Viewing 92 reply threads
    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      As you are putting all of your drawing skills together to refine and add detail, what is coming more naturally and what are some of the more difficult techniques for you? What technique has been the most helpful to you?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      rfranks420
      Shading and texture are coming more easily - though I always feel I am drawing with lines that are too dark.  I need to "lighten up!"  Also, proportion seems to be getting better.  I find gesture drawing with moving objects really difficult.  I captured a gesture of the pintail from the video and then went back and refined it with the video paused.  It was great practice. Pintail gesturePintail refined
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      rimuridge
      I'm finding the negative space and value techniques are really helpful. I am worried that I won't have anywhere near enough time in the field to capture enough information to fill in detail later, once the subject has moved on. I guess with practice comes confidence!Fox before and after - lower res
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Issaquah
      20201105_120022
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Pat.Martin
      IMG_2174(1)Yes this was pretty interesting.  But tedious.  I wasn't sure I had the attention span but I kept going and completed the pix.  As true as I tried to be with the interior lines, they are still wonky but look ok anyway.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      count123
      Certain shading techniques now seem suggested by the the subject, for example, hatching for the markings on the wren's tail feathers or stippling on the cattail reed. The negative space concept (ingrained by the upside down drawing) was very useful in getting proportion and shape of the wren to reed areas. My biggest downfall is with rapid gesture drawing (my third attempt at a one minute wren yielded woefully inaccurate proportions). There seems to be inadequate time to hold out the pencil to measure and still get the shapes and essence down. Hopefully it will improve with practice.  In my refined drawing the wren appears to be more in profile than the photo depicts. Perhaps a problem with the eye position or shape or the beak or neck shading...?20201028_153556wren3
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      LindaWorden
      bird The exercise made me look more closely at the bird and identify some of the markings that I had not seen before.  the Wings were very hard until I decided not to put so much detail into them.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      jigoe2
      Was a challenging exercise.  I chose to do the wren.I think I would need a reference photo for a more finished sketch from a field sketch. Not sure my phone camera would get the detail. I'll have to see.IMG_5773 (1) The birds/animals wouldn't sit still long enough to get something refined.  Most useful is the negative space concept and getting the general shapes.
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      benjaminboies
      IMG_7450 Challenges: distinguishing drawings to illustrate the bird's "marks" (like dots & feathers) from shadows. Techniques: chiaroscuro, cross-hatching, blending, contour hatching, paying attention to shapes & negative space.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      Contour hatching and short sketchy lines come easiest to me. I find that proportion and breaking subject down into shapes and relations are most difficult.  Making short sketchy lines is most helpful.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      2020-10-5 Refining Gesture Drawing (3)
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      LinElin
      This was fun. I have been watching an "eagle cam" to practice gesture drawing and decided to use one with the Mom (?Dad) incubating the eggs (2), adjusting the grass lining of the nest.  The most difficult for me was the feathers. I am still working on techniques for just giving the suggestion of feathers, not having to draw each one.IMG-2090
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      lumifox
      The shape of animals always messes me up. It always takes me a long time to decide what the shape is. However, adding small, distinctive details helps me see what the animal is, like spots on feathers, bumps on skin, etc.imageimage
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      I really enjoy going back to this sketch, I usually work with watercolors, and working with a pencil, gave me a different way to see those little details. vrestrepo_sketch
      • amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        amykarst
        This is gorgeous, Victoria! Love it!! This little wren is also my favorite. The first to sing in the morning, she motivates me for work each day! Beautiful!
