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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      1. How did you feel about drawing from the photo? What came easily and what was challenging? 2. Was there anything in the photo that you might not have noticed if you weren’t asked to draw it? Would this make a difference when nature journaling?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lasmith2
      I appreciated drawing from a photo because it didn't move.  When I looked at it on my phone I noticed the colors, and when I expanded it on my desktop computer, I was amazed at the details.  In my brain, I think of feathers one way, but in the photo, you see how many different textures and colors are really present.  I was also surprised by the size of the bird's claws - I don't think I would have noticed that if not for the photo.  Until I read other's comments, I wasn't really paying attention to the context - the branch.  I usually watch birds at my feeders, but I'm sure that where this bird is perched is significant - hence, the importance of noting PLACE in my journaling.DC42AB5A-83B8-4D0D-9459-78682EE4C2A2_1_105_c
    • Eileen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      EK-birds
      My first sketch...I spent about 25 minutes. I feel that the detail and shading are most challenging. Also getting the proportions right. It's interesting how a slight variation in head shape and beak length will change the bird completely. My first attempt is very elementary and I look forward to improvement.yellow warbler1
    • Vanessa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      vannabell123
      Water colors are a lesser-used medium for me. I found myslef applying the color as I would with an acrylic and that was problematic. I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful detail in the feathers. All in all the end product was not too bad but I definately have tons of room to grow .
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      juliemargaret
      It appears easy to see the bird, the branches and leaves. I did use the round ball approach, perhaps easier to see as it was "still".  I expect the detail would be quite different in the field, learning what to note and what to omit may be a challenge?
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      laurahill
      Some comfort in drawing from photo, but I notice it doesn’t feel very dynamic.  I tried drawing the underlying circle and egg shapes, then a contour drawing.  The contour drawing worked better for me since I had to look at it so carefully; with the shape approach I was more in my head.  I notice the color of the stripes on the chest through drawing, even though I wasn’t using color.
    • Marianne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mmayersmith
      At first I was intimidated, but it was a bit easier than I thought. Drawing the various types of feathers is challenging.  wouldn't have paid as close attention to that if I was not drawing it. I also paid more attention to the various angles of the body and the negative space (learned about that in Liz's last class.) Since it was a photo, I didn't even think to write notes until I looked at the comments below. I think a photo is definitely easier for birds that don't stay still but I would love to be able to draw more quickly and capture general gestures of wildlife on the move.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Dalton4beth
      I appreciate drawing from a photo because I can spend as much on details as I want. I can really pay attention to the direction and length of feathers, the light in the eye and beak and the strength and grip of the bird. I absolutely cannot accurately portray feathers - I get lost in the number and closeness of the various lengths and shapes (ugh). I think when nature journaling, I might use my experience from drawing from a photo to better understand the shape of birds I regularly see and allow the journaling to capture posture and action and the context of the garden, yard, trail, etc.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      mweiland2
      C5E843C1-9D68-43A7-BF9D-FA2E4BD18603 As you can see the proportions are off and values aren’t necessarily interesting to view. I was struck by the ease that one of the sample journal artists drew his birds. They were believable images. I really want to capture the essence of what I am seeing. My feelings about the subject. So much to learn and practice as I ease into another phase of life. How can I share the importance of small spider mites? Anytime I post a drawing I am afraid of what I didn’t accomplish or portray. Once it is posted it is available to the world at large for critical view.
      • sunday
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        sundaybradlee
        This is beautiful! You captured the intelligence of the bird. You must already be an artist.
    • Theresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      TLKavi
      I don't have any drawing or sketching experience, so I felt uncomfortable doing this exercise. But I'm glad I attempted it. Drawing forces you to look at more details than if you were just looking at a photo and it improves your observational skills. In areas in which your drawing skills are weak, you can write what feature you were trying to portray. On the other hand, photos are 3D and more lifelike looking. Nature journaling feels like a good way to pique your interests in the natural world. 20210813_201051
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      eleisabelle
      IMG_6630I was quite nervous about drawing. I've never considered myself good at discerning perspective, and it took me several tries to get the size of the head in proportion to the rest of the body. The result is acceptable, but I still feel dissatisfied with my ability to really judge the proportions or perspective correctly. However, without drawing the image, I would have been less likely to notice the bird was actually facing away from me, turning back to look. I might not have noticed the way the moss clings to the twigs, or the way the fluff of the breast extends over the legs. I wouldn't have noticed some of the leaves have been chewed on by something, and the way the toes extend below the twig. Drawing gives me a chance to ponder the details and "see" more clearly, even if the result of my drawing isn't quite as detailed or clear as the photo.
