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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Do you think gesture drawing is helping you with your observations? What have you noticed about your subjects that you might not have, if you weren’t gesture drawing?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Johanna23
      This is fun but very hard work of the hand, eye and brain.  I was watching a squirrel and saw so many different interesting postures. I noticed that the proportions or lengths of tail, legs and body varied greatly depending on the action.  So, when climbing a tree the body seems to shrink; the tail flick shortens the tail; holding onto a tree with legs spread makes legs seem much longer etc.
    • kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kattykort
      This has been a good practice for me. I am outdoors a lot and have really struggled with capturing an animal/plant on paper without the help of a photo. This exercise is giving me a new way to put things on paper. I notice a particular way the animal stands or move on different terrain and positions they take. Gesture Drawing
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ainwena
      I think gesture drawing will help me improve my eye hand coordination while drawing.  I think I focus on the shape for sure more than the details on the interior, which helps me draw a bit faster.  I feel slow though, so this is going to need lots of practice.  Also, it is hard to get proportions with moving subjects.image
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      May-A-A
      While observing outside  to find something moving to capture the movement on paper, I spotted a humming bird and a pigeon. My cat joined in this morning observation session!   gestures drawing-Nov-6
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      amykarst
      Alaskan Red FoxesIMG_20201029_194454256
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      amykarst
      Gesture drawing is certainly a challenge. I need to press harder and trust myself more that I can do this! The duck sometimes looks animated - a mixture of what I saw and what I thought I saw.IMG_20201029_192024370
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      MartaOli
      Gesture_drawing2_MartaGesture_drawing1_Marta Gesture drawing is helpful, hard and fun, all at the same time. I'm learning to draw the "idea" and not worrying with details. I noticed contour, movement and specific details.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      LindaWorden
      Jester Drawing I need a lot more practice on this task.  I found it very difficult at catch actions on paper.  The birds were so fast moving around.  The moment I put down the pencil the bird moved to another position.  I did get a chance to really take in the behavior of the birds, so that was a positive.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jenneve58
      Practice gesture drawing off a short video of my Sebastopol geese. It helped that the video was about eight seconds and I played it on a continuous loop. The are very expressive with their head and neck gestures.image
      • Linda
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        LindaWorden
        good idea!  I will have to practice with a video and then return to the outside. thanks
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kimmie06
      Gesture drawing helps me to trust my hand eye coordination is working on a level that is quicker than I realize as I can get basic shapes that are fairly accurate in a short period of time.  It forces one to consider the geometry that is implied in all shapes throughout nature.  The 30 and 60 sec gesture drawings were much easier than the fox movements.  That one was particularly frustrating to capture as both moved at intervals of a few seconds.  I think if I find some videos of nature and practice this technique more, it'll become easier to capture movements.
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      May-A-A
      I noticed that gesture drawing make me focus more on subject and try to capture movement quickly. When looking at the drawings, I noticed that o mech is revealed that I did not pay attention to when I was looking. It clarifies movement in an interesting way. Also, it shows postures and give a hint about behavior. I will keep trying this technique in my future drawings. Below are my drawings while watching the videos for this course. 1 2
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjessop
      I sat outside with my dogs long enough, that the hummingbirds kept landing in the branches above me to sing! (I was near the feeder) Eventually the cardinal and other birds popped in.  They kept moving, but as expected, they repeated a lot of the same positions.  I started seeing the shape, and dark vs. light.  Observing with the purpose of gesture drawing, made me notice the same shape and pattern on another occasion.  I was reading a workbook, but looked up and saw a hummingbird and was able to make a quick note on the page - the line of the tail and wing, and where the darks were.  We strengthen the muscles we exercise!     IMG_3305IMG_3285
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      jigoe2
      I think gesture drawing is helping me to see shapes of subjects that I need to get first in order to capture what I'm looking at.  I found it hard to do that when the subjects move a lot - like the kit fox.  I had to watch that video several times.  Gesture is helping me to stay looser with drawing, instead of getting lost in the details.IMG_5767
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      benjaminboies
      IMG_7935IMG_7934 I don't know if it's gesture drawing or the course in general, but through these exercises, I am definitely practicing everything we have learned so far: comparing tails, shapes, colors, identifying the light, remembering specific traits, organizing the page to my liking to leave space for annotations. It's not easy but I watched the fox video 4 times to do my drawings. I can't wait to try it in the field.
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      rimuridge
      Gesture drawing is super helpful. It requires courage! The biggest thing I've noticed is that I am having to work out what shape identifies the subject much more quickly than when drawing something still e.g. the overall shape of the subject down quickly and seeing where the detail is helpful to work out what it is and what it's doing.  I am looking forward to seeing improvement in these skills - I can see how practice will be required.IMG_20200906_134452IMG_20200906_134417IMG_20200906_134429
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Mswearin
      D1B3B769-6FD2-4221-BAF3-B0C4A8241648 The usual suspects were nowhere to be found in my yard today. The local pond had more options for gesture drawing. The vultures were gathered on the far side. The geese apparently wanted a close-up so I obliged as they stood motionless—not comprehending my gesture assignment! I did get an entire page of small hieroglyphs—the distant vultures. I’ll go back early morning and get a closer view/better sit spot and try again.
