Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bird Art Books

My current bird art books, for instruction and inspiration. Between these books and my art work I'm developing a greater awareness of birds. I'm now more likely to hear their songs and notice movement in trees.

Does one really need to know anatomy to draw birds? All three books cover basic anatomy--a featherless body, feather groups, beak and eye position, and feet details. Feather groups work for me and I'll present them once I get my "coverts" in order.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Birds with ink

I had an introduction to the dip pen during one of my Cornell courses. At the time, I found no pleasure with that out of control little springy thing. Nib stuck in paper. Nib stuck in floor. Nib stuck in hand. Never mind the ink blotches and spills.

I recently had a real urge to give it another go. I'm using a Hunt 108 crowquill with Higgins Black India ink. It's amazing the range of line width allowed by this nib. The paper is Strathmore Drawing Medium.

My thought was to develop an expressive line, one that could describe a real live bird and hopefully have the sense of not just a bird, but this bird.

Well, it will take practice to modulate the line width and ink flow! What I found so very cool was that I could develop a beak top in a single stroke. The possibilities...

I love this pose taken from a recent photo. There will be more of this little one.

White Breasted Nuthatch

Another favorite! They have the biggest blackest eyes! And that tuft, forever in motion.

Tufted Titmouse

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bird Art

Seemingly out of nowhere came an interest in drawing birds! Here are a few days of my first sketches. Many are from direct observation at my feeders. A few are copy work from b/w printouts of photos. I like using photos to capture interesting poses and help me practice accuracy.