    • Meredith
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MeredithK
      Drawing from a photo lets me go back and forth a lot to try to get the lines right. Nothing came easily. Getting the proportions right was difficult. I made a pencil sketch  and it's hard to get the shadings right. I paid  attention to more details  than I would have  had I  just looked at the photo. Yes, drawing could make a huge difference to  my observational skills
    • V L
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      lkirbytx
      1) I like drawing from a photo.  The bird doesn't move and I can get posture and proportion better.  I can erase and correct.  I'm still working on the need to get an "A" on the test.  I found the wings to be really challenging.  How much detail to put in and how to draw what i was really seeing. 2) I didn't notice all the lichen and interesting stuff going on on the limb until I started trying to draw it. This definitely would make a difference in nature journaling.  I guess there's always a decision about where to stop and what details to put in.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Iolantherosa
      It went better than I thought it would! I was very nervous and had to get over my innate need to get an "A" on every test -- this wasn't even a test! It was nice to work from a photo, because the subject was standing still. It was nice to be able see every detail. Working just in pencil, it was hard to capture the difference between shadows and actual black or brown feathers. If I had not had to draw the bird, I don't think I would have been so aware that certain feathers were very sharp and straight, and others more soft and fluffy. It was hard to know when to stop. IMG_3230
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Brown-Pelican76
      1. I think drawings have a more personal advantage over photos. There's more effort and emotion put into them, and the artist can add their own personal touches and interpretation. The advantage photos have over drawings however is that they're more realistic, and they can capture the moment perfectly. 2. Drawing from the photo was a lot of fun. The most difficult part for me was getting the legs and feet right. I have always struggled with this when depicting birds. I hope that I can improve by the end of this course. 3. If I wasn't asked to draw this Warbler, I wouldn't have noticed the touches of yellow on its feet. It wouldn't make a huge difference in nature journaling, but if it was a more distinct characteristic on the bird ex.(the yellow feet of the Snowy Egret) than it would make a bigger difference. IMG-4431
    • Arleene
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Arleene
      Sorry I inserted two images by mistake. Getting used to how this works! I find it easier to draw from a picture rather than in real time. Likely because that is how I drew in the past and the three dimensional aspect is different from a picture. I look forward to learning how to draw in the field. I find the proportions and the detail difficult. I enjoyed examining the bird and the leaves, the variations of color and shading. I would like to learn how to draw quick and simple sketches with enough detail to identify species later on. Looking forward to more lessons!
    • Arleene
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Arleene
      DBBB779A-6550-46F9-A4A0-CA7792D83EDC_1_201_a
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JudyZM
      YellowWarbler1
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JudyZM
      1.I liked drawing from the photo - it was easier for me than drawing from a painting. or drawing from life. Could see details. But is 2 dimensional. Nothing comes easily for me when drawing or sketching.  I will be 79 in a couple of days and I have always had trouble with spatial perception and transferring what I see to paper.  I think I am finally beginning to learn how to look at something and figure out how the parts make up the whole. 2.I probably would not have noticed the ruffled feathers on the belly, the layering of the wing feathers, and the slight shadowing on the far side of the throat. I think it would make a difference. Your sketch would look too flat if it did not indicate this dimensionality. I can see why some journalists choose to have small side boxes showing details like the above.
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jimetzner
      First attempt at Yellow Warbler. Proportions are off; not quite plump enough. The process draws attention to structure and details that would not have been otherwise evident - the layers of feathers, the subtle shading. First time I've used colored pencils in a drawing. Shading my pencil, dark lines via pen.  Would love to know how to draw that bark twig realistically.  IMG_2442
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      cforrest
      • Using only pencil I found myself looking more at the detail to try and express the colour differences in the birds plumage and the structure of each lichen a little more, this I would not have noticed so easily had I not drawn them. The blemishes on the leaves, and the amount of variation in colour on the warbler I dont think I would have taken as much notice of either. Really enjoyed this exercise!
      16274027689899121404140877869303
    • Sylvia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      svanwalsum
      I enjoyed drawing this Yellow Warbler from its photo, although it would also be interesting to draw it from life.  The photo is two dimensional, but it does help me to see details, form, etc., in an accurate way.  As I am not a trained artist, I do find this challenging, but my naturalist training is helping me with composition, relative size in relation to the branch, and focusing on the details.  If I had not been asked to draw it, I might have missed the bit of gray lichen in the lower left corner, on the branch.  In nature journaling, it can be important to capture such a detail, unless you want to focus only on the bird itself.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      kkveton
      Noticing details came easy but it was hard to show them with just pencil. Labels helped and I was happy with the capturing of those key features. When it was done I noticed that the shape wasn't quite right and I'd like to try that again. It felt like I went straight to the ID details and forgot to start with those basic shapes. Since I didn't have color I found myself thinking more deeply about how to clearly communicate the colors in words.PXL_20210723_220325467
    • Leon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      runroby82
      image
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 103
      Common pottoo
      20210722_143721-01
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Voglein
      Yellow warbler
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      susanariel
      I forgot to add my sketch. My pencil wanted to be everywhere. Trying to figure our proportions and, well, moving from blob to bird…really a challenge for me.18EBD8E7-F0A4-45FC-8748-169E686E4BF7
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      susanariel
      I notice so many more details now when I am sketching. Many details I can translate onto my page, or even suggest them. That is a little frustrating. Using the sketchy-sketchy technique has really help. I’m learning what to leave and what to erase. Drawing from a photo feel like a great way to start. My subject doesn’t move, the light remains consistent. Doing it on the fly outside feels like a pipe-dream at this time, but I’m ready and willing to improve and try!
    • Marc
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Olikoth
      B0DEA6DF-CABA-43BF-B340-66C5694EE214So this is my attempt at the Yellow Warbler, which was interesting experience that I really enjoyed! My experience in drawing is very limited but I had the luxury of a still image. I found the easiest and (I say easiest not lightly) part for me was the slow sketch of the bird and then more difficult as I tried to add the extra details of the bird. then came the watercolours, with no experience and the recommended course material I began to slop the colours on. It became a exercise in colour management and water control fairly quickly. Saying that some of the shading and lighter browns I wouldn’t have noticed at first if I didn’t take my time so that was incredibly rewarding. Personally I had a excellent time and I’m fairly proud of what I produced. Next time I would incorporate a journal style and some notes. The yellow warbler
    • Makoto
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      copacaen
      IMG_1636 I usually get very nervous when drawing. I'd like to know how to be more relaxed and draw more comfortably.