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      lumifox
      My foxes turned out really badly at first, so I had to redo it, the second a small bit  better. The birds were much easier, because I draw birds a lot.image
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      charliewest52
      Behavior of the animals
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Liz Temp
      As a beginner in drawing in general, all of the exercises are challenging to me. Gesture drawing requires lots of focus and concentration. I also realise the benefits of practicing blind contour drawing in preparation for gesture drawing as you need to sometimes draw while looking at the subject.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      KimMeyer
      IMG_20200813_221116 There's often a huge flock of geese (>75 birds) grazing on grass shoots on the banks of the Neckar in Heidelberg. I've been wanting to check them out up close for some time and this exercise was a great incentive. I learned so much sitting among them watching. They move like dinosaurs! There are at least four breeds sharing the space (greylag, swan, Canadian, and Egyptian) - though they keep to their own within that space. There are individual birds among the swan geese that steer the entire flock with honking calls; the breeds have quite different sounding honks. The air was filled with the sound of their grazing!
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      Gesture drawing helped me to realize how much motion is in wildlife.  It is really hard to capture it in a sketch.  I think the blind contour drawing has helped me to capture these skittish creatures.  The Blue Jays, squirrels, cardinals were a real challenge. I noticed their behavior is more detail that I had never noticed before. Great lesson!
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      2020-08-08 - Gesture Drawing #22020-08-08 - Gesture Drawing #1
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      The duck was easier, it was closer, it didn't move as much and I am used to draw birds, but the foxes were more difficult for me, so I tried first stoping the video just to have an idea of which were their main features, then, I  played the video several times and and tried to concentrate in only one of them to gasp its gestures. IMG_2785IMG_2786
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      BDaleoArt
      Regarding gesture drawing a live or moving animal: if I keep at it, I will catch a moment or an angle of head or wing or tail that is distinctly that animal’s movement. That is satisfying...looking back and seeing what the animal is up to.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      patofvta
      20200721_135944 Conture DrawingGesture drawing was very helpful in the field.  It took some time to begin to see the angles of the wings, to figure out the movements, what they did to take off and to land, but the more I practiced the easier I could see.  I was pleased with the fore-shortening when the Gull flew toward me.  My best experience was when I parked and just sat there and focused on the birds for an hour.  I needed lots of the birds so I could start and stop until I saw a repeated patterns.  I picked gulls because I have a problem identifying species. I noticed that flying posture can be totally different between species.  I also could identify classes of species very quickly from a distance.  I felt it was almost easier to be at a distance to capture gesture because if I could see detail I would slow down and try to record the detail over the gesture.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      Of course gesture drawing causes me to pay more attention! I think that I chose an unfortunate subject to try in the field: dragonflies. I thought birds could move quickly, but they are slow-pokes compared to dragonflies. Dragonflies were fun to  watch, but they also made me dizzy since they moved so fast. The birds at my feeder were a little better to observe. Gesture Drawing
    • joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      puffin2
      Catching an entire bird before it moves on is a challenge, but it is fun to try.IMG_2346
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      judithblue
      Challenging; fun to try to capture their movements. I think it will help put more life and character of each animal in our drawings. Thanks for posting these fun videos
    • اليازية
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      Alyazia
      IMG_6681IMG_6682Gesture drawing did help me observing the birds -- Yet, they were too fast to be sketched. I kept my camera and phone away (cause I have this tendency of photographing and videoing the birds to be able to sketch them later) I forced myself to just sketch with my pen or pencil. I thought of sketching the shapes only - then I went deeper to observe each part of their anatomy. Their heads, their legs, their "closed" wings and "opened wings. I also was able to focus on their gestures while drinking water, specifically speaking, how their bodies' bend and how it rise while drinking. I've didn't give it much of thought before. Luckily, I noticed a Dove in her nest above my head. There were lots of branches between us , but I tried to get her eye while looking at me :) I have noticed the uniqueness of the house sparrows's black marks on its wings -- both males and females. I've never noticed / or better said / never thought of it until I was sketching their closed wings while standing. Real-life sketching was a bit hard because they were flying away at the minimal movements. Also, they were far away and small in size, I believe this made me sketch tinny sketches :/ It just occurred to my mind that I tend to pick tinny small creatures to sketch.. I'll look for a much larger bird next!
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      ScottA010
      Hi, I tried to write on my last photo with picture and made a mistake; submitted without writing something. I sent a gesture drawing I did of a webcam online as there wasn't much activity when I was outside at my feeders. this i found that I was more focused than the pin-tail Duck moving around on the screen. I am feeling more relaxed and will continue to practice outside. The drawing I did was at the Cornell's Webcam that was recorded last week with a lot of activity even a Baltimore Oriole eating an orange. This is fun!!!  
