• Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      It is really like a revelation for me to define the chiaroscuro concept into 6-7 distinct zones. I was already aware of some of it, but to put it all together so neatly is great. 20200504_104530
    • Lucyna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'd like to work on the perspective.
    • Carree
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Here are some of my random sketches of things I have easy access to. The elephant on the bottom of the second page came out cuter than I thought it would. InsectSketches
      • Azurekat
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        I love the animal skull! The nail/iron spike is pretty on target also. Elephant is cute! Good work!
    • Morgan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I'm a perfectionist and often don't start things because I can't decide the best way to go about it or the best thing to draw or whatever. One reason I wanted to take this course is to draw more things without my own restrictions on whether or not it's a "good" subject, or if it's going to make a "good" finished piece. I used to work in an art museum and I did drawings and wrote in sketchbooks a lot over those years, and I have gotten away from it and want to get back. driftwood_butternut
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Hi Morgan,  I see so many different kinds of mark in use here and the values are so clear.  You skills are still with you!
      • Morgan
        Participant
        Chirps: 4

        @Cynthia :) thank you!

    • Azurekat
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Chiaroscuro2 I really had to force myself to relax. I found that once I did relax, things went much better. I like the shading process.
      • Christa
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Love how you included the objects and your sketches.  Nice!
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      I found this hard - it takes patience to observe the nuances of the light. Something I am trying to develop. image
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Sort of ok. Needs tabletop for context, so it isn’t  floating in space like the ghost of tomatoes past.D9F69687-02F5-4EAC-9016-6425137312FA
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      tomato and chiaroscuro nture journaling It was fun trying to get the lights and darks right. As I was drawing the light started changing and the highlights started shifting around. More practice would be good! I liked the explanation of how to look for the lights and darks and where you may expect to see them.
      • Leonora
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Hi, Ruth. Your tomato is beautiful. Maybe it has some eggplant in it? Your vines and stalks are especially interesting and it’s the way that you include unexpected details that draw the viewer in and make your drawing come to life. ❤️
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      snowball bush looking north nature journaling Taking the photo of my drawing made me realize that I would like to practice getting more definition in the middle values. I like the way you pointed out that when you squint you may be surprised by some of the bright and dark spots. I also kept smearing the pencil marks as I was drawing (haha...accidentally blending where I didn't want blending).
    • Ruth
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Hinoki & Pansy drawing Nature Journaling I keep forgetting about using stippling and I love the daisy technique you showed us. I still want to work on ALL of them!
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      sDhNBb7uR0Gmul+%w7OPyA First try at chiaroscuro.  More successful in pencil than colored pencil, I think.  The contrasts on the pepper were much more dramatic and yet I had trouble capturing that.  Maybe because it needs more blending?  I like to look at what others have done and I saw some comments that others felt their own drawings suffered in comparison to others.  When I feel that way, I remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy.  We will all improve and as someone else pointed out, we are not all starting from the same place on the path.  I am enjoying re-discovering this part of myself.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Value Stick Representing Lights and Darks: the Squint Test I continue to have to make conscious choice each time I set out to draw: discouragement and frustration, or discovery and curiosity. It is not easy, but is a valuable skill. Drawing is completely new to me, and I find it more than a little difficult to make accurate representations of shapes and proportions.  I can see where and how they are wrong, but can not replicate them. It is an interesting look into the brain.  Meanwhile, I have now dedicated a full sized new eraser to my drawing box! I am also very slow. It would take several more sessions to "finish" my stick (which is how I did my "Jump Right In" warbler), but sometimes I don't want to spend repeated sessions on one drawing.  If you are slow and outdoors, the light changes faster than you can capture it. However, the squint test really works! Sometimes squinting helps me "find" the shape, as well. I added a scribbly background of a tree trunk, palo verde sapling, brush pile, and bird boxes, which is not actually behind my "value stick" but was to my right. You can do that when drawing, unlike photography! (Photoshop not withstanding.) I hope my skills improve on shapes and proportions. Next up: chiaroscuro.
    • Leonora
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      image
    • Leonora
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      7202638E-ABB3-4CA5-974B-6C6C23012306
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Hi Leonora,  your chieraschuro is very well done and informative.  I love the red onion and the pepper, nicely done.  The colors are outstanding and the tiny details add so much to making them appear real.
      • Ruth
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        I like the way you have used all the different types of marks so effectively, and the way the objects you drew are positively glowing. It is interesting how just bits of color really bring the drawings to life.
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Thank you for sharing your drawing.  Your notes make it a lesson in itself!  I am so interested in the way you used all of the different marks!
    • Jeanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      70EFE9E4-79A2-4BC4-9AE6-0C2392DF2FDE
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      (Still haven't been able to upload images) It wasn't difficult to see where each could be applied and I'm starting to feel more comfortable doing anything!  Unfortunately, I think I chose natural items that were too complicated for my initial practice.  The areas of light/dark were too small for me to really distinguish the different effects - kind of frustrating but interesting - so instead I applied different shadings to a stuffed toy penguin to build confidence.  Better. It is still tough to maintain proportions, even with short pencil strokes.  I use the eraser a lot.  I expect everyone comes up with their own process - where to start, what comes next, etc.  My question - are there guidelines about this for starting out? I am really enjoying this course.
      • Paula
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Yes! I had to choose my "Light and Dark" objects carefully to keep it from getting too difficult!
    • adriana
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Vegetables
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Actually, I don't feel comfortable putting marks on the page. The chiaroscuro is not really clear to me and i feel rubbish about it. I have seen the others are they are really good, while mine is a bit ugly Apple
      • Leonora
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Please be gentle with yourself, as we’re all on the same journey. Some are farther down the path and some not as far as your are. We all started at different times and different places. The very fact that you have committed to taking this class at this time shows a determined interest and desire to create art. Just stick with it. If you don’t understand a lesson, message our instructor and ask her for help. She can refer you to other available sources (maybe a YouTube video or a website) that may reinforce the particular skill or lesson that is challenging you. Sometimes your progress may seem minimal. Then one day, you’ll make a big leap. I’m rooting for you, Stefania.
      • Paula
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        As I've said in my own posts: EVERY time I sit down to draw, I quickly come to the point where I have to make a conscious choice between frustration and discouragement vs. discovery and curiosity. It is not easy. I have to tell myself "I can do it!" Meaning I can make the choice, not necessarily draw what I set out to draw. You have captured the round nature of your apple, rather than having it look like a flat circle. That is a success! You, too, can succeed in making a positive choice!
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Hi Stefania, I agree with Paula and Leonora.  There are people in this class with much higher skills than mine, but we need to keep that from discouraging us.  Like Paula, I have to tell myself, "I can do this!"  I have to practice, and as I go I will see more, and refine my skills.  So will you.  Your apple, by the way, looks like an apple.  Check my "eggshells" which to my husband, look like hamburgers!  The chiaroscuro is very hard for me too.  We'll see and understand it better as we practice.  I'm rooting for you too!
      • ANDREA
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        I feel just like you! Over and over I remind myself I am a beginner and my drawings are those of a beginner and that is OK! My doubts make it more difficult right now, but what if I conquer this? better yet, what if I learn to enjoy this? What if I am the best mediocre nature journalist I know? I'll take happy over perfect any day.
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24

