A study in my various pencils – this is a common thing to do to get comfortable with the tools for the current project.
The Natural History Illustration course has been fun and a lot of learning is happening. Some of the homework included unfinished sketches demonstrating the learning techniques.
First activity was to work with natural items, breaking them down into geometric shapes, working their curves, etc. and this shell really showed me how rusty I am.
We then did field sketches of birds. Some people really finished them out. I need to spend time doing more of that, but part of my problem in the field is thinking things have to be perfect. I am working to let go of that and just get it down on paper first. Also, this was sketch paper and I knew better than to try watercolors, but did it anyway. It is a learning and reminding process.
I learned about studying flowers and how to turn them into geometric shapes (not pictured), measure, and make notations. This lesson was interesting, but I found it a bit too detailed for me. I love seeing these types of illustrations. I hate doing them.
This was about learning how to quickly capture form and essence of mammals. Now we are getting into my “love”.
We studied skeletal structure, which I actually found quite fascinating. I used one of our raccoons who was trying to get to our bird feeder as my model and tried 3 different gesture drawings for each pose. This lesson was real helpful and I enjoyed it immensely. I may be studying skeletal structures a bit more!
The preliminary blocking activities were very helpful. I normally jump right to this type of gesture drawing above, but doing the 2 preliminary gestures made doing this one so much easier and correct. That was an interesting ah-ha for me!
This was a practice on how to block off parts of birds using circles, ovals, and geometric shapes – which is difficult for me to do. We also looked at how their skeletal structure is made.
I am going to have to practice this a lot more and, for once, I am excited about practicing!
Sounds like an awesome course! I would love to improve my drawing skills with “natural” plants and animals. I get so impatient though, and then I get frustrated. Maybe I can pick up a few tips from seeing all you’re doing. 🙂
Keep an eye on the course and when it may run again. You may be able to audit it for free like this time. I highly reccomend it!
Is it an online course?
The link is in the article – the first sentence “The Natural History Illustration course…” I don’t know when they will run the course again, but this one ends next week.
When I clicked on the link… well, let me go back and click it again!
OK, I guess I didn’t read far enough. When I saw “Australia” I just assumed it was something that wouldn’t be accessible to me here in the Midwest US. It does look like an excellent course.
I am in Indiana and a few of my fellow Hoosier nature journal friends are in this course. As well as people all around the world.
Oh, great! I will definitely watch for this. I’m really starting to focus more and more on the connections between art and nature. I will enjoy reading your blog. 🙂
I am an avid birder. If you are on Instagram, I have a lot of nature photos mixed with my art.
I have Instagram but haven’t actually used it. I’m planning to use it for Inktober, so I will look for you, your birds, and your art. 🙂