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      ScottA010
      DSCF1611
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      livingsystems
      I've done gesture drawing with a live model in a pose, but trying to capture a moving animal is really challenging!!IMG_0443
    • Leonora
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      noniebird
      4011BC54-BAE2-4CF9-8AC8-3ABEE58EFD7D
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      DEA6A87B-DE3F-41E7-A426-0F259C90EAAF This was definitely a hard exercise/lesson to do for me. I was very stressed with the one minute & 30 second time limits that I just had to step away from drawing for a couple of days. I am not comfortable with the being messy/loose technique. The two minutes limit & just sitting & doing the gesture drawings at the feeders were more comfortable and relaxed for me. I do feel & think that gesture/behavior drawing has helped me focus on more specific things during my observations. I have noticed specific movements & patterns/rhythms the animals do. While this wasn’t my most comfortable task, learning to be gentle with the results & learning how to master this skill is definitely important. I will be incorporating a daily gesture drawing in my journaling observations & experiences. Like all skills to master, it takes practice, practice, practice.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Gesture drawing video fox and birdGesture drawing video
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Gesture drawing with squirrels staten island, ny
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Gesture drawing with moving subjects cornell lab
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Gesture Drawing with ducks 2020
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Great Kills Park
      Gesture drawings are helping me observe with purpose and I am seeing geometric shapes in all my subjects, because it allows me to focus on my sketch thinking about proportion to the whole. By reducing the whole to parts and doing a quick outline I can capture movement and detail in a shorter amount of time.
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      It is definitely different from a still subject which I knew that about the birds in taking photos of them. The photo you plan is completely different pose by the time you snap. I observed an interesting move by a bluejay this morn on the top tier of my feeder. He appeared to be jumping up and down. I had never seen one do that before. I think my feeder station is going to be a great practice for gesture in real time if I can just put my camera down long enough. It has never occurred to me before to pick up my sketch book and try to sketch what I see at the feeder. I plan to really work on it. Thanks for a good lesson.
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      It is very difficult at the moment to do a gesture drawing. they move very fast. I do not get which point I need to start drawing when they move fast.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jirwinromo
      On the last few exercises, I am finding I need to keep my images smaller, quicker and not to spend too much time on any detail. The red fox with kit was hard-I think mammals seem to have more moving parts than birds. Yet the duck preening had a lot of action. Since it's a cold day outside and I had limited time, I turned on the Cornell Lab bird cam to do a little more practice on a live scene. That was fun - still hard but in the comfort of my home! D492FEE0-3B7D-4E58-B443-28BBF9CFF66B_1_105_c
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      ajsibb
      I happened to catch a period when the feeder was very busy, the twenty or so birds seeming frantic to feed themselves, each other and those in the nest. They were rarely in one position for more than a second. Though I do see repetitive gestures at other times, today they seemed rare. I found it tiring today. Trying it on the Caspian terns (below) the other day was marginal better as the number of subjects were fewer, but they never stop moving. In both cases, I was discovering things and my eye for details was improving. IMG_20200505_130035
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Dibujo gestual 1Dibujo gestual 2Dibujo gestual 3 I practice sketching the birds that perch in front of my house and at the bird feeder in my garden. A new one is coming: yellow-bellied elaenia (friends help me with the ID). Sketching is a tool that helps me making observations, it is easier to rembember later the shape of the bird and its behavior.   You can make later a finished drawing with all the new information.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      62C41D79-AF9D-44AC-8E07-3CF2BBB1D377
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      This exercise was very valuable for me - so many helpful tips and reminders. Need to practice, practice, practice . . . I was really glad to hear Liz say, “And sometimes when I’m out in the field I pick my favorite drawing to refine, and I add more detail later.”  I often sketch birds, who are almost always moving at least a little. Somehow I had the impression that Nature Journaling meant that every drawing had to be completed in the field, and that it was sort of ‘cheating’ to refine them later! Below are a page from this course exercise and a sketchbook page from last fall. 1C1FBE53-A6E9-45A9-BE6F-28655D7F56BB7BFC110F-174D-4E45-A966-E26AA15FB822
    • Giuliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      giulianacpferrari
      It was insightful to realise small bits of details that maybe would be captured in slow-paced sketches, maybe not: the angle of the tail or the arched back of the fox; the elongated hands and arms of the frog; the bulkiness of the elk. And although with the video gesture drawings sometimes I was frustrated from having to abandon the just-begun sketches with new poses, it was actually quite fun to capture those basic characteristics WhatsApp Image 2020-04-24 at 16.58.29
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Peckalot
      These basic skills are important and with constant attention they show the skills forgotten or passed over in the time you were and are drawing. Refreshment is not easy but is rewarding.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Peckalot
      IMG_0360IMG_0359
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jenny
      IMG_4849 I found that I need to relax into this practice.  Just keep my hand moving.  Shapes go awry and move on to the next thing.  It is also fun to find a shape and develop it a bit.  Remind myself that it is about the process and not the result.  It takes courage to keep going when some of the shapes are so off the mark!
