This is Notch – I think she may be a first time mother. She has at least 2 babies so she got bold enough to come up to the deck. It seems they get hungry about this time of year. I also see them in the deep winter when the snow is thick. Otherwise, they only visit at night. How do I know? My tomatoes growing on my second story deck keep disappearing.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak’s have been plentiful this season. I have my own photos, but a friend, Steve Bradley, took one of a male that truly inspired me. I used his photo for my painting and one of my own for the female.
First I practiced drawing them since their big old beaks were a new shape for me.
Then I tried the male on my Mom’s Mother’s Day card/letter. I decided I liked that so well, I did the couple in my nature journal (the first image above.)
I have begun a perpetual nature journal. However, I am an IT consultant and this week I was switched from many years working from a home office to 5 days smack in the middle of downtown Indy. What an adjustment. So this will curtail the amount of nature I am observing, but I still have the weekend bird count for Cornell University. Feeder birds may be the main pics until I can get out on a weekend.
This particular week I did a couple of prompts but mostly simply practiced mostly from my own photos except on the two specified. I have to retrospectively
#7 Enchanted was some quick gestures of a Carolina Wren that enchanted me on my hike at Ritchey Woods over the weekend.
#8 is Frail – I was busy illustrating a comment on Facebook, so skipped this one and drew the hippie chicken above. However, I kept thinking of our frail ecosystem. Maybe I will revisit this word.
# 9 – did not use a prompt – Whitetail Deer Photo reference – John Baughman – https://www.facebook.com/JustJohnsNature/
#10 no prompt – Blackpoll Warbler Photo reference – Jining Han posted on Indiana Birdography
#11 – no prompt – one of our bunnies that live in our wild wood. I called him Notch.
The remaining day was spent sketching with a pencil. I worked on a child’s face and also on Christmas ornaments over the weekend. I did do some quick gestures in ink that are in a random sketchbook somewhere.
A commission for a graphite drawing of an office building as a gift for the owner turned into a watercolor, which they chose.
First I figured out which vantage point to take with this long, low building. Then I mocked up the basic lines to make sure I was good with that decision. Next, the pencil drawing. I am not a fan of my pencil work. So on to ink and watercolor, urban sketch style. I was happy and so were they.
Thanks, Moser team, for pushing me into doing some urban work in the middle of my oil and Christmas season. Fun!
This year I did not finish out the month strong – 2 things happened. I began volunteering for Providence Wildlife Rehab and I started getting more Christmas orders than was in my plan, so any creative activities need to go that direction. And I can not show those.
However, I did do some warmup exercises that I thought you might like. The subject was one of our Educational Ambassadors, a Screech Owl named Red.
So goodby, Inktober! You have given me some wonderful projects for the upcoming year. Now if life will just give me the time.
For the word, Precious, I had to do my newest nephew, Isaac. However, I am not confident with portraits, so I worked him up in graphite pencil first. Then inked it. I plan to keep working on more portraiture, because it is such a challenge with great reward when you get it right.
Flowing is in process. Cruel was next. I did a fast sketch just for fun and have no intention of reworking it. I did not like this prompt until I thought of how cruel it is when birding to discover a wonderful one was behind you the whole time. In this case, a Sandhill Crane. I shared a throwback to last year to show I really can draw these birds. Cartoon style is still a struggle for me.
I skipped Whale and went straight to Guarded. This was a very technical drawing, so I sketched it first, then inked it.
We ended on clock, which did not inspire me, so I skipped it. I am batting a low average this Inktober. 5 last week and 4 this week. We will see if we can’t beef that up next week.
In Week 2 I began to feel glimmers of my inner artist really showing up for the party. Above was my interpretation of Star, which was a breakthrough concept piece for me, since I was illustrating a Native American legend.
If you break a cottonwood tree small branch at the circular growth line, and it is not too green or not too dry, you will find a star.
Image from: My Wishing Rock blog
The Arapahoe and Cheyenne tribes believe this is where stars are born and the wind sends them up into the sky. I love this and that is where my concept piece was born.
Another legend says this is where stars hide during the day. The Lakota use the cottonwood in their Sundance ceremony as the tree of life because of this. — reference: Mom off Track blog
The idea of the three trees is taken from three of the cottonwoods I grew up with along the drive to our barn (and I used a reference photo to capture some of the branch placement.) I have a strong affinity for these trees because the sound of their leaves in the wind winds through every childhood memory of outdoor play like a ribbon through my hair. The sound transports me every time, and now I have another reason to love these trees.
Inktober 2018 started out with a bang that has continued to reverberate on the Facebook page for these past weeks – controversy over what words really mean. The very first word was “poisonous”. We saw a lot of drawings of snakes, which are venomous, but not, technically, poisonous – so I commemorated the heated discussions that arose with my own submission. It was quite funny to watch the conversations on a page of with 40k international followers. Hopefully it was instructive for those willing to learn and they took it in good part.
These are poisonous red mushrooms found here in Indiana – it is my desire to watercolor my inked pieces this winter. I want to do a whole series on Indiana mushrooms.
TRANQUIL – I could not make up my mind on on this prompt – so I did a series of tranquil quick drawings as I played with ideas. This is as far as that went, and it was very enjoyable. I love doing these types of sketches. Good warmups.
ROASTED: Another mushroom – this one is good roasted, I am told. Hen (or Chicken) of the Woods. Again – this will work better when painted. I will probably re-do it and make it bigger. These are beautiful variegated orange mushrooms. I am on an Indiana Mushroom page in Facebook and saw where someone harvested 80lbs of these. It has been a big mushroom year with the warm, humid weather.
SPELL – this one is a favorite. I plan to do a series on State Park and Natural Preserves that we visited this year and especially the paths that lure me into those day long treks. This is the one in Pine Hills going up to the Devil’s Backbone.
CHICKEN – this one ended my first week because I was not worth anything for about 2 days. I went to my first colonoscopy and I had put it off for years, like the chicken that I am. Glad it is over. It seemed appropriate to commemorate that since it landed on the same day as this prompt.