This has been the year for sketching the birds I am photographing and spending time watching all the youngsters figure out their big new world. I started last fall doing the above types of 5 second sketches.
I like to use ink for the initial sketches because it forces me to capture their essence without overworking and overthinking it. Perfection is not the aim and ink is always full of lines that can not be erased, so that forces my letting go of the OCD side of my personality.
This month I started spending a little more energy on the initial sketch then adding various views of the same bird in pencil. We have had so many Downy Woodpecker babies this year that I decided to catalog them to see who sticks around. Did you know that you can tell them apart by their head stripes? It has been fun and very illuminating to learn about these individuals visiting my feeder.
Note: I have been naming them only because it is easier to talk about them with a name versus – “you know, that one with the squiggly stripe…”
Still looking for someone who has experience creating reverse glass painting with ink and oils. Also found some old photos, which make for a great TBT (throw back Thursday).
Below: Table at the Broadripple Art Fair which happens every year at the Indianapolis Arts Center. This was during my Native American phase.
Close up of one (date is 1993). I placed them with a shadow box type of backing so that the oil was not up against the matte board. This added shadows and depth.
The only way to get to know a subject is to study it. Over the years I have taken copious photos of hummingbird moths, but until I started doing these fast sketches, I don’t know that I really had seen them. Gorgeous little creatures about the size of the end of your thumb.
My favorite pen for fast sketches is the Micron 05. I am branching out and trying others too. It is amazing how awkward that can feel.
I also used a Copic brush this week for the chickadees below. It has been a long time. I have some work to do with that tool to get back to some level of comfort.
An exercise in “seeing”. I call these my 5 second sketches and am challenging myself to do them daily.
In using a Micron pen, it keeps me from attempting to perfect the sketch and just move on.
I am studying Indiana backyard birds that winter over for some oil painting I am working on.
Do you notice the Golden Ratio in everyday things? Periodically I receive a pleasant surprise when I am not looking for it.
And then other times… not so pleasant. This little curled up opossum landed in my garage trash can this past week.
We found a happy home for him in the woods, but I couldn’t help but notice nature’s perfection, even if it was not as perfect or cute as my cat. (Ok, so I am biased.)
This has inspired me to dive into a book I have been wanting to read for some time now. Now I get to practice using the Golden Ratio in my creative endeavors.