Draw A Bird Day in January

Tweet Tweet!    Check out those bird feet!   hehe


I’ve been sketching sketches from the book “The Bluebird Effect” by Julie Zickefoose. I found this on page xxiii of the introduction and couldn’t resist trying it. This was painted with my Cotman travel palette, drawn in Pitt waterproof pen in the Canson universal sketch pad. I was amazed at how well this 65 lb. paper took a light watercolor wash! It sold me on these books (which are under $4 for 100 pp. at Blick)! Hard to beat that.

I find I learn something every time I intentionally copy something another artist has done, particularly when there is pen work involved.   This book has been a big help to me, because she has tons of small illustrations (all her own artwork) throughout.   The book is worthwhile for those alone, but if you’re interested in birding, her stories about birds are wonderful.   I highly recommend it.

Happy FRIDAY to all!  Fly, be freeeeee!

73 thoughts on “Draw A Bird Day in January

      1. I agree – it’s like tutorials. Those feet are really amazing! This little drawing belongs in a book! I picture it in a sweet old fashioned children’s story book 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Kirk! I fell in love with it too, which is why I copied it! Her illustrations are so cool and that book is worth reading. My library had it. Kerfe has also read and liked. I know you’re getting more busy than normal now, but you may really enjoy it! Her book is full of her artwork and each is more appealing than the next. She is a naturalist and her stories are wonderful, by themselves.

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      1. Just ordered it–our library had it as well. I love her title and the subject intrigues me. I’m glad you are like those Canson pads. I’ve got several (at strategic locations around our house) and continually grab at them to make a quick drawing.

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        1. They are wonderful! I could not believe how well this sketch turned out, given the paper was pretty thin. I think that recommendation may change my life, because this year, I may make one of those books my organizational partner. All notes in one place, thoughts about my drawings, to do lists, helping me focus on goals for the day. Thinking of trying that this year. I have a Day-Timer but that stays in the office. This would go everywhere else. Thanks again, Kirk. I’m glad you are going to be able to pick up this book!

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  1. Awesome! What a beautiful copy :-)! I’ve been thinking about copying some of the drawings in that book too but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I love that you picked one of her baby bird sketches. They are so darling with their feather fuzz, big eyes and funny beaks.

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  2. I agree, Laura – bird feet are a challenge! Yours look perfect, my tweet! 💖💕 And the book looks interesting – maybe in the future. 😃 Happy Friday! Are you dancing?! 😍🎉🎨

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  3. Really nice bird, Laura. I’ve just been discussing using references for painting and was surprised at the answer by a new artist friend of mine. Now I am really confused as to what you are allowed to paint. Surely you can’t learn how to draw a bird without a reference. For example I have a huge book of birds at home and I was going to paint most of them as much in my own way as possible. Do you think I shouldn’t especially if I want to sell them? Thanks

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    1. Boy, Catherine, I wish I knew and could tell you. Have you tried the site “Paint My Photo”? If you google that one, all of the photos there are posted with no restrictions on usage for artists (as I understand it). You do have to be a “member” but I believe it’s free. Something to think about maybe? I hope this helps.


    1. Thank you so much, Ann! This actually reminds me of something sweet that you might choose to do. It has that endearing glance that so many of your subjects have. I was happy with this one, so I had to share it. Her illustrations have been fun to work with. Glad you love it so much!

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