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      RoseLouise
      I’m having a lot of trouble with this- so tempting to pause the video, but I resisted. Tried to focus just on mama’s head, then just kit’s head. I plan to practice this a lot more. It’s hard to get loose enough and keep that pencil moving.  Enjoying the challenge.
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      dtfoise
      This exercise helped me really relax into drawing - normally, I am tense about getting it right.  Interestingly, working on the gesture instead of fixating on drawing the subject allows me to relax and sometimes the subject looks more like the animal than if  I had worked toward the perfect drawing.  I have been erasing alot of my marks every time I draw so it has been a frustrating experience ie. make a mark, that's not quite right, erase and then try again.  When I work on gesture drawing, I focus more on the whole animal as opposed to a "photograph" of the subject.  Also, Liz really encourages folks to have fun, which I find helpful for me.
      • Giuliana
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        giulianacpferrari
        I honestly think that's why this lesson was so surprisingly fun! Once I was obliged to just keep drawing, and had 30 / 60 seconds to make my marks, there was no time to use an eraser. So I had to keep going, and once I started relaxing I discovered I was enjoying it a lot. I also have this issue of becoming tense so it's nice to see a change ^^
    • Avery
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      boxturtlestudio
      Hi, Although gesture drawings sometimes  look a bit messy, they do help you observe and record behavior and field marks. Sometimes one or more sketches turn out really nice. I decided to try gestures of insects on spring wildflowers, both quick sketches and ones that took a little longer. 20200416_12294020200416_10261520200416_102624Sometimes,  I go over the pencil sketch with marker, and colored pencil.
    • Matt
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      mgoldberg
      This is a technique that will take a lot of practice. It did help me to capture a bit about behavior and variation in body positioning. But there was so much movement, I found myself abandoning sketches before it began to look like anything that made sense. IMG_5990
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      nstevick
      IMG_20200411_162257557 I have to look at my gesture drawings with a sense of humor. Some of these drawings look like foxes, but others look more like deer. I wouldn't have noticed the similarities in the shapes of these animals if I hadn't done gesture drawings. Also, I paid more attention to the shape of the ears and the placement of the eyes relative to the ears and nose. The kit behaved so much like a puppy with fast, enthusiastic movements. The mom is molting, so I noticed where she had new and old fur. Gesture drawing makes me look more carefully at general shapes and notice behaviors, even if I can't capture them on paper.
    • Suzy
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      slyttle
      Gesture drawing feels a bit crazy to me! Its almost stressful but fun at the same time. I don't like bailing on a drawing after the subject moved but it is nice to hop back and forth if it is repeating behaviors. I think gesture drawing is helping me pick out simple shapes in body, head, tail etc. I notice I try to hone into the detail right away instead of just getting the overall picture. I also like seeing the behaviors. I usually would ID the bird and move on. This is helping me slow down and enjoy all the hopping and bouncing, and preening, and eating, and and and :).
      • Matt
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        mgoldberg
        I agree.... I don't like bailing on a drawing either. I found myself starting lots of little sketches and having to move on before it made any sense.
    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      mvasquezgrinnell
      It is making me practice being loser and more focused on impression rather than details. It means you can capture a lot of what is happening and then combine/refine that information down the line. You notice lines and shapes a lot more, and perhaps the specific lines and shapes that you need to focus on for that subject rather than more of the details like fur, or colors, etc. It took a few minutes for something to pop up outside since I was in front of my apt complex, but eventually I spotted a crow to draw. It is really challenging to start the gesture drawings but the longer you work on it the better is is. IMG_0544
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      colleencc
      Well I definitely did better with the ducks and with birds than with mammals such as the foxes (which were incredibly cute btw), which is probably due to the fact that I have had a little more practice with drawing birds although I clearly have a long way to go.  I practiced drawing doves at our feeders -- there were eleven of them today -- from the window inside as it was still pretty chilly but they were close enough and busy walking around so they gave me plenty of poses to choose from.  I really hope to learn to refine this ability, in particular to learn how to pick out the relevant lines that help define the subject and delineate the movement so that in just a few lines the whole can be captured and clearly communicated to the viewer. I have noticed that even when you think your subject is sitting still -- they are not.
    • Leah
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      imchickadee
      I think that gesture drawing helps me with my observations, like how I heard a House Finch singing, but I didn't know where it was. When a finch came to my feeder, I saw that it was singing because its throat was moving and very puffy too. If I wasn't gesture drawing, I wouldn't have paid more attention to those details.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      IMG_7063Grey squirrel on a search and eat expedition at one of our feeders provided practice opportunity this morning.  I still need to practice more and the drawings of his face need a lot of work, but he was fun to watch on the ground, not on the feeder as he usually is.
