• 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: 22
      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: 22
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    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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
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    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 44
      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
      Gesture drawing video fox and birdGesture drawing video
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Gesture drawing with squirrels staten island, ny
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Gesture drawing with moving subjects cornell lab
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Gesture Drawing with ducks 2020
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      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
      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
      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: 16
      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
      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: 34
      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
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    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      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
      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
      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
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    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      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
      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
      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
        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
      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.