Studying Raymond Sheppards own field sketches my pencil drawing stayed faithful. One I prepared the saucer of ink I went my own way. Inspired by Magpies, Jays and Mockingbirds these sketchbook drawings had the secondary benefit of improving the harmony between brush and pen.
Mid-summer calm, green pond invites a rich list of birds near our home. Along the Northern edge standing tall and alert we watched this Double-Crested Cormorant. Wings in mid-stretch from behind show off feathers called scapulars. This group, where wings meet ribcage, is where I focus my pen drawing.
Pair of young Indigo Buntings molting A new fountain pen I am still learning to use. This is a Pilot Custom Heritage 92, fine-medium nib filled with Iroshizuku Take-sumi ink. The nib is softer than on any other pen I own. It requires more attention and care how I put down lines. There have been … Continue reading Juvenile Indigo Buntings
We spotted about a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos last week. I'm a little fascinated at how the same bird has a range of variations. I've been spending more time studying anatomy and the feather map. Juncos make for great reference.
I've spent the past few days thinking about this pair of Mergansers that visit a nearby pond each year. A quick internet search will return more photographs of the male and its signature white on black full crest. Drawing these crests can be deceptive. Male or female I was tempted to draw one big circular … Continue reading Hooded Merganser
I'm late sending out holiday cards stuck on what bird to paint. I remember a friend sent me a photo they saw online of a strawberry finch. A Saturday afternoon watching videos of these dramatic and unique finches resulted in this drawing. I used a little permanent gouache for the bird's striking spots.
As the name implies this is a smooth looking bird especially when alert. It's tempting to treat the chest, wing and mantle as one volume. I didn't get to do much drawing today so this was a welcome meditation.
This was a satisfying pencil drawing and then I decided to try a gouache stain over parts of it. I immediately regretted it but kept going in the hopes of salvaging the sketch. It's a sketch in a sketchbook. The point is to allow room for mistakes.
They're fairly common but get confused as just another little brown bird lumped in with sparrows. A little stocker in appearance even when the feather groups tighten up when they are on alert. I didn't get too deep into showing their barring on the wings and tail. I may have actually played them down a … Continue reading House Wren