    • Bill
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bill.kehoe
      What a blast when I nail the posture!  It's starting to happen more frequently.IMG_20200401_165434
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      This was a very exciting but also a little bit scary ecperience! I never tried drawing like this. The trick here is to focus without  thinking too much.  I have to cut out my mind and to rely more on my body intelligence. It is just like learning to swim or to ride a bike. It’s hard in to get on top of it, but once we are there our eyes and body will guide our mind.  The motto is simple: I just keep practising and I trust that, just like a flower, this skill will unfold  naturally ..Sketchercise wren Sketchercise fox
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kheiss
      9AB5D650-4AA4-4625-A10A-F5DFB098672F_1_201_a
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Lindabeekeeper
      eagle I enjoyed the different stances that the eagles made.  How they used their shoulder muscles to pull apart prey.
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Juancho73
      photo_editor_ds_1585168826865
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Juancho73
      photo_editor_ds_1585174907970photo_editor_ds_1585165573892photo_editor_ds_1585165620981
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      susangreta
      Gesture drawing was easiest with still subjects! The foxes were amazing but I had to replay many times to get the drawings beyone one little jot! Here are also my bird feeder drawings, that was also hard - especially the birds, very very fast moving. More success with squirrels, also moving but repeat motions. The woodpecker was the most successful to try to draw. I think it's helping me with my observations as I am better able to predict what the next move will be, with the squirrels and the speedy birds. Also more observant of the markings, which I've been pretty lazy about in the past - like, what kind of woodpecker? IMG_2355IMG_2356IMG_2357
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kheiss
      I’m not quite there with the video or bird feeder yet, but if they would just stay still for a minute I can do it. F19C751B-72F7-4F29-91BC-014E21AEE67C
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Pamfooh2
      I'm beginning to get the shape better.  The questions you ask yourself and put on the page are fun!  While watching the birds, there must be either a hawk or owl around because there is not one squirrel anywhere! I need to keep practicing - the foxes are fun but really really hard.  I do that many times.  I'm better at birds.Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.40.07 AM
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      David Santos
      This gesture drawing makes me a bit more concern about what posture to draw. I think I need to practice more to get faster on paper, and to drop faster the subject when in move. Maybe doing more drawing without looking much at the result. In the vídeo of the foxes the rounded shapes of the puppy was a thing I noticed but couldn't put on paper. Also the shape of the ears in both animals was a point of focus but not well translated on paper. Last thing I notice was when the adult fox lay down the tail is the "same" size as the body (I know that's an illusion). I also add my drawings from the vídeo of the birds on the feeder. The titmouse was too fast for me. The woodpecker was good for drawing the doves allow me to get various sketchy intents. 89924299_883174258816200_5303922437442764800_n90513956_2521011284803812_6497343963232468992_n
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      tonilp
      This was really hard! I got bogged down early on in details of the adult’s face, but then I loosened up and quickly captured the kit’s nuzzling the adult’s face. I finally paused the video at the end so I could draw the pair hunkered down together. F0DA3F61-B99E-4D79-8265-29624140EA84
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Bee Kay
      Nature Journal_gesture drawingNature Journal w_liz I found that with my attempts at gesture drawing I tend to try to do some refining of my sketches rather than continuing on to the next subject.  I see the importance of getting the gestures down as accurately and as quickly as possible because the subjects move so quickly, such as the song birds and squirrels that frequent my yard.  I've included 2 pages; the 1st page has to 2 parts, the top half shows gesture sketches from a window overlooking my bird feeders (that have been taken over by red squirrels) I've tried to capture a few gesture sketches of red squirrels, chickadees and woodpeckers, the bottom half of the page is from a walk in my woods this morning showing scenes from a tree trunk with moss and some kind of mushroom that dried out and puffs out powder when you flatten it, another scene is of geese flying overhead.  The mushroom or toadstool, whatever it is, leads to a great question as to finding out just what it is and why it puffs out a brownish powder, questions that lead to other questions that need answering.  The 2nd page is from the video with Liz at the bird feeders in Sapsucker Woods. The fox video was very hard to follow as the baby fox was so active. That one was really a challenge. All in all I think gesture drawing is a great practice for every session or as a warm up.  I think it is quite fun to do.
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Bee Kay
      While trying to gesture draw I find myself stopping frequently to refine my marks rather than going on to the next quick sketch. But I can see the importance of doing it often and trying to catch a movement on paper that I would otherwise miss.  I think it's rather fun to do.  I've included my sketches, the 1st is the video with Liz doing her gesture drawing while at the bird feeder in Sapsucker Woods, I watch the same feeder via Youtube, also on that page I've included the Fox video sketches which were very difficult as the little fox was so active.  The second photo is from my window facing my bird feeders.Nature Journal_gesture drawingNature Journal w_liz
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      clairehaas
      With gesture drawing, I noticed a lot of details that I would probably have perceived as  stereotypical.  For example the eyes of the adult fox were not round, but more of a line, a squinty kind of look most of the time.  Also I noticed how bushy the adult's tail was in comparison to its molting coat.  I wondered if the bushiness of the tail was because the fox could still use it to keep warm when curled up,  if the weather turned cold, which I imagine it can in Alaska.  I noticed that the coat of the kit was still filled in and not molting, probably because it is young.  It may not molt until much later in the season, or not at all til next spring.
    • joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      BlueJz
      D74F9CCD-43AF-4C83-AFFE-71670F66508A
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        kheiss
        Alligators are a great choice!
    • joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      BlueJz
      98ADD305-5843-4077-9533-09BFF88186EC
    • Tanis
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      tanislynn
      Gestures happen so quickly that you can only capture a part of it. It makes me focus on how they are doing something like the position of the kit's legs when it is tumbling. I found myself pausing the videos so I could capture more of the action. When I took photos of the birds at our feeder I tried to stop an action and draw from it later. This exercise helped me move beyond looking at colours and markings to thinking of their anatomy when it is moving.DSC02293
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juan Jo
      So much because I can catch the essential of that thing. Some movements and gesturing IMG_9544
    • Christy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      cesmahan
      20200228_100001
    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Pikagirl
      87285317_10221196005192551_7516154710294790144_n I was at the zoo the other day.
    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jjessop
      Did these sketches on two different days, found that the exercise helps me notice characteristics of behavior that are missed in taking photos. It is freeing to not worry about detail, yet look for the lines that define the subject. I need much more practice but it will be fun to do! Duck Squirrel
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      suzukiawd13
      IMG_20200207_214118~3 This is a sketch, with oil pastel/crayon type colorings. A duck, creating ripples,paddling on the way to the shore. A Movement. A mix of realism and impression/expression.
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      suzukiawd13
      IMG_20200207_170937~3I was better with the longer sketch. I need time to space and measure. Next up is a duck, crossing a river, towards me. As my movement sketch. Getting better, each try.
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Pannesutherland
      Gesture drawing makes you focus on the whole subject but at the same time you see more details where u are drawing
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      suzukiawd13
      20200203_145113
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jalexaphotography
      Gesture and contour has helped a lot. Because we did the contour first, I found I was watching the subject more. However, that made some of my gesture sketches cartoonish, but close to the subject. I can see with practice how this can get better. I also think gesture sketching has a vibrancy to it on the page. It gives the feeling of the movements of the subject you are trying to capture. So even if it doesn't look exactly like the subject, it looks close enough and it looks like its moving on the page.
    • Maggie
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      maggiewuts
      The red fox and kit moved so fast!  Looking back I see I captured some interesting positions that I might never have noticed otherwise.  It's winter here and there aren't many birds on my feeder so I practiced from on-line videos.  My favorite was gesture drawing 2 baby rabbits playing in a field.  I regularly draw domestic rabbits and the familiarity made the gesture drawing easier for me.  Maybe that's a cheat :)  This was a good exercise for me that I can't wait to practice in the field.  It's helping me observe details without getting too caught up in getting them on paper.rabbits gesture drawing
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      ptfojut
      WIN_20200112_20_30_21_ProWIN_20200112_20_30_04_ProWIN_20200112_20_29_43_Pro   I struggled and continued but I see progress as I noticed shape and position, turning the head. It is worth it.  I am finding details I didn't look for when listing and observing without sketching.
    • Jenn
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jfreeda
      I loved being reminded that animals go back to similar positions and it's possible to still capture them while moving.
    • LeslieAnne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      lasanford
      F0F93072-222A-4C6D-A908-79549DE5BBBB579535B7-298D-488E-8FBB-F951504C0677I found that gesture drawing helped me to focus on the general outlines of the subjects and their movements. I found myself using the blind contour technique first, with some looking, to help quickly sketch the general outline of the bodies and motions and then used short sketchy strokes to fill in a bit of detail. I think the loose and quick aspects of this technique help me to just jump into the process without overthinking and focus on the overall shapes and activities.          
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pbieraugel
      Pretty fun and informative for my future sketching in the field. I was wondering how I was going to capture animals on the move and I have the beginning of a technique. My drawings turned out ok but didn't have much depth. The ones that did I am the most proud. For sure it is my biggest challenge is creating depth and perspective in my quick drawings. I love it when I "accidentally" capture the look of an animal. Here's to more happy accidents!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      nancyjleonard
      IMG-0178IMG-0179This is a great exercise!  The short time allowed really increases focus.  IMG-0177
    • Terri
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      littlehouseontheprairie
      Fun exerciseIMG-0479!
