The Perfect Couple (#37 & #38): 100 Face Challenge

This post from Robin at Robin’s Robins really caught my eye a couple of weeks ago, and I finally found a moment to quickly sketch this pair of mallards.  Aren’t they sweet?

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This was done in 2B graphite with a touch of Derwent Graphitint pencil added.   I’m finding I like those Graphitint pencils as much to simply draw with as when they are activated with water.   (They are basically water-soluble graphite pencil with a touch of color in each.)   The tones are muted, so they’re particularly suited to nature and landscape work.    Do check out Robin’s blog.   He takes lots of wonderful bird photos, and I think you’ll really enjoy them!

I don’t have as much time for blogging as busy season cranks up, so if I’m not in here daily posting, I didn’t disappear, and won’t be away for long.   Take care and enjoy your Wednesday.   Quacks and peace to you.

European Eagle Owl in Profile (#34): 100 Face Challenge

I came across an image that grabbed me by the throat recently at Paint My Photo. The photographer is Paul Sherman, and his wildlife images will wow you.

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This was a quick “I should really be sleeping” type of sketch, but wouldn’t it be amazing to sharpen a whole bunch of colored pencils and have a go at a detailed painting of this gorgeous photo? Here is a live link to the image. You will have to setup a free account at Paint My Photo to view it. If you’re an artist, it’s worthwhile. The photographers there graciously share their work with the art community, which is a beautiful thing indeed.

Who’s dancing? Time to splatter and splash in big splotches of paint this weekend! Peace.

Playful Color

Now that our friend Jonas has packed up and moved on, and the sun shines once again, I just felt the need to have a play with some color!   Let the sunshine in!

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This is Inktense blocks and Neocolor II crayons, with a little help from a white Gelly pen in my 9×12″ Strathmore mixed media journal.  I’d be very curious what Jill of Jill’s Art Journal and Lin at Breathing Space would do with something like this.    They are wonderful mixed media artists.    Maybe I need to just sit on it awhile?   I’m tempted to add large-ish circles.  In white.   I don’t know.   Would love to know what you all think.

I can’t believe it’s already Thursday.   The week is flying by!    Happy Friday eve, everyone…….I hope to roll out a raptor for tomorrow.   🙂

Backyard Bird Nerd Bluebird (#31): 100 Face Challenge

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been struck by Kathy’s photos at Backyard Bird Nerd. She recently posted a series of bluebird photos that begged to be sketched. If you are interested in birds at all, you owe it to yourself to check out her site.

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My Polychromos colored pencils once again helped me out with this little sketch in my Strathmore mixed media art journal. I may just have to make time tonight to sketch the whole bunch! I just love bluebirds, and Kathy captures them from every angle. Sometimes they look so disgruntled, which always makes me laugh. Thanks again, Kathy! You are a huge blessing to us all!

Stay tuned for another famous face tomorrow. Not an American and not a sports figure! Woo hoo! 😀 I just hope I can resurrect it…….we shall see if the portrait gods are with me! Peace.

Redbird …. or not? (#18): 100 Face Challenge

I want to thank Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd once again for inspiring me with a lovely photo of a cardinal.    I almost didn’t add color to this, but I did think to take a photo beforehand this time.  🙂

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What do you think?   Better with, or without?  It’s nice when we can look back at an image, or see the stages along the way.   I often go into a creative trance and forget to take photos during the process.    I love color, but sometimes those pen lines look fine as is, and the color can be a bit much.   I’d love to hear your thoughts.   I believe this was Graphitint and Inktense watercolor pencil, and a General’s sketch and wash (water-soluble graphite) pencil.   With Copic 0.1 mm fineliner underneath.

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And I hope we are all joining the birds today in whistling a happy Friday tune!    Peace and pigskins (that’s football for my friends outside the States) to all!

Pine Warbler (#16): 100 Face Challenge

If you ever need a bright spot in January, just head over to Kathy’s place at Backyard Bird Nerd, where I was met with yet another stunner last week.

011316Birds were the first thing I became interested in drawing when I got started over a year ago, and I think they are still my favorite subjects.    I got help from Derwent’s Graphitint and Inktense lines of watercolor pencils with backup from a General’s Sketch and Wash watersoluble graphite pencil and a touch of Polychromos colored pencil to finish!    Not to mention an amazingly clear, crisp shot of a wing-ed masterpiece!

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pine warbler in real life.   Isn’t he a beauty?    Thanks again, Kathy!   Happy Wednesday to all.   May yellow birds of happiness follow you everywhere you roam today!    Peace.

Birdies in my Reader: 100 Face Challenge (#14)

There are many photographers here on WP whose work I’m privileged to see daily, and one of my very favorites is Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd. Her recent post of three stunning bird closeups had me itching to grab a sketchbook.

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I’m focused on faces this year, but I really liked the perspective of the bird in Kathy’s photo, so I sketched a quick outline, then went back with Derwent’s Graphitint and Inktense watercolor pencils to liven it up a bit. I also used a General’s Sketch and Wash water soluble graphite pencil for a bit of depth in the eye and beak.   (I really like those pencils in particular just for sketching with Strathmore’s mixed media paper.   Lovely creamy feel to that pencil.)

I want to thank Kathy for her friendship and encouragement, and for helping me and many of the other artists here out with reference photos for Draw a Bird Day every month! So I’ll be featuring several of her photos this week.    I also want to thank my friends Kerfe and Nina at Method Two Madness for hosting January’s edition of Draw A Bird Day.   If you’d like your artwork to be included in the compilation this month, post a link to your work here.   We like to celebrate our winged friends on the eighth of every month!

Happy Monday, and just think…..the days are getting longer every time the sun rises and sets. Spring will be sprung before we know it! Peace and plumage to all.

Draw A Bird Day in January

Tweet Tweet!    Check out those bird feet!   hehe

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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!

100 Face Challenge: Mallard Duck (#4)

The best thing about blogging on WordPress is that we’re all constantly surrounded with tons of inspiration coming at us from every direction. This post at Bay Photos by Donna recently caught my eye, and I just had to attempt to draw this mallard head.   It was a magnificent close-up head shot!   It was calling….um, quacking my name!!

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I like the ink drawing ok, but this is a face that begs for watercolor.   Don’t you agree?   How could any painter resist the beautiful colors in his head? I ran out of time to paint today, but aiming for a more colorful version of this beautiful bird next time out.   Thank you, Donna, once again, for your wonderful and inspirational photos!

Happy Sunday! Do more of what makes you happy. The world will be a better place if you do! Peace.

 

Materials Used:

Superfine Pitt Artist pen in black

Strathmore Visual Journal – Mixed Media format