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        susanariel
        That’s how I feel as well, Makoto. It isn’t unlike how I feel when writing something. Both involve blank pages. I have trouble diving in and just going for it. Great study of the warbler, Makoto!
      • Kayla
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Brown-Pelican76
        This is such a beautiful sketch!
    • Leslie McCawley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      msleslie
      Yellow Warbler - July 11 2021 I liked how I had to really spend time tuning in and focusing intently to see all the details.  
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      JBillings
      8283A29A-0DD9-4C09-966E-C9CA53CBC9F0
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      JBillings
      It was a fun task.  Getting the different layers of feathers is a challenge.  And proportion  along with details offer their own difficulty for me.  With the picture to refer to is absolutely a help and I can imagine trying to draw this bird as it is moving, standing still only a short time will need some good advice.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Diane_Colleen
      Drawing from the photo was easy because the bird didn't move and I had plenty of time to draw everything I saw.  The challenging part was figuring out what to draw first and making sure of placement and that everything was the correct size.  If I wasn't asked to draw the picture I might not have noticed the position of the Warbler's legs, one seems to be straight and the other is bent.  I think that might make a difference when nature journaling  because  it shows how the bird balances  on a branch.
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      winddance
      I realized when doing this sketch that it required time, which is good for me to experience as I often guide youth in nature journaling, and this is the first time I have taken time to sketch myself.  And for me, this is pretty good.  I look forward to getting better!  The advantages of sketching over photos is that one becomes intimately connected to the organism observing.  The internal and eternal connection is a strong bond.  Another advantage is that the details are noticed.  The advantages of photos is that they show precisely what the organism looks like.  Photos can be revisited for a specific point in time with out change, such as a quick visit by a bird or an organism that will change over time, such as a flower.  I enjoyed this exercise and look forward to the next. warbler sketch Leslie
    • jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jenn2b
      The outline was challenging as were the small details and the shading. I noticed a lot about the birds feathers and how they fall together on its back and a lot about the body shape and the coloring and the head shape.
    • Dominique
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      DominiqueDW
      Im not yet at all confident with the media (used pencil, ink pen, watercolor pencils), but I enjoyed the exercise. I used it to learn about the parts if a bird (mainly the feathers). It was challenging to convey exact feathers as well as feeling of feathers ( some look fluffy and I was not able to convey that). It was good to have the photo so able to take time to do the drawing. I spotted many things I probably would not have seen in field, unless the bird is very cooperative and close by!
    • John and Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Ioannes1986
      Thank you, Liz, for creating this course.
    • John and Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Ioannes1986
      This was an enjoyable exercise.  Watercolors are new to me, so they were the most challenging part of the exercise.  Things I would not have noticed without drawing this photo are 1) the shape of the wings laying on the warbler's back, 2) the way the rusty red streaks grew softer further down on the breast, and 3) the loose grip of the warbler's feet on the branch below it.  I look forward to seeing improvement in my art as I continue this course. IMGA11731
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tgevans
      Getting the stance seemed really important. Loved the contrast between the dark eye and bill and the yellow of the feathers.  What a yellow! Very different from a goldfinch. It made me think of whether colored pencils can even approximate nature's hues.  What color would I choose to color this bird? And the rusty streaks on the breast! Swoon!
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      dancingalongtheway
      I am looking forward to improving my drawing skills by the end of this course! I did the sketch quickly as if I was watching a real bird who would move any second. I think that helped me get a gestalt that has some energy . Would like to get a few more well crafted details. I might not have noticed the shape of the bill if I had not drawn the picture. Since the bill is an id marker I think it would make a difference in a nature journal.
    • Tatiana
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      tatianaschatten
      I really enjoyed this. The warbler is very cute in the picture.IMG_4412
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JudyABS
      Not much art experience here: I am relieved that my pencil sketch is at least identifiable as a bird.
    • Celia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CeliaMcCawley
      Drawing from the photo doesn't seem as daunting as drawing moving nature.  I did notice more of the dark markings from the photo while painting it.
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jackie.burns
      I was happy to be drawing from an image that wasn't moving about, changing positions.  I sketched with a #2 pencil and did not add color.  Might not have noticed leg color and toes without sketching.  Had trouble with the slight tilt of the head.  Definitely flatter than it should be.  Transition from wing to back was challenging.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Jmoswald
      I liked the fact that the bird didn’t move so I could really study it in one position and with constant light. I also could zoom in when I was unsure of the details of what I was seeing. Ironically, that also made it harder in some respects because it played to my tendency to be overly detail-oriented which took my attention away from the general proportions. I wouldn’t have notice the shape of the bill and the surprisingly rounded, low hanging belly if I hadn’t drawn it.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MbelBlu
      I think drawing from a photo seems easy at first, but in regards to depth perception, my bird turned out much flatter. Still, the photo does show colors that might not have been noticed in nature, particularly if one is not familiar with the bird.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      paulago
      It felt nice, although strange. The legs came easily but the shape of the head and details in the wing not so much. Drawing makes me focus on shape but I definitely simplified it and made it flatter than it should be.
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      mariavergara1
      I loved the activity
    • Leauri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      leaurinda
      In the very short class I took with you earlier this year, you really liberated me from feeling like I need to draw perfectly.  I started by looking at bits and pieces of shapes and shadows and not thinking so much about a bird.  It was super relaxing because I wasn't constantly criticizing every pencil stroke, more just having fun and wondering if my drawing would fit on the page. :) Making it look three dimensional is hard for me. Really seeing the lines, the fluff, the feather contours came easily.  I would not have noticed how much dark smudgy coloring is on this little Warbler if I hadn't been drawing it.