    • Madeleine
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      mlenagh
      Looking out the window at the feeders. Much more challenging than the duck! After the second try some sketches started looking like birds. What did I notice? How the shape of the head in relation to the body seems to define the bird. How different beak shapes are. How the little ones rarely sit still.IMG_1705
      • Madeleine
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        mlenagh
        Infuriating birds! I only have time to set one line and they're gone again. Maybe time to move on to the next exercise ;)
    • Madeleine
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      mlenagh
      Well, the 1-minute sketches from stills weren't bad, the 30-second ones a bit more challenging. But sketching that moving duck was hilarious! I had trouble even identifying my sketches as ducks. I did become aware of the fact that the gestures were repetitive, that helped a bit (if I could find the original sketch quickly enough). IMG_1703
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BirderCheryl
      I really had to pay attention to the shape of the birds' wing, beaks, etc., as they moved. As I realized I didn't get much time to record each position, I had to decide what was most important to record.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      FourMileCreek2221
      As I practice, I am becoming increasingly aware of the light on the subject
    • Craig
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      cmflyer
      I think this will help me with observations as a get more comfortable and relaxed with gesture drawing. It's hard with animals that you have never drawn before, but maybe that's the whole point. To draw them you have to observe where their ears are, for example, and the proportions of their body. Definitely helps when you loosen up. I started doing more of that with the bird cam. I noticed, however, that it seemed like it was a cool, damp morning there, and the birds seemed to be a bit lethargic, lucky for me!IMG_1455
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      donnacnh
      gesture drawing of birds at our feeder today during a snow storm.  added in the feeder and some garden fence over some birds.  A good viewing and slowing down to identify some of the birds. P_20191202_151411_1_1
    • sondra
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      sondralynne
      This was hard and I will need loads of practice to do this well.DC292284-E63D-4628-8D5D-5C4F6F286CE3
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      dchaffner
      My house wren was hiding on the opposite side of my bird feeder. I kept drawing the feeder and captured his motions when he appeared.image
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      BartelsBirders
      Well this was definitely interesting! In looking back at the gesture drawings made from the videos I'm pleasantly surprised to see they actually bear some faint resemblances to what I was looking at. Also noticed that in an effort to focus on the quickness of the  gesture, the size of my drawings are huge, often filling the page and all mostly much larger than the size in the videos relative to the full screen. Having 2 minutes to gesturize the Pintail Duck was a luxury and yielded satisfying sketches because I was able to capture multiple positions. On the other hand, the Red Foxes were moving too quickly for me to sketch much although, yet again as I look now at the drawings there is more there than I initially realized. Absolutely the best part was going outside to our deck and gesturizing the birds that came and went at our feeder, plus some birds hanging out in the bushes and trees, and a squirrel or two on the ground. Perhaps because Liz shared her bird feeder page with us, I found it easier to make my sketches smaller and fit lots of gestures for multiple birds on two pages. As with so many other things in life, it's Practice, Practice, Practice! Because I am not in a hurry at the bird feeder, being quite content to sit and wait and watch, when a bird alights on the feeder the gesture drawing gives me an opportunity to appreciate the portion of the bird that is being sketched; it lets me hone in on the uniqueness or specifics of the bird. Those observations might not make it into the sketch (my eye-hand reaction is nowhere near as quick as it needs to be to gesturize) but they make it into my visual appreciation.
    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      pattonmd
      I'm slowly learning to like gesture drawing, even though I've long recognized its value. I'm not sure if I'm really learning to settle with imperfection yet, no matter how much I theoretically believe in process process process, practice, practice, practice, revise, revise, revise. But what I really am beginning to enjoy is drawing lightly--to capture the arc of a movement, a turn of a head, a lifting of a nose or beak. That suggestion--just going for that--I'm beginning to find it not only edifying but entertaining. :)
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Ravon43
      This was a very difficult exercise for me. All of the animals around my feeders move at super fast speed. I found just sitting in a cold sunny spot was as enjoyable as trying to capture the critters on paper. I agree with others it would be better to have ducks, Canada geese and bigger subjects to observe and draw. The sun is also a factor. It is easier to have the sun at your back. Having access to a nature area or preserve would also be of help. It all takes practice. The suggestion of watching a nature cam was a good one. In our area there is an osprey cam, but I will have to wait until next spring to watch. IMG_0685
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      amy_jay_bee
      I got a kick out of my jumping fox drawing because it has so much energy. The pic of birds on a wire I’m posting not because it’s a great drawing but because I’ve always thought birds on a wire were all the same and in 2 minutes I produced proof that they aren’t. They move around, they face different ways, they have different postures. I’ve been doing a lot of bird sketches and every time I see something new. 7A552388-0E3D-4010-8690-31AF92DD03FCA331B8E6-6983-48D4-BB90-066EA6DFA0CC
    • Millie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Trichophyton
      IMG_2486I I am having fun doing this. Snow has been coming down for two days and I love that I found a nice indoor spot where I can look at the animals walking/flying eating near the window. The cats also seem to be very happy, with me joining them to watch some cat tv haha
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      donnacnh
      Gesture drawings from our highway travels today.  Moving vehicles similar and different.   image
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      ebirdtgill
      I found gesture drawing very interesting and was surprised a few times on what I was able to get down based on what I saw or observed--these "surprises" were perks to keep at it.  I can see how using these glimpses would be useful leading into a more refined rendering. I noted that subjects (thinking birds specifically here) look so different depending on the angle and position, I've always thought about a classic "side pose" or "wings spread in flight" as a way to depict a bird (such as our first exercise). Doing these gesture drawings of pictures of animals in motion and then actually watching animals in motion I started noticing interesting details and positions that would be nice to work on.  I can tell this will take some time to become useful in the field or as "studies" for more structured works.  The quick drawings don't require setting time aside for a full "art session" to apply our developing craft.  Looking forward to some in the field opportunities!gesture drawings
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      LindaMizzell
      IMG_1336I have be practicing and used the Cornell Bird Cams to observe. It was a challenge! I found myself repeating the fox video and captured just small amount at a time. With the constant movement, it proved to be the most challenging. I will definitely continue to practice.