    • Kimmai
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      KimmaiNunnery
      IMG_4087Negative space and portion are the hardest for me. I was wishing I had a blending stick for this on.  The quick gestures and upside down drawing seem to be the most helpful.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      I've gotten interested in seeing and drawing negative space now that I better understand what it means. I also used the squint test to assess lights and darks. Getting proportions right is still difficult. Sighting with my pencil remains tricky. But I am trying to look more for how parts of the subject relate to each other. Above all, I think I need patience! Do a little. Set it aside. Then do a little more. I may not like what I am working on. But if I set it aside and come back, it may not seem as bad and I can see what I need to work on. Swamphen
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      patofvta
      I am using all the drawing skills you have introduced.  I can see progress and improvement in seeing and capturing more detail.  I am using negative space along with proportion and relationship of shapes and lines and feel it is coming together for me.  I painted when I was younger but didn’t seem to have the time to work on it too often.  I retired in April 3 weeks after the stay at home order.  I have very much enjoyed sketching and working on my art again.  I am having so much fun and I am sketching on a daily basis.  I think this is the most helpful impact, just taking the time to sit and try to capture the birds or whatever I see. Pat20200823_115134 Marsh Wren
    • diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 49
      ittybittyart
      01002962-ED4F-4F7D-AF0F-46BAA84A88E0Not finished yet, but progressing.
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      RaptorFalconFinch5
      I think drawing negative shapes is by far the most helpful skill for this exercise in my opinion. What was more difficult for me was measuring proportions.  B2B00A95-DBBF-46FD-B086-3E3656EB64845A4F9A25-F061-4B0E-B131-68826D1B7DB5
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nreilly
      This course has just been so wonderful. I have never drawn a thing in my life but decided to take this course as a nature lover, and as covid pastime. It has opened up a whole new world to me on so many levels. Here is my fox:IMG_6032
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Love the Fox face
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Floppy83
      I was wondering, are you drawing these images the same size as you see them? Or scaling up or down? is your image right next to your paper or in front of you? How might these ideas change the difficulty level of these drawings? I have trouble drawing something a very different size from its actual size.
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      ScottA010
      DSCF1618
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      archr1
      Getting the shapes and proportions right are the hardest aspects of sketching for me. I find I am using negative space more and it is helpful, and I like adding texture and value. My initial gesture drawing of the fox was very rough but had a certain dynamism which I am not sure is there in the more polished sketch. E2E9987C-2D8E-4B1B-B4BD-211515050082EC480E8C-085F-4F8E-AF61-4A3E8827A260
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Gesture drawing (1)Gesture drawing (2)Sketches  and refining a sketch. Proportions are very difficult
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Very nice duck
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      IsabelTroyo
      Wren 1 (1) Wren 1 (2) The most helpful technique for me was using short sketchy lines
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Good use of values
    • Claudia
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Claudiahosso
      IMG_4282 I find the right proportions difficult to achieve. The different ways for shading were most helpful.
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Like the gesture of the head / face
    • Val
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      ValWalters
      I found that by adding depth to a drawing I observed the highlights & lowlights and overall more detail on my drawing . Still refining the shading technique.
    • Val
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      ValWalters
      749E5C81-C820-4818-AAB8-635D9BCF5576
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jennifer63
      18D413E8-1D37-49CA-99AB-066617A7C415 This was fun.   Slowly getting better at drawing what I see.   I’m still finding that drawing in the field is very challenging, photos are easier.. they don’t decide to leave just as you get started 🙂.   Jen
    • اليازية
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      Alyazia
      Looking through my journal, I decided to refine the 30 seconds gesture sketch of the Road Runner (June 15, 2020): 69E8DD30-4280-4E48-BF2F-D94286920DDD I wanted to compare how I looked at & sketched an image/subject in 30 seconds then how I looked at it and sketched it with an unlimited time (took me around an hour and a half to finish it). I think when I did the quick sketch the “feeling” of its speed was visible n the sketch’s crown, however, In reality it isn’t visible as much. I’m wondering now, how much do we add from our own memory and interpretation of a behaviour while sketching? If there was no photograph would I be able to sketch at such accuracy? The most important and helpful technique was the measuring proportion and the lighting and shades. I used fine liner pens (0.05 & 0.1) for this sketch, which were 7  colours: Grey, Black, Dark Grey, Sepia, Bright Sepia, Red, Blue + a yellow coloured pencil for the eye. I tried to be aware of other techniques while sketching but I couldn’t. I was thinking of looking at the overall subject without its details, but I’m not sure if i did it consciously or i missed - cause the moment I start sketching I  went deep into and I lost track of techniques used! This is the final image: 98C14F67-4A13-42E1-8080-B40B4D0948AC
      • Isabel
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        IsabelTroyo
        I like it very much
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Oh my...cute roadrunner. Like how you did the shadow.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mystierodan
      IMG_5111 I enjoyed the process of going back to refine the sketch from the gesture drawing session. Make me realize how hard it is to get things down on paper accurately in such a short period of time. One of the aspects that really drew me to the course was learning the skills to draw birds in the wild. Now I feel like practicing gesture drawings and then refining them with photos of that species will help make my drawings spontaneous, lifelike and accurate. I must agree with the others that this bird's bill was difficult! Had to refine many times. It's perspective and dimensions are just a little off what your brain wants them to be.
