August Artwork (Draw a Bird Day Roundup)

Better late than never, right? Life and work get in the way sometimes, but I wanted everyone to get a chance to see the amazing bird artwork so many talented bloggers posted in August for the Draw a Bird Day celebration!   A special thanks to Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd and all of our WordPress photographers for their beautiful work and reference images! In case you missed anyone’s post, here are the links to our participants’ bird celebrations from August:

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Michael of A Certain Line contributed whimsical mixed media artwork

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal contributed a brown-headed nuthatch in watercolor

Charlie at Doodlewash contributed a macaw in watercolor

Kerfe at Method Two Madness contributed a flicker in paint and collage

Jodi at Life in Between painted a pink flamingo in watercolor

Dawn at Brush of Dawn painted a crow in acrylics recently (I couldn’t find the artwork at your August link, Dawn, but love your crow too!)

Marcy Erb at Illustrated Poetry contributed some stork artwork

Cave Painter contributed a bald eagle in watercolor

Birgit Winter at Winter Art Blog painted a crow for us

Michelle Kogan painted a watercolor turkey

Carrie of Carrie Cordero Designs painted a tailorbird in watercolor

Jeanette Clawson at Lunanista contributed some mixed media swallows

Snehal Kank contributed a watercolor cardinal

Carolina at Yesterday After contributed a watercolor bluebird

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Teri of Teri’s Sketch Journal painted in watercolor a very colorful painted bunting

Beverly of The Art Prescription contributed some crows in brush ink

Annie of Annie Draws Things contributed a sweet bee hummingbird in watercolor

Carol of Carol’s Creative Papers painted a pileated woodpecker in watercolor for us

Alison at East Witching contributed watercolor cardinal art and at this link, you can purchase a print if you like

 

I hope everyone enjoyed creating and viewing my talented friends’ creations this month! If you posted bird art in August, and do not see a link to your work here, then either I made a booboo, or I did not have a link to your work underneath my August 8 bird post in the comments section. Please add a link to your August Draw a Bird Day post in the comments here, though, and we’ll be sure to add you to the list!

I am taking a blogging break, although I hope to return soonish.    Are we all celebrating September and the advent of autumn’s flaming colors and cool breezes?    You know I am!   Peace and Happy Football Sunday to all!

Graphite Bunny (100 Face Challenge, #70)

We have a pet wild bunny who escaped a run-in with a fox or some other predator. We’ve been leaving carrots and lettuce out for him daily, and he’s slowly learning to trust us, and plumping up nicely.     The reference image for this pencil sketch came from Brianna at Gold Hearts Blog; thank you, Brianna!     This was done in Faber-Castell 2B graphite pencil in my 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ Canson Universal sketch pad (which, IMO is the best bargain in sketchbooks out there for pencil and pen work at under $5 for 200 pages/100 sheets, and it even takes a light watercolor wash) (affiliate links):

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Our cameras aren’t super high-tech, but I may be able to share a photo if one of us gets close enough to snap one.   Ours is a precious Eastern Cottontail rabbit.   So I’ve become a bit obsessed with rabbits lately, and hope to improve on them in the next couple of months.   Speaking of furry critters, I really need to give a shout out to Rebecca Evans at Rebecca Evans Create.com here on WP.   This link is to her Hares page, and she is a magnificent artist, rendering mostly animals and birds, but other subjects too, in all mediums:  oil, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, acrylics, mixed media, collage, 3-D art; you name it.    You owe it to yourself to check out her site.   Her horses are spectacular too, but honestly, everything she does is incredible.   If I were ever to render an animal, any animal, the way she can, I would consider myself “arrived”.

I’ve decided to take a break from news headlines, particularly those about small men embarrassing my country on an all-too-regular basis, take a step back, and set my mind on things that are above, and that will fill up my peace tank, like God, nature, birds, bunnies, sunsets, flowers, trees, and beauty, wherever it lies.   So, not a break from art, but a break from pretty much everything else.   I need to really clear some space for prayer, yoga and meditation, things that will relax me and bring me to a healthy and more balanced place.    You may see me here and you may not, but hopefully I’ll have a post for Draw A Bird Day on Monday, the 8th!   I’ll be doing a roundup post, as well, with links to everyone’s bird art about a week or so after the event.