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      dacord
      It was a bit challenging, but not overwhelming. I drew some ovals and circles, like D.J. had done. that helped. And then kept making a lot of adjustments, erasing, redrawing. Trying to get proportions and  angles of the bill, tail, legs, wings, with respect to each other. I just did pencil for now, but if I had painted in color, I think I'd recognize it. It was fun to try this. And just that one tip from D.J. helped me get started. As I drew, I kept noticing more about the bird, that I did not pick up on first glance, such as all the detail in the wings. With photos, I have mainly looked at those reddish streaks on the yellow breast. Also, shape of the bill, angle to the head, size of the eye. Doing this drawing, I realize that by doing the nature journaling, I will cultivate my observation skills and attention to detail. Even the stance of the bird, its posture, and I wonder, what is the habitat, what kind of tree is it sitting on? These are things I would try to draw and take notes on, to investigate later.
    • Sharyon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sholness
      First Attempt 5.20.21 I answered the questions on the page.  I think there is a lot of room for growth here, but this first attempt made me happy and excited to see where I go as I progress through the course.  Seeing everyone else's work, really inspired me, as well!
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      katemingsun
      I forgot to add an image to my comment. Here we go. {shudders}PXL_20210521_004736172
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      katemingsun
      I only used my pencil for this because I'm a stick figure drawer with no watercolor experience. It was daunting to start. And my scale is way off. There's lots of lichen on the branch the warbler is on. Some of the leaves have been nibbled. And I've never noticed the reddish-brown 'stripes' on the warbler's belly before.
    • Zariel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Zariel Coral
      1. I felt pretty good about drawing the photo. I found it  pretty easy to draw the warbler. It was difficult to get the wings right. At first I used the water brush to paint the wings, but I couldn't get the lines thin enough so it turned into a black blob. Then I painted over the wings with yellow and restarted them. I decided to use a very thin paint brush to get fine lines.2. I would not have noticed the position of the feet or how the wings fold.This would make a difference in nature journaling because your drawing would be more realistic with the more detail you can add.
    • Zariel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Zariel Coral
      20210519_225709
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      crmeyers
      Yellow Warbler Drawing 1.  I draw from reference photos a lot, so this felt normal. Drawing the shape of the bird and the branch came easily. However, trying to get all the details in (especially the wing) and enough contrast using just a mechanical pencil was a little challenging. 2. If I wasn't asked to draw it, I would not have noticed the way the the light and shadows fall on the bird. I also paid a lot more attention to the warbler's feet and how the are clutching the branch in a surprisingly loose looking way.
      • Kayla
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Brown-Pelican76
        This is absolutely gorgeous!
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DavidHoefer
      1. The drawing is okay for a first time - nothing special. Proportions seem alright, shading is meh. 2. What did I notice in drawing? Details! I would otherwise 'see' the whole without necessarily noticing all the minutiae that actually make up the image. 3. I'm an archaeologist and we typically draw our artifacts and features, along with photographing them. Why? Because photographs provide us with an objective, 'scientific' image (more or less), while drawings pull the subjective human mind into the object. In drawing, we represent only those details that help us tell the story's picture - the characteristics that are most important to us. Yellow_Warbler_Pencil
    • Analilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Alclay
      24C5251A-B977-4E85-AA76-27DAAF892745
    • Analilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Alclay
      I had a good time doing it.  It took me a while because I’m traveling and I don’t always have access to Wi-Fi.  My friend Francis and I have been zooming and trying to do the lesson together.  I like drawing from photos because I can take my time getting the image on paper.  It’s also easier to capture details, that I may miss if I was drawing in plain air.               
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      DGuardado
      D54F0B8C-2393-42D5-B554-234C0DE5FAE8
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      qmother
      93D5BA7E-7A65-4774-94EA-AAD415338DA3I liked being able to refer back to something that doesn’t move. While drawing I noticed the color variations in the Wabler, bark and leaves. I do believe this would make an excellent reference to an unfinished drawing
    • Frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Arlynne
      yellow warbler cropped The advantage of drawing from a photo was the subject never moved. One of the problems I had was trying to paint in the details on such a small image.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      NatureWonder808
      I like drawing from a photo reference.  However, the challenge for me was seeing the fine details in the photo.  I had difficulty with the background.  I wondered if I should have did the background color first then paint over it?  Should I have used a different brush?  Did I use too much water?  I had a harder time manipulating the paint to cover the negative space as opposed to coloring in the subject.  I think I would have seen more details to add if I was nature journaling. unnamed
    • Audrey Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      audlav22
      I had fun doing this I definetly noticed the way the light reflected on his eye, the way the wing feathers layer and the way it’s toes grip the branch. Also I love seeing all of your beautiful sketches.54FA74B6-40A2-41FD-85DF-CD90962F6EDE
    • Saroja
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sarojaraman
      Not having drawn or sketched in over 30 years, i felt a bit anxious.  With that said, i actually enjoyed it and I don't think i did too bad a job, although scrolling through some of the sketches below, I'm definitely a first class beginner! I actually found the beak and the feet to be the most challenging.  Getting the correct length and angle of each was difficult for me.  If i had not drawn this bird, i probably would not have noticed the stripes in the underbelly.  As well as the curve of his claws as they clutch the branch.  I think this is what draws me to nature journaling vs photography.  Noticing details definitely makes a difference.
