• 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
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Getting deep colors with lots of value was challenging, but repeated layering (and drying time between layers!) helped a lot. I also used a "stippling" technique with points of color on the tip of the brush very useful. Initial sketch and watercolor painting based on recent cover of Birds & Blooms. IMG_0717IMG_0718IMG_0716
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        I enjoyed your painting of the blue bird, Christopher. I will try the "stippling" technique that you mentioned. I will try this technique for fine detail areas. I have trouble with the water brush and have resorted to a fine tipped regular paint brush for small, detailed areas.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      I painted this from a photo on the Birdwatchers of NH Facebook page.  Still working on balancing values but progress.  I attempted using white pencil for some feather features some show up but not all.  I had fun with this and am happy with the eye details.CA053AFA-6893-410A-89C4-4F5EBA0F3C5E The bird is a White Throated Sparrow.
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      This has been a challenging attempt to draw and paint a female cardinal.  I used  mainly wet on dry technique in most of this  picture with layering of color in the body. Used some dry brush on the branches and layering over them.  I tried to create the shape by varying light wash on body .   DE799280-7883-4C95-9CAD-9E5FC46C9A5F
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      Mallard.wtrclr
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      DSCF1646 I picked a picture of a tufted titmouse from a magazine; this was different for me as I am used to using regular watercolor brushes and take my time and usually would take me at least a month to paint a detailed picture. I went outside my boundaries and did this in 3 days. so it is not very good, but okay.
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Scott, this is exactly what I've come away with in this class - I usually take forever, but now I'm able to complete something in a reasonable amount of time! For me it's a combination of the techniques and Liz's constant refrain to not be hard on yourself!
    • Amie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I haven't done anything in the field yet. But here's my first line and wash from a reference photo that I took from my bird feeder. I struggle with not worrying about every detail and trying to make it look photo realistic. Although I enjoy working that way, for my field journal I want to keep things more simple and loose. One effect I want to achieve is keeping the focus/ detail/ colors on the main subject with the light wash and sketchy surroundings. I definitely have room for improvement, but for now I'm happy with my first try. 20210326_151904
      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        I love the way you have faded the lines towards the left as you go away from the main subject. Same thing at bottom of the feeder. Nicely done.
    • Josh
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My attempt at a Yucatan Vireo (Vireo magister) based on a photo on the BOW account for the species. I often encountered this species while conducting fieldwork for my master's thesis, studying the Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris) in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and on Isla Cozumel. I even found a few nests, which formed the basis of a manuscript that I just submitted. Working on that manuscript and thinking about vireos made me want to try painting one, and this piece is the result. This sketch/portrait is the first time I've produced something in color that I was pretty proud of. For a long time, I've found making art in color daunting, probably because I didn't have the patience to experiment more and find the exact effect I wanted. I always dislike the resulting texture of colored pencils and never wanted the mess of other painting media. Liz's art and this class have shown me the media I was missing: watercolor. I still want to refine some techniques and pick up more tricks of the trade, and I'm looking forward to tackling more projects. I have my eyes set on a Greater Ani group portrait in the near future :) Thanks, Liz! YUVI_painting_IMG_8274
      • Dominique
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        It looks like that bird had good camouflage, well done just to spot it in the trees! Nice painting. I’m sure it helps you know the bird so well.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      3E0A14D9-ADA4-47FF-9990-0C64EF4A27B04820F978-2E4C-4AD8-9164-5E1BB30CE25D
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      This is from a photo.  I have enjoyed this class.  I hope to do field sketching when spring arrives and I can get outside to sketch.  Also hoping to improve my watercolor painting.  And sketching birds which I enjoy doing.
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      BB0CD364-6F99-4704-B3CC-7DDCD1A370D1
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      I did this from a photo since I was painting a 5am before the sun came out, it’s not super accurate and I ran out of time for more detail. 9C1B6A6C-7068-4A0D-96B0-D6105BC9B597B6178D6B-E40D-486D-948C-7C8C820723AD I did the left half of this scene.