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      Hi All, This is my drawing. I have found very boring to draw birds. There is too much complexity for me to observe and lack of confidence in drawing that a project like this has demotivated me to learn and to progress this course. I have decided to do it and I will see what you have done so far. Birds
    • Hiromi
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      HiromiG
      1591312596444-1508376443Open beak was bit challenging. Useing negative space technique was very helping thought.
      • Colleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 43
        CBMac7
        Hi Hiromi, Fantastic details of the wren. I really love the amount of detail you have in the head, eye, & beak. Very realistic!
      • Patty
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Polartrekker
        Wow! This is fantastic! Kudos to you for producing such a realistic drawing!
      • Isabel
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        IsabelTroyo
        Beautiful drawing
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Wow!
    • Les
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Lesbrandt
      Learning to measure proportions has definitely been one of the biggest factors in improving my drawings. Observation, and taking longer than a very few minutes to finish, which has always been a huge problem for me.  If I didn't take much time I could always use that as an excuse.   IMG_0686  
    • adriana
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      adrisnchz
      IMG_3708
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      B3C690BA-91E9-4C07-B06F-6BEEAC273DA6Okay I have tried another one to see what I could do. I am much happier with my results this time.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      F899A016-B4CB-426E-A1D7-D8FDE08761CCI decided to use my gesture drawing of the pouncing fox. I have lots of practice still to make the fur look accurate. I need to work on the Chiaroscuro in my drawing, which has yet to come naturally. I definitely love the measuring tool technique which is beginning to come back naturally. I am seeing more of the areas in my drawings that I need to continue practicing on & still learning to be gentle with my results. Drawing is becoming very enjoyable and fun. Thank you Liz!
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      I still have a bit of work to do on this wren. The open mouth is giving me a bit of trouble. Working with negative spaces is becoming more naturally. The crown of the head is giving me a bit of trouble. Hahaha...meant to go back and work on the wing....I forgot about it....I know it is not scalloped like that. Sketch Nature Journaling And Field Sketching Bird Marsh Wren Refining
    • Kirsten
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kirstenlissa
      I love the refining stage. I think its my favorite part of the process because you can really think about the details. All the previous exercises really made the refining stage more enjoyable for me. I love drawing birds and look forward to more practice.image
      • Colleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 43
        CBMac7
        Hello Kirsten. Wow that’s a great drawing.! Very detailed, and realistic, like it could leap into flight at any second. Photographic too.
    • Matt
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      mgoldberg
      I've learned that by focusing more on negative space and the relationship between the parts makes my drawings more realistic.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      ajsibb
      I have been too heavy with my shading, so this was an opportunity to lighten it up and make the important things be visible. Negative space helps get the shape and spacing correct, with measuring to make sure you’re on track. I forgot to step back mid stream... and now see my bird is looking further to the right! bTW, we got 2” snow today. image
      • adriana
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        adrisnchz
        Beautiful! Love your drawing
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jirwinromo
      I think the negative space and seeing the shapes rather than trying to capture the whole form at once has been most helpful. And being willing to erase and start again to get it right!IMG_0940
    • Giuliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      giulianacpferrari
      I think one of the best skills is the use of negative space, combined with proportions; it has helped me see so much details! I'm quite happy with the way I'm developing the skills, I know practice and time leads to improvement but it makes me quite satisfied that in just a few weeks, Liz was able to teach me so much! gesture drawing class on the left, with the lizard sketch refined on the right WhatsApp Image 2020-05-06 at 17.10.10
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Lindabeekeeper
      plover
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        🤎🤎🤎
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jenny
      IMG_4959 Building on a basic gesture with all of the skills we've worked with I feel a sense of accomplishment.