    • Zariel
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Zariel Coral
      I felt pretty good drawing from the photo. For me drawing the warbler was fairly easy. I found it challenging to paint the bird with detail using a water brush. I could not get thin, detailed lines so I decided to paint details with a thin paint brush. If I was not asked to draw the photo I would not have realized how many layers of feathers there are on the wings and how they all fold together perfectly. Noticing how the wings fold would make a difference when nature journaling because the more details you can include, the better and more accurate your drawings will be.
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      camscript
      1. I like jumping right into drawing. At first I was just going to use pencil, but I so love the vibrant yellow and the contrasting black that I decide to break out the colored pencils. (I haven't a clue how to use watercolor yet.) The general outline of the bird came fairly easily, but the folded wing was hard, with its layered feathers. 2. I would not have noticed how the warbler's talons gripped the branch, nor how the feathers in the wing layer up sort of like a folding fan. I also would not have noticed the sparkle in the bird's eye, the brownish feathers on its belly, or the slight bluish cast to its beak. 3. Having a photo in which the bird is captured in a pose makes the whole process a lot easier. I imagine it will be incredibly difficult to capture this amount of detail in the field, where the bird would be in motion and likely would fly away.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Ann632
      • Drawing from a photo is going from 2 dimensions to 2 dimensions, it takes skill but looses some of the magic of 3-D to 2-D. On the other hand, your subject remains still so you can pick up on the nuances. 3F93E41C-ADBA-4E1F-88A4-3F3A80CE2EF8There were things I would not have noticed if I were not drawing it. I would not have seen the insect bite in the leaf and might not have noticed the moss or lichen on the tree. I also was made very aware of how the birds feet wrapped around the twig and I might not have made note of that and just been dazzled by the color of the bird.
    • Erica
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      310684
      WhatsApp Image 2021-05-01 at 09.27.26 I had fun sketching and painting the Yellow Warbler. I love how the bird is bright yellow and the contrasting orange stripes (chest) and black stripes (wings) make the bird stand out in the green background. I wasn't able to make the stripes and the yellow turned out more greenish. But, I think I did a great job for my first try!
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      ybmagpye
      1. I've done most of my nature journaling from photos, which I've always thought is cheating... in a way. Yellow Warblers in the flesh do not hold-the-heck still so I don't have to fight to keep its details in my noggin. It's easier to draw a motionless bird in a photo. 2. Loads more details in photos. You can see where and how the feathers lie. I think for a person with a poor memory for moving birbs, photos give greater detail, but weak satisfaction. 20210504_172011 My Internet service is wonky, so hope this wasn't my second post on this topic.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      JanetShin
      fullsizeoutput_db5   Drawing makes me notice details on the bird and background I would not necessarily pay attention to when birding or taking a photograph of the bird. This is what makes nature journaling fun. You begin to ask what insects the bird may be eating in the tree or bush with insect damaged leaves. You want to know more about the kind of bush and what kind of lichen is growing on it. Getting the correct proportions is always a challenge to me. A birds complex wing feather arrangements are another challenge. Also the angle of the photograph foreshortens some aspects of a bird which can also present problems. T
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      theisdl
      Drawing makes you look at the details.  You can't draw each detail, but you are picking out the exact form, the shades of color that identify the bird.  Drawing made me not only look at the bird, but at the twig it was sitting on, that the twig had growths on it, that some of the leaves were damaged and eaten.    Drawing makes you look at all the details, instead of just writing that the bird is a yellow warbler.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jlmetzg
      Capturing the essence of the feathers was a challenge. I saw distinct sections of different feather types in the photo but had trouble making those areas distinct in the drawing. I might not have noticed the brown stripey bits in the chest. The yellow/black combinations of the wing feathers are more striking but the caramel colors in the stripes are lovely. Making those tones distinct from the black was a challenge. When nature journaling, looking for those secondary areas would be important.
    • Keva
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Kevaks
      IMG_0808 1. Drawing from the photo felt alright, however, it made me really fussy about the accuracy of what I was drawing. Am I drawing what is there, or what I think is there. I was curious about whether or not I was paying enough attention to detail. 2. The overall drawing experience was fair, I found the shape of the bird a bit challenging. I didn't't make very much notes either. 3. The lichen. I would have noticed this perhaps, but if I was out in the field I think I might have been captivated by the warbler.