I hope everyone has a peaceful and restful weekend.     Go make the world beautiful, people!   Please.   We need you.   🙂

Let’s Celebrate our June Draw a Bird Day artists! (100 Face Challenge #64)

I want to thank Michael Emberson of A-Wing and A-Way, who informed the WordPress community about the April 8 Draw a Bird Day holiday just over a year ago. Many of us have been celebrating birds on the eighth of every month since!    A special thanks to Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd for her tremendous photos, including this recent one I’ve rendered with a 4B pencil below.   Kathy, you’ve spoiled me.   And kept me very busy with your many amazingly detailed (and often sassy) images, thank you!    In case you missed anyone’s bird art, here are the links to our participants’ artwork this month:

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The ladies at Method Two Madness contributed a verse and a mockingbird (Kerfe) and a parrot (Nina)

Judith at Artistcoveries contributed a watercolor scarlet tanager

I recently found Dawn at Brush of Dawn through Judith, and she’s done some lovely bird paintings – here is her owl and the raven I fell in love with (and not just cause I’m a Ravens fan)

Deborah at Circadian Reflections contributed a watercolor killdeer

Carol at Carol’s Creative Papers posted her watercolor pelican, inspired by a recent trip

Jodi at Life in Between painted a blue heron in watercolor

Susan at Susan Feniak’s art contributed a watercolor heron too!

Jeanette at Lunanista contributed a cardinal as part of an altered book

Teresa Robeson contributed a palila in watercolor marker

Teri at Teri2Creations contributed a bat in watercolor and pastel

Jill at Jill’s Art Journal contributed three mixed media whimsical birds

OutsideAuthority contributed a textile bird

Myriam at Myr’s Bites contributed an ink and marker Anna’s hummingbird

CavePainter contributed a robin in mixed media

Carolina at Yesterday After contributed a girl with a bird in watercolor

Charlie at Doodlewash doodlewashed a duck in watercolor for us

Ann at Ann Christina contributed a bluethroat in watercolor

and last but by no means least, Quinn Creative contributed an incredible minimalist word collage of a crow

I want to thank all of my talented friends for helping WordPress fly once again!   I hope you all enjoyed the artwork from my talented friends this month! If you posted bird art and do not see a link to your work here, then I did not have a link to you or your work underneath my June 8 bird post in the comments section. Please add a link in the comments here, though, and we’ll be sure to add you to the list!

Next month, July, is now World Watercolor Month, thanks to the magic and amazingness of our friend Charlie at Doodlewash! Let’s give Charlie a round of applause! So for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to post a few things I’ve learned about watercolor, experiment with some different colors, surfaces, brushes, etc. and share some of the wonderful YouTubers I’ve discovered that helped me out in my quest to learn the watercolor dance. I’m by no means an expert, but I really want to help Charlie promote World Watercolor Month (because isn’t it just amazing he got this done?!). He paints one watercolor each and every day and is nearly up to 365 days in a row of doing this, a feat all its own, but he’d like us to join him by posting a watercolor painting each day this July. I will try, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself, can’t risk strangling the muse, but I know he would love it if we could join him in the fun next month. *waving my pom poms on Charlie’s behalf*

Happy Almost Weekend to all, and enjoy the birdies today. Peace.

A Friend for Life (in Between): 100 Face Challenge #63!

Ever since drawing one of Kathy’s blue jays in ink for June’s installment of Draw a Bird Day, I’ve been drawing more than painting. Pointy implements, please!    I couldn’t resist a recent photo of Jodi’s dog Charlie at Life in Between over breakfast….and by dinnertime, I was off to try this photo from last September as well.   I dare you to resist these gorgeous images of a soulfully beautiful animal!   I enjoy drawing animals, dogs in particular, very much.   Their whole life and all of their love sits in their eyes, and what could attract an artist more than that?!

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Hub and I love baseball, but it’s not always the most action-packed event on TV.   So I’m sharing last night’s “fun in the sketchbook while watching TV” with you this morning. This was done with a 4B pencil in a sketchbook recommended to me by Kirk at Dumb Sketch Daily.    It’s called a Universal Sketchbook and it’s made by Canson.   And I LOVE it! Why? It’s 100 sheets (so, 200 pages) long (longer than most), it’s inexpensive (currently $4.50 at Blick for the 8 1/2″ x 5″ size, perfect for drawing in my lap, as I love to do), lightweight, and it works well for pencil, ink, colored pencil, conte or charcoal, even light watercolor washes (as shown here).