    • Mary Jo
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mp2162
      IMG_6203 I have been practicing trying to capture some of the birds on the videos provided on the Cornell website.  I am enjoying learning more about the birds and find it really challenging to try and draw them.  
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Erin Eliza
      I love trying to capture postures and movement. This is an artistic skill I have felt was beyond me and is something in other's art that always impresses me.  Whimsical and real.  I started really loose and had fun with the exercises.  However, I decided I needed to try the foxes twice - once in real time, and once using video-pause (my eye-to-hand skill is a little too novice for that young one's constant movement, so the pause helped me see).   I then used our dog as the open gesture assignment... initially, pretty easy -- apparently, we are incredibly boring and much of her day is spent resting... so then I used a video clip (and some "pause") to try to capture her in play.  It was a little weird when I started tightening up again - seeing elements I didn't like, so I realize I will need more reps of this skill, but again, I absolutely love trying to develop this ability. Thanks so much for the tips. gesturedrawing-video
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      mickelboro
      Squirrels are plentiful in my yard.  They use the trees as a highway to go up and down the street.  This time of the year they are down on the ground alot.  I guess they are preparing for winter.  TDSC_9460here are so many of them, it made for a good subject for the lesson.
      • Pat
        Participant
        Chirps: 12
        ptfojut
        Nicely done, I am watching squirrels now and will try to get their many positions on the trees.
      • Paul
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        pbieraugel
        I like those! They remind me a little of mine. Some seem to totally capture the animal's sensibility (some of mine look totally flat LOL). I've seen so many squirrels take those postures. Nicely done.
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pegs-birder
      E34A7F6A-2948-42CF-A486-AD5B982D0E8BI found Canada Geese to be one of the easier subjects for practicing gesture drawings because the don’t scare and they move pretty slow. I attempted to draw a squirrel but that turned out to be more entertaining than productive.
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Carlin70
      I find that gesture drawing helps me pay attention to smaller details.  I enjoyed this exercise very much.  I think I have tried to draw with too much detail in the past and it has made me think that I am bad at drawing.  While I think I may still not be very good at drawing, I have a new view of drawing - sure I may never be Rembrandt, but drawing can be part of what I do and can be fun for me.  The weather outside is bad today, but I plan to employ this technique at the first chance I get outside.
    • Joannie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      galjag
      I found that I try to draw too much detail and need to learn to gesture draw the outlines of the subject.  Gesture drawing is bringing my attention to the dimensions of the subject rather than the small details markings.  I definitely need to practice gesture drawing more to get past the learning curve.  But I like it and hope to get better at it.  Practice, practice, practice I guess.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Sustra
      The thumbnails are so tiny it's challenging to put the detail in after the fact. I will try this making a larger gesture page and then add the details. Pintails have such lovely feather detail. Detail was added 10/22/19 SAM_1496Pintail and gesture
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      margsea
      imageimageI really enjoyed trying to capture the constant shifting and moving. It felt as though I was getting to know the animals better than I would have with a photo.
    • Kati
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      KatiJackson
      i really love gesture drawing because it helps me stay loose. i find it fun to try and keep up with the subject, but also note that it can be frustrating. In the fox video, the kit is so active, and i really wanted to capture that playfulness, but when they won't sit still, it can be really tough!   IMG_8750IMG_8749IMG_8748
    • Christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Chris2019
      IMG_6209 Here's how I refined my 1 minute gesture drawing of the wren!
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        Sustra
        Turned out really well.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      donnacnh
      I used my dog this afternoon, this is hard to do but fun in effort and challenging my observation skills.image
      • Paul
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        pbieraugel
        I draw my dog too! Sometimes he doesn't move for an hour making it pretty easy.
    • Montecito
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      favelasco
      It helped me identifying quickly the basic shapes of the animals (foxes) and details like the head shape, ears, but just the shapes. that way I draw just the basics like the triangle of the face and ears. Also i could see the straightness of the front legs and the size of the tail. It was hard to draw them because they moved so fast. The duck was more easy for me. IMG_4587 IMG_4588
    • Christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Chris2019
      IMG_6187 Challenging! 30 seconds to draw an - Elk? - but wow, loads of fun! Then trying to capture the pintail making all those elegant preening motions! Had to force myself away from drawing what I know and drawing what I see.. I think this is almost like stop-action photography and captures the life, the movement of a bird or animal, with such simple lines... thought I'd share my scribbles to encourage others - if I can do it, anybody can do it!
    • Christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Chris2019
      IMG_6184IMG_6186
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