    • Jonathan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jfrank1981
      Nice that the bird in the photo stayed still for the entire experience.  :)  My first attempt was too fat, and so I had to erase its belly/breast and skinny it up.  I like the detail in my eye, but it is too big and too far back.  Was going to try to fix it and then decided to embrace it as a first attempt and move on.   Struggled with the bits between the legs, and with balancing shading with wanting to make the black stand out.  Decided to just stick with pencil, which made it hard to distinguish the rusty streaks on the breast.   The details around the eye certainly would have escaped me had I not taken the time to draw it.  And the nostril as well, though I notice now that my attempt to capture that in my drawing was lost when I shaded the beak.  I definitely leaned on some of the skills I learned in your earlier short 1h live lessons earlier this spring! 2021-05-01 13.55.32_1
    • Cristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      ccanto
      Paxaro amarelo
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      KGBMCC
      I noticed so, so much more as I tried to draw—details of the bird itself and my inexperience with pastel pencils, first among those noticings. It was lovely to have the subject still, and I appreciated being able to zoom in for a closer look. I would never have noticed the toes had I not been asked to draw it. Such a surprise that they don’t actually grip the twig, at least not at the moment of the photograph. Such fun to get started! 4099E702-CAA4-4CCC-8411-F0390B6014F5
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jan_Spicknall
      Yellow WarblerI I I liked drawing from the photo. It has to be easier than trying to draw a bird in the wild. Is that even possible? They don't tend to stay in one place for very long. Even at our feeders they are constantly coming and going. I found the legs and feet challenging. Seems like  the legs are longer and the feet are bigger than I would have drawn from memory. Worked on the beak for a while and I still didn't get it right. I wouldn't have drawn all the toes. Enlarging the picture helped me to see all of the them. I can definitely see how you have to focus on details and small parts at a time when nature journaling. Otherwise a lot could be missed.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Kdorazio
      warbler 1Using the photo, I was able to revise my drawing as many times as needed to correct discrepancies between my drawing and the photo.. I have a difficult time with proportion and tend to make my heads overlarge  I would not have noticed the coloration of the wings with as much precision if not asked to draw. This kind of careful observation is important in differentiating between species and genders. Although I consider myself to be a careful observer this exercise shows me how far from that I really am and how much I need to discipline myself. Drawing the photo of the bird forced me to repeatedly look at the image
    • Russ
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rdefonce
      I enjoyed drawing from the photo as it provided unlimited time to study the subject. Overall shape came relatively easy. Proportion and perspective were a greater challenge.   I definitely would not have noticed a lot of the more subtle identifying features had I not been asked to draw the warbler. This would make a big difference when nature journaling as I am s rank beginner at drawing and only a moderately experienced birder. I can see how nature journaling will give me a healthy boost up the learning curve.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      lmeldraws
      Much easier to notice the details when working from a photo. If drawing in the field, would not have spent as much time noticing the lichens on the branches. Working with watercolors is a challenge for me, and I've never used this type of brush! Hoping to master it a bit better by the end!
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      lmeldraws
      Lesson #1 Yellow Warbler
    • Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DanielGonzalezMartin
      IMG_5675 copy
    • Kelley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      12kelleymac
      ., nbirdupload I noticed how long the birds feet were, I feel okay about the drawing, I think my lead may have been a little soft. Just sitting down to draw was the hardest, getting going. Then I didn't want to stop. I wonder how to draw/sketch this bird in the wild as they don't sit still for very long, so this was nice, sketching from the photo.
    • muni
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      larrymuni
      Much easier to draw from a photo since the subject doesn’t move as others have said. Shading came easily with pencil but proportions challenging, I didn’t erase though. I’ve never understood wing patterns and lengths before so this drawing was very helpful in that regard. The cheek, shoulder, breast and short, medium, long and tail feathers were clear.0B76DF6C-55D3-41CC-A84E-9520CB7EDB01
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      MKDonovan
      Loved sitting on the deck and sketching--I can relate to many others' thoughts and feelings.IMG_1037IMG_1034 Someday I'll finish viewing everyone's posts. How wonderful that so many people are on this journey together!
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      annrawn
      IMG_0408
    • Katharina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      HibiscusTea
      Advantages of Drawings: Makes the viewer pay more attention to detail. Has more character than a photo. You can choose what details to include. Advantages of Photos: Captures all the details correctly. A drawing could be anatomically incorrect. Usually includes color which a simple sketch does not.20210423_232521
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bedwin
      Drawing helps to focus the eye on fine details and to journal them for later memory.
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ting1
      • Assignment #1 - Yellow Warbler IMG_1162 (2)
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kimberly.m.rice
      AFBAC9AF-CFEA-4B68-8FBA-E15D82464455I'm excited to learn more about capturing color and shading with just pencil--that was the most challenging part for me with this exercise. This was a lot of fun!
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Yaelsboy
      D360544F-A198-431B-80C2-9D1099667C46
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      q47suzanneknight
      IMG_3168A photograph keeps the subject still which is an advantage. The challenge was paying attention to proportions, what makes this bird look like this bird.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Kwp
      IMG_0274
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SandraLincoln
      CB8F425F-2354-47D6-B76A-596BC3B2C7AC
    • Sage
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SageCarolineMaden
      it  made me concentrate but i used to much water with the water colors . the diffrent shads of yellow E3048EAD-1E96-445A-B3AD-5A48873F2E4D
    • Marmika
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      marmika
      Great fun doing this exercise.  But how did I end up with a bird with an attitude?? Beak, eye, and posture a challenge.... Also I didn't start far enough to the right, and it cut my warbler's tail short! Looking forward to more instruction and practice!
    • Marmika
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      marmika
      9C73469F-1FDC-4A4F-BCB0-93DDD1D5F908_1_105_c
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ravenbear
      this was an enjoyable first attempt. I also enjoyed seeing the work of others... E327F05E-5BA2-4582-A564-F7015E452A74
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      liam13
      Enjoyable for sure.  It will be a challenge to capture the image I want to but love the idea that this will call me to be more observant.  Seeking to deepen relationship with the natural world around me, and this will help me pay attention and notice.  That said, getting the proportions was a big challenge and the shadings.  The bill took several takes too. yellow warbler exercise
    • Jeannie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Bartlett.Jeannie
      pat rotateI spent an hour drawing and painting this bird - and while I’m really quite happy with it, I’m not going to do much drawing or painting if it always takes this long. I hope that speed and getting-it-right-the-first-time are some of the skills I learn in this course! Also hard to imagine trying to capture a bird in the field; good thing my interest is more in plants. ☺️ I enjoyed the idea from one of the journalers about letting your subject jump out of its box a little. Really fun effect!
