The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Nature Journaling and Field Sketching Drawing What You See – Upside Down Drawing

    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      IMG_4954 My right-side-up (drawn up-side-down) song sparrow. No doubt about it--this exercise forces us to really look at what's right in front of us, not necessarily what we think we're meant to draw. Very helpful.
    • Isabelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      image
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Fascinating exercise. It was fun; I did notice my attention flagging over time and the drawing shows that. From the example, I enjoyed using the shapes and one-to-another approach. This was the only way to make progress, even though my brain kept (unhelpfully) trying to process the whole.   I then tried again using a photo.   On all sketches, I start with pencil but I am terrible about eventually rubbing the lines. Because of that, I eventually go over the sketch with a pen, trying to make small adjustments as I go.  For now, the repetition feels like a good way to try to gain reps. upside-down exercise
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      The opposite of gesture drawing! This took me three sittings, a bit at a time, and really broke in my eraser. Eventually I was able to surrender to the process, and I’m happy with how it came out. I remember the upside-down drawing exercise from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain—that’s what took me from stick figures to thinking, Oh, that’s how you draw! This was a lot more exacting, much more of an exercise in patience. Worth it, too. F6A7E58D-1670-4046-B591-1175315A2D98
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      I really liked this exercise. As I often do I start the video and then stop right away and try to draw what Liz is drawing before watching the video. then after watching the video I apply her suggestions and techniques, and then compare the two drawings. I was liberal with my eraser because I wanted to get the shapes that she used to render the coloration in the body. When I did my first drawing I had no idea how to suggest that colorization on the bird. My post drawing analysis is that I am much happier with the proportions and especially the tail and beak. I hope to have the confidence or fearlessness to render colors on a bird as shapes as I really like the results.IMG_20191119_070520
    • Mary Jo
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      IMG_6221IMG_6222
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      This was a good exercise.  I found that I was looking more at the shapes than the subject.DSC_9464
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      This was fun to do although challenging when it involves patience and self control. I found it difficult to adjust proportions. Everyone has such beautiful post. image
    • Barbara T.
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      2019-11-12 bird drawn upside down
    • Steve
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      • imageNot sure how to get vertical, but a really useful exercise and one I will repeat
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      This was very difficult. I tried to use proportion tricks from the last lesson but really struggled. The chest markings werevery complicated to includeupside down bird
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      This was fun to do, but I did find it to be a little difficult.  I ended up not getting the wings so well, but I think I started to hurry as it was taking a good deal of time.  The part I didn't rush I was quite impressed with.  This is such a great technique to learn to look beyond what the mind sees!  Love this course!
    • Christy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      This was fun, but difficult.  The feet were really hard. I was able to view the subject as a collection of shapes and lines.  I have never drawn anything but stick figures - I hope I can get better with practice. I love this course.a1KEk%ywSuuQyPsjDEMbEw
    • Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      DSCN5277
    • Aimee
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      This exercise was a good test in patience. I found myself drawing a lot slower and using my eraser more than usual. It was hard not to sketch an overall shape of the bird to get proportion right, so mine came out a bit more slender than it should've been. IMG_5460
    • Kati
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      i found this pretty difficult, because i couldn't concentrate enough. It's probably because i'm less excited about contour line drawing, and i'm more interested in gesture drawing, or shading.  i definitely will need to practice more. IMG_20191103_142645
    • Peggy
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      B289D535-05C2-44CC-908F-863068BC9A21
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I found that my drawing was more accurate  drawing it upside down. That was amazing!!IMG_0271 copy
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      IMG_0271
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      This was a bit of challenge, my main issue was finding the proper proportion and negative space since I started by the feet and then worked my way up.The patterns on the body was hard to measure since I should have added more space between the legs, but overall I think it helped me understand size and shapes. Upside Down-Song Sparrow
    • Joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      The shape breakdown was definitely helpful and insightful. Some of the angles of my lines turned out really wonky though! At some points I felt like I was really concentrating well on what was there, and then I would catch myself thinking of the feathers or the talons as themselves. I need to practice more to see my subjects in many different ways.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      IMG_4097A very challenging exercise for me. My brain wanted to see this as an upside down bird. I had moments when I could focus on the shapes and relationships and other times when my mind would freeze up! This made me understand that I need to relax and refrain from drawing something that isn't really in front of me. That was cool!
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      Very cool exercise! with surprising outcome :-)IMG_2609
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I really enjoyed doing this. It kept me out of my head in trying to get the relationships of the background and bird proportional. I tend to overthink it. Used the negative space lesson on this one too, so seeing the other shapes around the bird gave me good information. Your finished drawing would be a good coloring book page.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      My body is a little thick but I got the head direction right.  This was hard but a good way of learning how to focus on shapes.   image