Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. ~John Quincy Adams
OK, so yesterday I posted a “how to draw a bird ‘lesson’ “, which I believe is probably the “correct” way to approach a bird drawing. I just have a little confession to make. Most of the time I’m too impatient, and so I just dive right in and forget about sketching in the basic shapes first. If I’m in the zone, it might work out (for the most part), but if I’m tired/cranky (which is pretty much the same as being out of the zone), or if the art gods have gone off on vacation that day, then it won’t. And so I’d have to scrap it or do a lot of erasing…and if I was working with a very dark colored pencil or ink, I wouldn’t really be able to erase.
So, case in point: here are my very first sketches of Kathy’s terrific rose-breasted grosbeak photos. Here is the first one. We’ll call it the impatient one.
See how the bird is kind of short and fat and the head is pretty small? It looks like a totally different kind of bird. (If I knew my birds better, I could say which, but it really does look like a specific bird I wasn’t drawing.)
So, here is the same subject, but with the oval head and body shapes drawn in first. The head and body are now more in proportion to the real thing. (You can still see the original shapes in the sketch, because this really was just a very preliminary sketch. I’ve only done one other grosbeak, and I had never even tried to draw one prior to that. So…still trying to get my hands around this species, so to speak.)
Part of the challenge for me with these guys is I have yet to see one in real life. Hub has seen them (they’re on our “rarely seen” list), but I never have. Which makes trying to capture him on paper a bit harder, I think. Anyway, I shall press on, but I thought this might help or interest someone out there.
Kathy, if you’re reading this, I’ve drawn six of those birds in your grosbeak post so far! I am soooo enjoying your images. And I just wanna say that all over again to all of my photographer friends out there: your work really makes life easier for “artists” like me who are NON-photographers. I find the success of the final piece of artwork is directly proportional to the crispness of the photo. I guess that goes without saying, but some of the portraits I’ve tried never even made it here because the photos were taken long before all of the newfangled gadgets came out that allow better-than-real-life viewing. I’m amazed by what technology can do.
Speaking of technology, I was searching on YouTube today for tutorials about sketching birds in pen and ink. I only found a few, but along with those, I found this video on drawing birds (for any medium), by the author of the book I recommended yesterday, John (Jack) Laws: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jV7TVUJdHw This one is definitely worth watching, in my opinion. (Warning: This guy takes drawing birds pretty seriously!)
I also wanted to plug another nature photography blog, where you’ll find tons of inspirational birds, flowers, landscapes, you name it: Http://philipschwarzphotography.wordpress.com
Happy beautiful spring Tuesday to you! Go in peace, not in pieces (thanks, D).