      • Kimberly
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        kimberly.m.rice
        I agree!  I'm excited to learn techniques that will help with speed and accuracy of observation--right now I can't imagine drawing a hopping bird that would be gone in a few minutes!
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      john_b_spiers
      I found getting details of plumage difficult to get right. Also the lines were not as clear as I would have liked - tried 2H and HB, also a 0.35 Rotring pencil which is what I have. Will try and get the recommended pencil.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      john_b_spiers
      First Image_0001
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      mcdee111
      It took me a couple days to finally attempt this assignment. I don’t draw, but I want to change that. Nothing came easily. I’m not sure I would have noticed the different shades of yellow, the bird’s legs or the differences in the feathers had I not been drawing. If actually journaling in nature, it would be difficult to see many details since the bird would have been in motion and even the branches and leaves would likely be moving. 234EE19A-9B37-479E-92F3-037F552736C8
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      Michaelc18
      Drawing: It is a record of your visual image of the object(s) you are observing. Photos:  Real specific accuracy such as proportions, dimensions, details, colors (most of the time), etc Challenging: Proportions, and feathers Probably would not have noticed the details in the area where the wing feathers meet the tail.  img255 edited
    • Kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kgrasley
      3FD60D6F-9F70-4CCA-83D5-6E9C4F484BD2
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      cgull57
      1.  It took a few days for me to decide to do the drawing - not sure why, but I think I had some fear that it would be difficult or challenging.  In the end, I enjoyed drawing from the photo and looking at the detail of the bird.  I noticed the details of the feathers, the shape of its various parts.  I was challenged by the proportions, and the surrounding details.  2.  I would not have noticed all the details of the feathers had I not been asked to draw the bird.  Nature journaling, I hope, will allow me to notice details that I might miss otherwise.  I'm wondering especially how to capture bird details from my own observations rather than a photograph.   IMG_6379
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lindafitzhugh
      1. I enjoyed trying to draw. It is fun to really look at the details and try to recreate them in the sketchbook. That said, the bird in my drawing is too small and its shape is different from that in the photo. Putting the branches in the space was easy but drawing the bird was difficult. There is a lot of detail in the bird from its orientation on the branch to its individual feathers and I did not get those details correct in my drawing. 2. When drawing the leaves I noticed that they were attached alternately and I definitely would not have noticed that if I just looked at the photo. I would have glossed over the blemishes in the leaves as well. So drawing something really improves one's observational skills.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ctokoph1
      IMG_20841. I  loved drawing from the photo because it allowed me to observe all of the details and take my time. It was a challenge to include everything and keep my proportions correct.  2. My focus of course was drawn to the bird which allowed me to observe the details including the placement of the toes on the branch. I probably would not notice the alternate veining of the leaves or the details of the lichen on the branch if I had not drawn it.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Linda709
      1 - I LOVED drawing from the photo.  I didn't have to readjust my perspective.  But this isn't really my goal.  It was easy to see details. Challenge was to get relative proportions.  2 - I definitely noticed much more than I would have even if I had been able to look at a bird for the length of time it took to do the drawing.  I noticed the layers of feathers better than I would have in the field.  Noticing these things from a photo will enhance my notice of details in nature.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Crusader
      Drawing from the photo let me take my time.  If I had seen this bird for just a few seconds I might not remember much detail.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lisa115
      I like drawing from a photo.  It helps me to see details and colors.  The bird was relatively easy to draw but the feathers were challenging.  The tree branch with the moss and lichen was challenging also.  I don't know how to shade within a leaf to make it look realistic.  In fact, I don't know if I would be able to notice those details without the photo.  yellow bird
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      inklink
      So many different shades of yellow! Explored mixing colors, some disappointing, some surprising. Sketching took forever as I have had little experience. But it does look like a bird... Looking forward to learning how to achieve some of the things I saw and attempted.
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      NicoleFurnee
      This was my first attempt to draw a bird! And I was surprised how much I enjoyed doing it. I do hope that the yellow warbler will have better proportions at the end of the course! Coloring came the easiest. the shape of the beak I would have not noticed as much. a very good first observation exercise of a bird. Nicole
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      EleanorBrand
      I like drawing from a photo. I wouldn't have noticed all the details and shapes of the birds and the leaves if I hadn't drawn it. IMG_20210414_142302388
    • carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CarolEliz
      I don’t know how to load drawings or photos of them. I am happy to have drawn a yellow warbler that is recognizable as one. - I’d love to know how others got a feathered look using the recommended water colors. My red streaks are pretty crude.
      • Elizabeth
        Bird Academy
        ecm017
        Hi Carol, To post images in a discussion, click on the "Insert Image" button located in the top left of the reply text editor (the box where you typed your comment), and then select an image from your computer or your phone. Then click the "Submit" button.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Chris 561
      I had a difficult time getting starting on this exercise, and I spent a lot of time thinking about it before beginning.  Then, when I did start I found I started with the branches, drawing them in and then making the bird fit the branches, which I also found difficult.  Once I was working on the bird, though, it became easier.  I blocked in some rough shapes and worked from there. Having the photo allowed me to take my time and pay attention to the details.  There was grey shading on the head, back, and shoulders that I would have missed if I wasn't asked to draw the bird - subtle coloring and shading became more noticeable, as I worked on the drawing.  When nature journaling, it's nice to be able to get all those details, but I think I'd miss a lot of them.  Having that photo helps to keep those details to reference when drawing. Yellow Warbler1
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      terry_a_smith
      A good exercise to look at the detail in the bird and it's surroundings.  I noticed his head was more cocked and I missed that part in my drawing.  Proportions were hard but I'm assuming that takes more practice.  A decent beginning but I think I will have to focus more on the details.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      BeeGee916
      I like drawing from photos.  they sit still. :) I find it difficult to get the shape of the bird right.  and the bill.  But, it was absorbing to look closely and draw and time fell away.  That is my favorite part about drawing/art.