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        I like the line quality
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Saliog
      This exercise helped me combine the separate skills of gesture drawing, sketching, textures, shapes, etc.image
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kballantyne
      I really liked how this exercise pulled all the skills together.  The proportion and breaking down the subject into shapes and relationships has been most helpful. The most difficult technique for me is adding value to the sketches.6021218B-4CCF-4418-92DF-DE0EA99CEE12
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Values are coming along nicely
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      campbesk
      Proportion and drawing upside down figures
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      dtfoise
      I had a real tough time getting the outside shape of the bird.  I decided to draw the marsh wren and fill in the details as opposed to using one of gesture drawings.  I do see where, if I practice every day, I can get alot better at proportions and negative space.  This was a hard assignment; I am not a natural artist but I have really gotten tons better since I started art classes a couple years ago.Marsh Wren 042920
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      BirderCheryl
      IMG_0364 I was having a bad day, so I decided an art break was in order! I started from scratch as my original marsh wren was pretty sloppy and it was months ago! I'm not too unhappy with this one, but I've found that I still have trouble creating the idea of looking at something from an angle rather than in profile. As a kid drawing horses, they were always in profile looking right! That's something for me to work on!
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 49
        ittybittyart
        Good use of highlights
    • Suzy
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      slyttle
      First off my original gesture drawings were a mess. So I retimed myself and tried again. With all the new lessons I am learning they turned out better. Then I worked on refining. I have been using a lot of the negative space training. That has really helped me train my eye for getting the shapes and proportions right. I still can't seem to get the bird mouth exactly right but I am really pleased with my red-eyed tree frog! GestureRetryRefining
    • Deanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      whobblet
      Gesture drawing was the hardest - I think the clock ticking made me all tense... but it was fun. I still have lots of room to improve on proportions and value. When I went back to refine my drawings, the proportions were often out of whack more often than not, but I found negative space, and judging proportions using the pencil helpful. I just have to remember to use all of these techniques as I draw. These are all new techniques for me, so I ended up spending time in this section just practicing the various techniques that were presented here. I think I will improve as I practice, but I'm going to need a lot of practice for this to come naturally.IMG_5006
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      IMG_7251Here is my refined drawing. The hardest part was getting the proportions right. I am not sure they are right now, but I am satisfied with the drawing. Short sketchy lines, value, negative space and breaking down the subject helped me capture it.  I still need to work on proportions and value.
    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      mvasquezgrinnell
      Here is my refined drawing! I had a lot of fun doing this and it looks so much better! Using negative space and proportions, I was able to get its position and body just right. Adding some texture and shading made it come to life. I feel like I was able to capture it in motion. I love drawing from photographs I always feel like it gives me the time to get the shapes and colors and values just right. 3AF12D27-5CBA-447F-8FC8-CFFEC484D321
    • Ken Brown
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kenbro74
      323EB8B6-C91B-4C65-A719-24D9EA2C42AD ‘What fun!
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      I went for the roadrunner. A good exercise for proportions. There were only a few negative spaces to support  me.  Mimicking the stripes and spots was also quite a challenge.   Roadrunner 2
    • Leah
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      imchickadee
      It was hard for me because I couldn't find the exact scene that I was drawing, but I tried my best to refine my gesture drawing. I think that it helped that I had a different reference picture instead of none. The technique that has been most helpful for me was the ways that you can shade the drawings because it was useful because the bird that I was drawing had lots of shadows and different colors.