    • Candy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Getting outside.  How to add white lacy rime frosted branches in front of dark trees?20210109_120210106_140424
      • Margot
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        How did you get white paint overlay and snow areas?
      • Steven
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I love the rime frost painting. I think it captures the sense of temperature and the shadows of Winter.
    • Candy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Feathers are difficult!  And, overworking is a problem.  I am using the 2020 Cornell bird calendar for reference photos.20210105_15133020201228_130241
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      110_0085
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      110_0067 I copied this painting from a photo and used the wet on dry technique. (For the background I used wet on wet).
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      I love and see amazing sunsets and sunrises...now I have to practice to get those colors right! My first watercolor painting. I like how it feels to let go and just paint even if it's not a work of art - it's my work of art :-) Landscape water color
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      1. To help have less stuff to manage when in the field, I tried putting the paper towel to dry my brushes in the upper hinged section of my paint box. I used that trick of making a pencilled frame for my painting on a single page, using the edges outside the frame to test the colours. I also found it helpful to have two waterbrushes, one wet and one dry, as when  I tried to use a dry technique after a wet one with just one brush, the bristles didn't dry enough, even without squeezing the body of the brush. 2. I think I have got too focussed on the drawing/painting and have forgotten about the recording/questioning side of my observations! Will need to leave more room too. 3. These are my first watercolours; a tomtit from Ulva Island and my local beach, Butterfield's Beach on Stewart Island, New Zealand. I have a long way to go but wouldn't have thought I could do anything like this so pretty excited!   TomtitButterfields Beach
      • Steven
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I think John Muir Laws has a good tip for blotting brushes. He cuts the foot part off of an old sport sock and uses the cuff on the wrist of his non-painting hand to blot his brushes. My only thought of caution would be if some of your paints contain irritants or heavy metals.
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 18

        @Steven thanks for the tip

    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I'm really trying to pay attention to proportion, value, and negative space.  I'm pleased with how my pencil sketch of this Eastern Bluebird came out, though I can see the bird's eye needs to be bigger.  I'm going to try to sketch it again more loosely so I can add color.  This drawing is from a photo I took yesterday when five bluebirds appeared at my deck feeders.  Such a treat!  Because it's cold and snowy I'm doing a lot of drawing from the photos I take - and then I research/add notes about my subjects.  What a great way to learn!bluebird sketchDSC_0095
      • Becky
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        IMG_5985
      • May
        Participant
        Chirps: 25
        Very nice. Thank you for sharing both the pencil drawing and the watercolor one. It helps to look at and compare.
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        Wow, so nice
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      I bought a little fold up tripod chair that fits into my tote bag, along with my materials.  I have a large leather pencil case for my pencil/eraser and it fits the watercolour set nicely as well!  I also have on hand my phone and binoculars, and some herbal tea :).  I use the tote on my lap to raise my sketchbook, and it all works nicely. Adding colour helps you observe even more!  When doing this landscape below, I was noticing how the reflection was much darker, and I imagined that the images become sharper and more colourful if the lighting is brighter.  I wondered about humidity, and atmosphere. Its winter here now in Ottawa so my drawings and paintings will most likely be from computer images until spring....but I'm definately building skills regardless.  image0(9)image1(6)image2(4)
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      Now that I see my photo, I can tell that my water color needs much more pigment. The shades should really all be darker. I seem to always have little droplets at the end of my brush strokes, so I think I have too much water in my pigment. Perhaps I squeeze as I paint, releasing more water from my brush! Also, there is no black in my pallet, so I tried to color a big black spot with a black water color pencil and then add water to it, but the best it gives me is a dark gray. Hard to do the mask of a waxwing with no black :( And again, too much water on the red of the wing. also, I did not do the eye yet - waiting to get some realIMG_20201128_140243740 black!