• Marjolaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Watercolor is so much fun!! I didn’t know we could get such accurate colors just by mixing what we have. I was wondering how I could get the shadows on my birds, as I didn’t have any grey or black in my palette. But just by mixing, I achieved this shadow color which I am very happy with! The lessons are very helpful! I never did watercolor before and it gave me the confidence and knowledge to achieve something good. I think watercolor is also a good tool to become a better observer of the colors in nature. Can’t wait to try it out in the field! 2CB290A1-C68D-4014-AFB3-83BB4BBF1DD0C428CDA7-B984-435F-9081-151292D03F54
      • Gillie
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        Hi Marjolaine,  What sort of Gannet is this please? I really like it!
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      IMG-7362IMG-7363 I find a flat and comfortable spot to sit and either from my phone's photos or from all around me take a pencil and sketch. I always wait to watercolor until I get home because it causes less trouble. This is an older journal page, but more recently I have used gesture drawing a lot more.
      • Katelynn
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Your house sparrows are so perfectly in detail! They are my favorite bird.
    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      I´m really satisfied with the composition that I got for this exercise, because I think is balanced in terms of shapes and colors, obviously according to the season and their different landscapes and natural motifs, otherwise, sometimes its difficult but step by step, I´m achieving to capture the contrasts, reliefs and tones that nature expresses us and I hope, surprised again for how easy watercolors make it. Usually I investigate to identify with scientific names to know more about what I´m drawing and can share it, and to finish specially in details and with all this information, gather each technique learned in the same picture. I love to see how every natural journalist develop these techniques and personalize it, creating and contributing with really differents points of view or interpretations in their blocks, and that's what makes it interesting. dia2marzo    
      • Gillie
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        Hi Olivia, I like how you have suggested the sky colour. It's an effective  quick way to apply it in the field.  I will give it a try I think.  Thanks for the idea!
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      It’s been pretty cold here since I started this course so I haven’t taken my materials out in the field yet. I’m thinking I’ll take a little knapsack with everything when it warms a little. I do take walks and take time to notice nature, snap photos, question etc. I completed my first attempt at a journal page using photos of things I saw in January. I really enjoyed creating the page and trying out all the techniques I learned in the course.  I need much more practice adding value and highlights to achieve dimension as well mixing the right color.  I’ve already made notes on design changes to make for my February page.B59EA727-1872-4C22-8AF2-4D8D982F4BF2
    • Ria
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      I'm finding that when watching birds, doing quick sketches in my field journal while in the field works well but I can't really get something "finished" until I come home and work at my desk. Details are really hard to get on paper with a moving being! This journal page started as a few pages of quick sketches then moved to more detailed sketches and finally on to color. RVKBirdJournalEntry
      • Ria
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        Finally finished the full page! Adding color is so much fun :)  IMG-5785
      • Cindy
        Participant
        Chirps: 2

        @Ria That’s fantastic! Excellent work!

      • Marjolaine
        Participant
        Chirps: 8

        @Ria Wow! Your colors are so accurate! The head of the duck looks very realistic. Congrats!