    • Tanis
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      tanislynn
      DSC02311 This was a surprising exercise because of the noticeable change from the original. Unfortunately the original has been erased . Using negative space and checking proportions comes most easily. I still have difficulty separating shading from colours.
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      irmoteach
      Proportion is still difficult for me and so is shading. Refining from a sketch is very helpful but definitely need a photo to look at. B0921588-10ED-4285-A5BC-ED81BB6F32CC236E1CB8-3013-46FC-8576-B0436509B7D9
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      lesliehthomas
      UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1bfaI am having trouble getting a 3 d look
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Pamfooh2
      I too did the refining from a photo.  I'm going to try a bird next.  This is a friendly squirrel that loves to pose while eating my bird Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 9.01.39 AMseed.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      David Santos
      All techinques were helpful. The negative space to set proportions, the stippling to shade the reed, the hatching and contour-hatching to fill the shadows, even the blending for some effect on the back and wing of the Wren. I'm happy with the final result overall.90479898_614913475729073_8944596082017435648_n90718092_228769135173899_6987483217280368640_n
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      whipporwheel
      DepthThis is actually two different exercises.  The larger sketch was an attempt at proportion, while the more detailed woodpecker (a different species) is an attempt at demonstrating depth.  I feel good about the proportion of the smaller drawing.  Shading will come, in time.  I'm having difficulties concentrating on two different skills at one time.
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Bee Kay
      Taking a gesture drawing to a refined sketch is not so easy.  I found that drawing from a reference photo gives one the opportunity for getting a pretty good drawing as you can use your measuring techniques for putting proper perspective on your drawing and getting negatives spaces accurate makes for a more realistic sketch.  I followed Liz's suggestions as she was drawing, then looked at my drawing with blurred vision and tried to get my darkest darks and lightest lights correctly demonstrated.Marsh Wren
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      pawoods
      Negative space and relationship, proportion and perspective are very difficult for me.  My brain seems to throw a mirror image of what I am looking at.  Often my angles are completely reversed of the actual subject.  Breaking it down to those elements and revising my original drawing is very helpful - to my eye/brain connection ( which is somewhat impaired I think) as well as to the drawing itself. Practicing copying things upside down is helpful as well.  I often draw from memory rather than observation so I have to train my brain to do otherwise. IMG_7458[1]    
    • Mudito
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Mudito
      imageToday’s exercise.  I am having some difficulty drawing at such a small scale but getting there.  This subject was heavily textured so the texture and the shading techniques were getting mixed up.
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      trudy10024
      I have worked on the marsh wren and here is my refined and detailed drawing.  I'm sure as you say that I could keep on adding but this is my newest version.Refined Marsh Wren
    • Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      sphawk74
      IMG_8675
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Christine Drew
        So beautiful. I feel like I could look outside my window and find your bird right on the clothesline or the feeder. Bravo!
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jafodal
      Using the gesture drawing to support a more detailed drawing was helpful.  By incorporating proportion  and negative space As I was drawing allowed me to develop a more accurate sketch of the warbler.  Using a variety of marks allowed me to add definition to the form and textures and patterns to the feathers.  I am wondering how I would be able to do this without photos.  My memory would not permit me to add as much detail as I did here. 88D9BC56-D21D-4069-90AF-0C150AA5F1D9
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juan Jo
      image1 (4)
    • Geminis
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      geminis
      20200305_175356
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Christine Drew
        Such a nice rendition. The face is intensely focused on the pounce and the shading is wonderful.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jafodal
      I found starting with the gesture helpful.  It provided an anchor  from which I could make corrections using the proportion strategy as well as the negative space.   I used a variety of marks to define the the texture, direction and value of the feathers. I was able to add so much detail because I had a photo to work from.  I can't imagine doing multiple gesture drawings and finding time to take photos but I also can't imagine adding the amount of detail I did using the photo.  IMG_5393
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jafodal
      Working from the gesture was a help.  It had laid the foundation for using the drawing techniques.  techniques.  Using negative space and proportion definitely helped with accuracy.  I really enjoyed using a variety of marks to help define the movement , texture and dimensions.  I felt successful because I could use the photo along with the gesture to capture this image.  I wonder how to get this type of detail during outdoor sketching.BDC7D51A-DFDF-4DBC-9752-E336F8A5AA5F
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      rebeccabe
      How does one know where to shade and highlight when working on a quick gesture that was gone in fractions of seconds?  It was okay when I was able to go back and replay and pause the video and see the highlights and shadows that weren’t captured in my sketch, but otherwise, it’s just guesswork. AFF00D1A-35BC-4913-8F19-514A729C9596
    • Curt & Jeanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      heuersthree
      I'm not sure how you refine your sketch from a live model. I have some gesture drawings but once I am back at home I do not have that bird available. I assume you also take a photograph when you are in the field so you have a reference when you go to refine? Because even a lot of notes won't help me with shadows and tiny details unless I am one heck of a note taker.