I think what I love the most about this book is that it’s so inexpensive that I’m not afraid to “waste” it.    I will try subjects that are way too big for me.   I’m not afraid to make an ugly drawing or waste the beautiful paper or mess up the lovely book I bought.   You know?    Yet, it’s an inviting surface that works well for most mediums, so I often surprise myself by how the sketches turn out.   Jill of Jill’s Art Journal encouraged me to keep a daily art journal last year, and that tip led to daily drawing nearly every day since last May.   You would only need 2-3 of these little books to take you all the way through the year (I often use the backs of the pages too), and it’s a nice little companion that travels well.    It’s spiral-bound, with perforated pages.  What’s not to love?   I wouldn’t have even attempted a foreshortened pose like this last May.   Now, it’s a fun challenge.   Perfect result?   Heck no, but I’m steadily improving with a daily practice.

Drawing is a really inexpensive pastime.   And it’s a fun way to record snapshots of your life.    Date each entry, and watch your skills improve.    You will be blown away by this practice!    The only other thing you need (IMO) is a kneadable eraser.     It felt funny to use at first, and way too much like something artists use (and I was much too timid to call myself an artist), but you will be glad you got it.    These things cost less than a dollar.    And to start, just use any #2 pencil you have lying around your house!   So, for under $7, what have you got to lose?    People tell me I’m talented.   I can assure you, I’m not.   But I practice.   I practice almost daily.   And it makes a HUGE difference, as you’ll see with each page turned.    (Note:   your purchases from these links help to support my site.)

If you try this, please let me know how you’re doing with it!     If there is anything I can help you with, I will.   Since having a child over 25 years ago, nothing has changed my life more than a regular art practice.   It will heal and transform you in ways you can’t expect – all wonderful!   I shall jump off my soapbox now, but I just had to get this out there!   Jodi, thank you for sharing your photos of your lovely Charlie.

Peace and a happy, creatively wonderful weekend to all!

Happy Draw a Bird Day (March): Wood Stork (#55/100 Face Challenge)

Happy March reprise of Draw A Bird Day!  Time for art is running short these days, but I was recently inspired by a photo of a wood stork by Donna at Bay Photos by Donna and had to try a quick sketch in Neocolors after work last night.   Thanks again for the inspiration, Donna!   I also want to thank Kerfe and Nina at Method Two Madness for hosting DABD once again this month.

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I hope everyone is enjoying an early spring with warm breezes and the promise of tulips just around the corner.   Peace.

Charley, You’re So Majestic! (#54): 100 Face Challenge

Sometimes a photo of an animal immediately grabs me and I must draw it right away.  Johanna at Colorpencil2014 recently shared a gorgeous photo of her dog and I jumped into it right after dinner last night.

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What a stately, gorgeous animal! I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with this beautiful dog and my mixed media art journal last night. Thanks so much for sharing your photos, Johanna! I hope you enjoy!

Happy Weekend to all! I hope you make some time to do something that fills you with joy and satisfaction today. Peace.

Spring Colors

I recently discovered a new blog called Broken Castles here on WordPress, and the images and poetry there are quite poignant. Aries graciously gave me permission to use this black and white photo as a reference for my artwork, and so here is my loose interpretation, in the colors I love best.

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I started with an underdrawing in 2B woodless graphite, and then added (you guessed it!) Neocolors. If I would have been going for a realistic result, I’d have chosen a different medium entirely (and paid more attention to form lol), but the Neos once again allowed me to quickly capture my feelings about the subject and get them down on paper.   This is why I love them so.   Thanks, Aries, for allowing me to use your lovely image!

I hope you enjoy, and that you’re anticipating the weekend with twitching tailfeathers! Peace.

Hippity, Hoppity (#53): 100 Face Challenge

Could Easter be on its way?! Maybe, now that there’s a frog on the screen. One never knows.   I want to thank my friend Donna at Bay Photos by Donna for a wonderful reference photo of my little amphibian friend.    I’m so inspired by my photographer friends here on WordPress!

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This was done with a Derwent drawing pencil, as it was the closest thing around.   I really enjoy drawing with them, love the buttery smoothness, but I wish they erased better. That’s what I love about the Polychromos colored pencil: you can erase almost every color they make, unless it’s really dark. Nice bonus when working in color!

Happy, hoppy Thursday to all! Peace.

Blossom

I couldn’t resist this photo of a magnolia bud shared by Bert and Rusha at Oh, the Places We See.   Some amazing photography at their site; please check it out!     Thank you, Bert and Rusha, for sharing your magnificent work with us.  This is my interpretation, in colored pencil and graphite:

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I hope you enjoy. The crocuses are blooming and Lady Spring is indeed on her way. I will likely be blogging less often between now and April 15, which is my busy season in the office.

I hope you’re enjoying the blossoms wherever you are. Peace.