• Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
        Your wren has personality! I can hear it by looking at it. Such a nice drawing. I am glad I got to see it.
    • IMG_20200217_164345~3
    • ......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: 13
      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: 16
      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
      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
      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
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Great use of color!!
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      IMG_0351
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am more aware of negative space and looking at positioning of areas. AF01ED04-63F1-4AB8-AA96-AE93119EE3A0
    • LM
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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
      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
      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
        The texture of the feathers is so very lifelike. I will learn from looking at your drawing. thank you...
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      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
      • Tara Mc
        Participant
        Chirps: 14
        love this
    • Constance
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      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
      Henry with broken wing
      • Martha Davis
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        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
      3A06394C-AD2A-4626-A732-FA53C9C4C22A9080064C-0BE8-4B39-9F68-FF26EF6D98A1
      • Tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Amy - your fox really came to life!
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 6

        @Tom Thanks Tom!

    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      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
        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.