    • Christy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      cesmahan
      It was very helpful to let me "watch over your shoulder" as you refined and hear your thought process. I'm still having a lot of trouble with shading as I tend to want to color in rather than draw lines close to one another.PTDU before & after
    • Joel
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      joelcarl
      20200229_170545 A difficult technique for me is the proportion of the birds body. The most helpful has been to draw thin lines to see if it is ok and then go on with refining.
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Christine Drew
        Your wren has personality! I can hear it by looking at it. Such a nice drawing. I am glad I got to see it.
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      suzukiawd13
      IMG_20200217_164345~3
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 37
      suzukiawd13
      ......getting true 3-d is tough. I can highlight, so show 2-d depth, but not really getting true 3-d, scientific illustration quality. Guess I am an impressionist. btw- both exercises, from up above, are on next page, on 1 sheet of paper. b.k. upside down parakeet, and a cardinal in x-,mas ivy.
    • LeslieAnne
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      lasanford
      282C5C6F-CE89-46A2-BD09-FC08824422C4These are my 3rd and 4th attempts to refine the gesture drawing of the marsh wren. I found that quickly drawing the outline by contour drawing helped get the overall shape, then used some hatching and sketchy lines to fill in and add some depth. I struggled with getting the bill shape, proportions and eye to look right, but repeated practice helped a bit, and using  negative space helped with positioning the bird on the reed. I would say that quick sketching is coming more easily at this point. I need more practice with shading and adding depth and accuracy in details. I am so happy with the confidence this course is giving me to sketch everything.
    • Christi-June
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      christijune
      I can definitely see the drawing skills all coming together as I refine. I still have trouble with angles and proportions. I really like looking at negative space to see if I have things rightm 20200212_133803
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jalexaphotography
      Getting the basics shapes and form is coming naturally. Filling in detail is hit or miss. I sometimes don't know if I take it too far or too little.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      Cwknapp5440
      This refining was difficult for me. If it weren't for the negative space practice I would have been in big trouble. I decided to color it since I couldn't define the light from the dark on such a small scale. I'll keep trying.  I found that the upside down exercise was very helpful and surprisingly accurate. Kind of hard to do in the wild though. So I think it finally helped to get this bird to look like a small marsh wren which I think it might be because of its environment. I looked it up and confirmed that ID by the wide open mouth and its other markings. I'm so glad they sing or we would never find them. IMG_0030 IMG_0031
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      beekeev
      IMG_0351
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      19bird61
      I am more aware of negative space and looking at positioning of areas. AF01ED04-63F1-4AB8-AA96-AE93119EE3A0
    • LM
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      LMKFlagg17
      I can definitely see the progress I've made since the beginning of the course...not only in the sketches themselves but the speed and accuracy of the sketches has also improved.  So thankful to have returned after a brief hiatus and thankful for the content.
