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

    • Lindsay
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      upside down drawing I enjoyed this very much. Great way to disconnect the brain from the symbolic drawing trap.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I didn't mind drawing upside down and I didn't view the subject as a bird, more a collection of shapes and lines . Also, I liked finding out how negative space helped me draw the proportions better. I found the exercise hard in that my focus kept shifting and I'd lose where I was going especially in the breast. I didn't get it right and ended with lines with no place to go. My eyes got quite tired trying to focus on the details. That is frustrating and I erased and tried again then gave up. Image 2020-12-07 at 10.31 PM
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      image
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Pretty cool exercise. I focused on lines and shapes. Upside down
    • Candy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      This exercise requires patience and focus.  I had the most difficulty with the splotchy 20201127_165608belly shapes because they are more irregular and "floating" vs connected by other lines.
      • Candy
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        20201127_170630
      • Candy
        Participant
        Chirps: 19

        @Candy I was so , I forgot the tail!

    • Amie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      20201120_122410At first I really found this lesson enjoyable. But then about halfway through I realized that some of my proportions were really off. I got rather frustrated and and wanted to erase half of what I had done. Then my husband reminded me that this is a learning process and I should just finish it. I can always go back and try it again later, continuing to improve with each try. I stepped away from it for a couple months, then came back and finished it. Overall once I was done I am really happy with the results.
    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I had fun with this exercise - it forced me to take my time and look at the shapes in relation/proportion to each other - rather than thinking about the whole subject.  It came out better than I thought it would! IMG_5851
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      This was challenging and fun! I started out seeing the sparrow but after I will I got so focussed on the drawing I started to see only lines relating to other shapes  or lines. A really helpful exercise. IMG_20201115_162008
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      It was difficult, and I had to keep focused!  I was surprised that when I flipped it around it actually looked much like the bird I was drawing.  The details were hard to do (markings on chest).  I guess that tells me that if you really draw exactly what you see and don't be limited by the overall appearance, you can be accurate :)
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Fun and hard. Had to really concentrate on the shapes, not an upside down bird : )imageimage
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Pat M., October 27, 2020 It was difficult, but a good workout. Bird proportions dicey. Bird upside down
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Upside down drawing I have done this before and it really is amazing.  I did have difficulty keeping my place on the subject.  Good exercise.
    • Deb
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      This was so hard for me!! I ended up with a headache. No joke. I had a really hard time with proportion and negative space - it was like my mind could not adjust to the image being upside down. While the exercise made me slow down, I found that I started to give up at the end and hurry........this was the hardest so far. IMG_4952
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I haven't tried upside down drawing in a very long time, and again, it forced me to slow down, and use all those skills we've learned.  After awhile it just became like doing a puzzle - here's a squiggle, it points at that line, it's halfway down, under the bulby thing, same length as this line.  But wow those islands were tricky. naturejournal_upside down2020
      • Alisha
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Beautiful and very accurate!
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        You did great!!
    • Beverly
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      This was quite challenging and I had to work very slowly.  The sparrow turned out better than I anticipated.  The marks on the stomach got a little confusing.Scan_0003
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Upside Down Bird 10.13.20Needed more patience and quiet to do it right. Did try to work as shapes but believe I need to draw it larger to see the smaller details
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Let death be the moment when I turn the picture of my life over and marvel at the results. This exercise was a real gift to me...trusting, enjoying, and "mov(ing) through" without mental baggage/memory. Thank you.20201010_154518
      • Neva Ayn
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        That's a neat message! Well done!
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      I found this exercise challenging.  It took awhile. I tried to concentrate on the relationships between shapes, but I never quite disconnected from seeing a bird.  I'm pleased with the results and could keep tweaking it.  IMG_5771
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      Drawing the branch felt easy to start but the closer I got to the head the more challenging it became. I ended up putting my finger on the computer screen to remember where I was. But the more time I spent looking at the lines while drawing, the more accurate the drawing became. I have to say I am super happy with the result. bird
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      What a great exercise! Very quickly I found that I had to concentrate on the subject, to the point of seeming to do blind contouring drawing. Super fun.image
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      This exercise took quite awhile for me. After three tries starting with the branch end, I found it worked to start with the negative space between the bird and the branch. I am not sure I ever totally disengaged from the fact it was a bird, but as I moved from shape to shape it became easier to concentrate on just the shapes and their placement. I think my result is pretty good, but some of the proportions aren't right. Enjoyed this once I got past the start. unnamed
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      fullsizeoutput_22d9 This was challenging for me and when I first started drawing I wasn't sure I would be able to do it. I'm pleased with the results in that I did focus on the negative spaces while drawing and got all of my lines and shapes. This exercise made me slow down and really look at shapes and negative spaces. I found I had to print the picture because it was too hard to look back and forth at the computer screen.
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Difficult. I saw the sparrow as it was, in the photograph.image The form of my bird was way off, and I’m not sure what went wrong.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      It took a long time for me to sketch the Song Sparrow and it was challenging.  I tried to look at the subject as it was. It eventually all came together and I was surprised it turned out as well as it did. It was definitely a fun exercise.  2020-09-04 Drawing What You See2020-09-04 - Drawing What You See (2)
    • Kimmai
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      IMG_4086This was difficult !  The longer I drew the more I focused on shapes, lines and portions.