        @ANDREA Andrea, I love your take on this journey -  "I'll take happy over perfect any day."  I'm going to say that to myself every day.  I really am so happy when I 'm drawing!

    • Lynne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I began with the pear, using a 5” circular fluorescent bulb for illumination, which gave a strange shape highlight. I then moved on to the juggling ball with the same lamp. The Roku pot was illuminated with an LED point source and the texture of the pot resulted in a second shadow below the reflected light.image
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      This was an excellent exercise and the video clips are great. Thank you for the mention of the blending tool. I had forgotten the existence of it and after a search, I found one in a box of drawing odds and ends. I love it for making smooth lights and darks. 9D6A705E-896F-41AA-B0EE-B03D95744470
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      KingfisherHouse FinchI have been working with pictures, trying to  improve my skills.  I think I am improving.
      • Leonora
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        I’m so impressed that you dove right in and are already drawing such beautiful birds, and in such detail! I especially find the  birds’ wings and feathers difficult to draw. But, you seem to have mastered it with an understanding of the biology and technology of how the wings and feathers move and work . . . not an easy feat. Bravo, Nancy!
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        The feather work is so beautiful and varied.  Thank you!
      • Connor
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        The feather detail is amazing! And the proportions are great too.
      • Janine
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Wow- your bird looks really good! I have such trouble deciding/drawing feathers.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Having difficulty following through with posting. Finally figured it out. Will get back to drawing again.   Don’t know if I’m posting on someone else’s page or mine
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      image
    • Val
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      FEC592DC-1A6B-4F89-BD2C-417DCC35AB9A3121AA68-4ABA-4B45-999E-028069D89620
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      B9391F98-E70E-41CD-860C-9A362CA0881E1FB02042-5CB9-4107-B0A7-B4DFF225C993AA436786-49C5-4A62-9B0A-4D7C104149DDI I really enjoy watching the instructional videos - thank you, Liz! And the exercises are great, so helpful.  Getting the texture and the lighting and shadow are ALL so challenging, but I realize it takes LOTS of practice.  Very inspiring to read and see everyone’s posts!