species that is actually biologically in the sparrow family. In old guide books, this species was called Rufous-sided Towhee, but then the powers-that-be in ornithology split the species into Eastern Towhee and Spotted Towhee. The Spotted Towhee is the species in the western half of the US. The two species looks somewhat similar but as the name suggests, the Spotted Towhee has white spots and the Eastern Towhee largely lacks these. This bird has a range of vocalizations, and its contact note sounds similar to a cat meow. They are ground-feeders and (like some other species), they do a double-legged hop-and-scratch to stir up the ground cover and find bugs and seeds to eat. This species is what birders call 'skulky' - tends to be shy and is tough to get good pictures of.

This was painted from a photo I took in our yard several years ago.


__________________
John
C&C always welcome.

Website - www.johntubbsart.com. Art blog - www.jtubbs.com.
Reply With Quote
  #14   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-22-2010, 10:41 AM
ReggieS's Avatar
ReggieS ReggieS is offline
Immortalized
Ludlow, Vermont
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,822
 
Hails from United States
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

John, these are both great! I love the tree in the first one, terrific textures. We have the Eastern Towee here. They are always on the ground around the feeders waiting for seed to drop.

Reggie
__________________
Life is short so savor every moment!
Reply With Quote
  #15   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-22-2010, 11:26 AM
Whisperwood's Avatar
Whisperwood Whisperwood is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 779
 
Hails from Guernsey
Re: JTMB's Birds - Water Media

John, love the new journal so far! The Stellar's jay is lovely, love all the colors in there! And the towhee is "spot on"! We get those here also, both kinds, but wish we had the stellar's! They're beautiful!
So your favorite yard bird is Nashville huh? Pretty things! I get those here on migration every year. Being in TX most of our birds are migratory and just past through in Spring and Fall, but it helps with the yard list! I think my favorite yard bird (OK I have a few!!) would be Bell's Vireo... cause I just wasn't expecting it! I saw this little thing in the tree behind our house and thought ... "naaaa.... not around here..." although it looked like one, (I live on a little 1/4 acre lot, sub-urban) and practically dismissed it. Wasn't till 10 mins later while pottering around the garden I heard it! Unmistakable! I'm more of an auditory birder, trust my ears much more than my eyes! Sure enough it was a Bell's. I was soooo happy cause I love seeing the little guys every year in Big Bend.
My next best I think would be a Magnolia that came 2 feet in front of my face on a tree branch to "check me out"!! Curious little thing and just GORGEOUS! It was my pond that attracted him, as it does many. Creating a wildlife habitat is so rewarding! I also have mine certified with the NWF and TX parks and wildlife. It makes such a difference to the local wildlife and no place is too small. Like I said ours is tiny, only 1/4 acre total with house. :-)
Looking forward to seeing more your birds... great job!
__________________
Rachel
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:20 PM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.