    • John and Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      5DFA3932-2BC8-4A3B-AF86-810E817ABC73 I am thrilled with the knowledge this course has imparted in both drawing and painting. It has been so rewarding. I have not completed this lesson’s exercise of getting out in the field yet.  This is my practice at making a painting from start to finish, using a photo from an old copy of Birds and Blooms.
      • Marjolaine
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        This is great!
      • CyndyR
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        I know this may sound weird, but I had too.   The antenae on your butterfly look very nice.  Mine always turn out like standard alien antenae, straight lines with balls on the end, no matter how careful Iam.  Pretty butterfly, too.
      • Gillie
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        Absolutely beautiful.  I love what you left out too!
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      IMG_7518Capturing stumps me. The wildlife do not hold a pose, the clouds interrupt the sun and shift shadows and tones, and as a beginner, I'm very slow in drawing. I'm discovering that I should take a photo to continue the rendering later, go back to observe at the same place multiple times if possible, and be patient with myself. If all I get is the temperature, wind, scents and sunlight, the day wins. I trust that I will improve in speed and skill the more I try, and meanwhile I'm enjoying God's good creation. Liz's instruction helps me appreciate it all the more.
      • Gillie
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        Hi Suzanne, I love how you have painted those tall dark green trees.  I am going to try that style myself! Hope that's ok.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      IMG_1323 1. I have a small zippered pouch to keep my drawing implements in at the field.  Taking fewer items and making good notes to fill in later seems to work the best for me. 2.  My goal was to improve at field sketching, drawing and watercolor painting.  I make sure to always include at least a little background metadata on every page.  I really  want to try to capture the moments and memories spent outside.  I really prefer to create from photos that I take though.  Temperatures are in the 30's now and it is very difficult to draw for more than 10 minutes at a time.  I also have a pandemic puppy that requires my full attention - so I am lucky to be able to snap a few photos while outside and then draw from the computer images later while she is napping!
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Using a 24 color Koi water color travel kit with water brush. Fantastic!
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      IMG_3374
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 74
      I made my first attempt at creating a watercolor from a reference photo combined with observations from my breakfast room window. I have  observed a single Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) visiting my Turk's caps in the front yard. This small gem has visited my yard several times a day during the the last three weeks. I was not successful in obtaining my own photo, so I used a reference photo from someone else. I admire this little bird who visits daily and I know soon, he will be leaving  for his migration. Perhaps I will get another chance to  capture his brilliance. I have trouble with control using the water brush. IMG_20210918_085751
    • V L
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Nature Journl Pages.Hummingbirds My sit spot is in my back yard watching the birds that come to my feeders.  Right now Ruby-throated hummingbirds are really tanking up preparing to migrate across the Gulf of Mexico.  It is fascinating to watch them protect territory and fend off "invaders".  Also, we were affected by Hurricane Nicholas so I wondered how much that had affected their migration.  I really enjoyed the process of painting one of them at a feeder, but I have to admit, I wasn't too far out in the field so I had a table and everything I needed at hand. I try to be sure I include my observations and questions - even if its about my painting/drawing technique.  I have really learned a lot about using water color, although I tend to default back to colored pencils.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      By trying to match the shade for the chrysalis, I realized the importance of using tint. I also muted the leaves with a bit of red because the original chartreuse popped out too much. In trying to add some mottling, I used too much water and that caused some hard edges. Most importantly, this exercise brought me right back to the beginning because what drove this for me was trying to document the fascinating process of the monarch butterfly. During the week I had been observing the caterpillars and thought they were dying. I was very dismayed. Yet, when I started researching I learned about their 5 molting phases. What a blessing to observe this so closely! I also worried that the metamorphic process was coming too late in the year. Now I know there are 4 generations of monarchs that complete the entire journey to Mexico. By seeing them this late in Virginia, this means that what I am observing is the 4th generation that will fly down to Mexico and start the 1st generation all over again! imageimage
    • Dominique
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      630D15C7-4D35-4636-8161-5D7AA9F0BD98E69BF5A3-C5DD-4373-B479-923EE580B777 Practice painting as realistically as possible (for me) based on photo of Olive Backed Sunbird from eBird. This is a bird I often see around home, but they are very active. After spending a fair bit of time on the “realistic” version, just for fun I decided to do quick gesture sketches and add some of the left-over paint.
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 163
      cedar waxwing
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      77E980AD-6557-49C5-9343-281223D5552C
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      bird
    • I love how the watercolor kits are so easy to carry but I once forgot to bring a paper towel for drying/wiping my brush. It made things a lot harder. So now I carry a little pencil box with scratch paper and paper towels to throw in with my personal kit. I find I have the hardest time waiting for the paint to dry and when I don't, sometimes the colors run together, like the yellow in this Seaside Sparrow's face. Also, eyes are hard to get right! IMG_2667
    • Bernadette
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      20210530_150345
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I painted from a photo this prairie warbler. I practiced using negative space, mixing colors, and attempting to keep my brush dry enough for some of the detail. I came out much better than my first attempt at a bird in watercolors! But I still need lots of practice.Prairie warbler watercolor
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I bring my binoculars along with my art materials. Spring is such an amazing time to see returning songbirds and the woods are full of warblers. Even if they don't sit still enough to draw or paint, I will try and commit them to memory for later. Bug repellent is a must have! I also bring water for myself in addition to refilling pens if need be. I try to note anything interesting, or things I want to look up when I get home. Lugging too many guide books can be a hassle. This was my best attempt at a landscape; a view off an escarpment atop Browns Hill.View from Brown Hill
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 25
      Organizing material: Preparing my tools in a special bag helped so much. I had everything I needed and I was ready to go. While outdoors, I needed an extra empty bottle to discard used water. I will include it for next time. Responding to observation with drawing and water color is challenging and fun. It is exciting to mix colors to match with nature. I became more curious and tried to find answers to the questions I had during my observations. Below is my trial of capturing very nice trees. It is amazing how you see things differently when you draw and paint. Water color is a wonderful medium, because it is transparent and works well while painting outdoors. Negative space helped so much. I managed to correct proportions and draw more accurately. 21
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      The weather has been marginal to terrible this week.  I haven't seen the mountain IIMG_20210510_145826913IMG_20210516_183232421_HDR want to use for my landscape in days...feels like Denali!  As a result, I'm not getting out in the field much and end up painting a view from my window.  I'm not real happy with my landscape, but I feel like I learned a lot doing it.  I really have focused on my observational skills everywhere that I go, and think about how I would paint various scenes, how I might apply the techniques we've learned, what I need to work on and do differently.  I do think I will take an extra paintbrush with me to use for dry on dry, the water brush is not working for me.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      Brick Wall & Tree 1. I am not managing my materials well in the field, I am pretty much a kit explosion.  My watercolours come in tubes so that doesn't help.  Having said that, I am enjoying the process.
      • Tatiana
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Have you tried squeezing some in small separate containers, like a gum holder? Or an egg carton?  
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      housefinch