    • Craig
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      cmflyer
      I did a new gesture drawing for this one, because the only semi-usable one from earlier lessons was the wren, but it wasn't very good. I think I'm progressing in all areas generally. I like the way the dove proportions came out, and I think my "eye" is being trained to see the details. The many wing feathers were hard, though.  I also did a goldeneye from a digiscoped photo using an iPad and Apple pencil. Interesting to compare the digital techniques, which are very similar and in the end very powerful. Looking forward to the watercolors! IMG_1709   IMG_0707
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      nancyjleonard
      IMG-0198IMG-0201 It took a lot of erasing and my page is messy. My gesture drawing had some proportion issues but it did have some good negative space and angle relationships to work from.  I continue to learn how negative spaces and relationships are so important for accuracy in drawing.
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Christine Drew
        The texture of the feathers is so very lifelike. I will learn from looking at your drawing. thank you...
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      pbieraugel
      I spent some time refining the tree frog gesture drawing. Even though the original was just a bunch of scribbles, I was stoked to see it kind of captured this frog's "gesture". Anyway, I took some time and refined it using the proportion and negative space lessons a bunch. I wanted to do a before and after but I drew over the original gesture! tree frog
    • Constance
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      constancekel
      image1image0 I revised the lizard picture from the timed gesture drawing exercise. I find that using proportions comes easily to me. But drawing negative space is still difficult. For example, I redrew that membrane that hangs down from the throat several times focusing on negative space and it is still not right. I also need to work more on breaking the object down into shapes; I think that would help me draw objects more quickly when I am observing live, moving animals.
    • Martha Davis
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      pattonmd
      Henry with broken wing
      • Martha Davis
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        pattonmd
        My gesture drawings included some ducks on a near-frozen koi pond behind my apartment in Boulder, CO. This guy (dubbed "Henry" by my neighbors) has a broken wing and has been deserted by his duck buddies. Nearby artificial light is doubly-reflected a bit on the surrounding snow and water. Because I caught Henry in a silhouette, I tried to catch the armpits of shadow in the snowbanks surrounding the koi pond--and reflection in the water.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      bruinrossi
      3A06394C-AD2A-4626-A732-FA53C9C4C22A9080064C-0BE8-4B39-9F68-FF26EF6D98A1
      • Tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        ebirdtgill
        Amy - your fox really came to life!
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        bruinrossi

        @Tom Thanks Tom!

    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      ebirdtgill
      I found this exercise to be somewhat of a turning point for me in this class because I came to realize that my 60 second gesture drawing was VERY useful in rendering the subject at a later time.  In the past, I may have considered quick sketches (more like scribbles!) as minimally useful and more of a "throw-away" drawing.  After doing this exercise I feel I can trust the gesture phase to be a foundation for further development, especially if I'm choosing from a series of gesture drawings.  Some of the other students commented that they felt they had captured something special in their gesture drawings (bring out some of the vibrancy, personality, even Life of their subject). I'm finding the "negative space" technique helps with critical portions of a drawing as does "seeing and drawing shapes" instead of say an "actual feather" (which is overwhelming in its detail!) gives me the confidence to keep working on the drawing.  One challenge I've found, that was almost comically apparent to me was that I put considerable detail into the head of this bird before moving on to the body and when I was approaching finishing, I realized I had the proportions wrong and the bird looked "off" to me.  But I really liked the head (especially area around and including eye) and didn't want to erase it.  For kicks, I opened the image in Photoshop and made the head bigger. YES! I was right about the proportions.  I left it as it was here, and in my notebook, wanting to archive the process and remember the lesson learned...they'll be plenty more bird drawings in my future! AND:  This subject didn't originally have a discussion section and I reached out to Liz to inquire if it could be added. Liz agreed it was a useful addition and quickly added the opportunity for us to share (so come on, SHARE!) Thank you Liz--your "live" presence makes this course Extra Special! Bird gesture to detail2
      • Catherine
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        springside
        Tom, thank you for the detailed explanation of your learning. It is very helpful for me to understand how the different techniques can come together with more practice. I realized my gesture drawings are too small to rework, so I am going to try again.
Viewing 92 reply threads