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Osprey05
      First time I ever saw a yellow warbler—or at least had one pointed out to me—was in the Galapagos...the start of my semi-serious birding adventures. So it was especially cool to see the sample nature journals from those wonderful islands. 265C1DC0-7739-4B0C-AAD6-3AA40286BD27I love photography and take lots of pics of birds and nature. I prefer drawing/painting from my photos vs real life, so I wonder how these two dynamics are going to play out as I start nature journaling, I’m also super self-critical about my drawing & painting skills. Hope that the lightness and flexibility of journaling is liberating for me. This drawing begs for color! Can’t wait to learn out pointers for incorporating water color into this process.
    • JOYAmusic
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      joyamusicbirdsong
      Yellow Warbler As I listened to the recordings of the Yellow Warbler while drawing in my journal, I recalled when I first investigated them last summer. They were visiting my garden on the Eastern migratory corridor of the Rocky Mountains. Bright flashes of golden lightning issued from the flocks of American Goldfinch that dominated. But there was something shy and sweet that emanated from the bushes. The male came forth with a muted, almost avocado green on the back - darting out and then quickly in the dwarf wild plum bushes. Sitting still - stop weeding the cilantro and basil - soon he invites his mate to join him on the dill flowers where hummingbirds have been flitting about all day. Will they be nesting? It's a noisy place in the city - just glad they came to visit. No Photos Please - they are much too shy and quick. But their picture will stay vibrant in my memory of the sunshine the Yellow Warblers brought to us that day. My journal entry was at a very relaxed pace, due to my reflections and inspirations. In the sketch, I was able to appreciate each part of the bird's anatomy, as I thought of its flight and song and purpose. I will add color later when they return this year- late June I hope. yellow warbler journal
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mooseriverglass
      I wasn’t sure if this was suppose to be done with a lot of details. Since it was a photo and I could keep referring back to it, I could have taken a lot of time. I chose to do a quick sketch, not a lot of accuracy or detail. I find it easier to draw from a photo because my mind can focus on just that. D53D6DFF-15C7-4C7C-920E-4EF8D41EA738
    • Leopold
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      leonberg
      IMG_3535-1IMG_3537 For me this was the first time using watercolor for something this "complicated". After finishing the bird I got a little impatient and didn´t put that much effort into the branches. After a while I figured that the paper I was using wasn´t quite watercolor-friendly. My mom joined me in drawing the Yellow Warbler, you can see her result above as well. I´m very excited to draw this picture again at the end of the course.
    • Margie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mwatson9
      I liked drawing from the photo because it gives you time draw and look again and make changes.  This warbler seems to be easier to draw than some other birds. It was challenging to draw the feathers.  I did not notice the darker streaks of feathers in the bird's chest.  This would be important because it would be a point of identity. IMG_8679
    • Zoë
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      zoëbird
      431F02B8-379D-48D7-AA5D-E6234B780A2A This was a lot of fun! Sketching out the image was much easier than using the watercolors (very new to water colors). Definitely paid more attention to trying to be ‘accurate’ than I may have otherwise been.
      • Mary
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        MKDonovan
        Amazing --especially love the bark and lichen--for a watercolor "beginner"!
      • Mary
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        MKDonovan
        Amazing --especially love the bark and lichen--for a watercolor "beginner"! Mary in NH
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jransley
      2C5C2BB2-44EB-4AD0-A633-5BAB2ACDAF85_1_201_a
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cpodeszwa
      I noticed so much more about the yellow warbler as I drew it! I didn't know it that it had a kind of charcoal-smudged cape with distinctive feathered epaulets. I was also struck by the distinctive black edging on the wing. To draw it using pencil was challenging, as I tried to make the grey features different from the reddish-brown features. I also wanted to represent the fluffiness of some of the feathers vs. the sharpness of the wings.
    • Davie Art
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Dave Art
      1.  I did not mind drawing from a photo at all.  Especially a bird as they never sit still.   2.  The excitement of drawing a warbler was the easiest part.  I love warblers.  The wings were a challenge for me.  3.  Um, everything about the bird.  If it was moving I'd be lost.  4.  Probably.  It's hard enough ID'ing birds let alone trying to draw one on the spot.  Maybe once I start learning how to draw birds better it will come easy but right now a photo works for me.Yellow Warbler
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Chrisandnate
      IMG_9176 The benefit of drawing the bird, is that you really remember the details which helps with identification. A photo is faster and more accurate. I really enjoyed drawing this. I am nervous about adding color, so I thought I should upload before I try...
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      warfi002
      i cannot ever get it to look 3 dimensional. It looks like a flat side view not like his head is angled toward the viewer. I supposed this is done by shading?
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Eatbeans
      Felt oddly nervous about drawing from the photo without more specific instruction, as though I might screw something up. Still, getting the shape of the warbler was pretty easy and capturing the beak and eye. There are details I'd have missed if I hadn't been drawing the bird, like the bird's toes and the positioning of the legs. I was surprised how clearly I could see the delicate toes and toenails. I also wouldn't have noticed the wisp of feathers partially covering the leg on the left.
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      plattelady
      It is easier as the subject remains stationary. Feathers and shadings are a challenge with a pencil.  Closer look brings the tree branch details  - the lichen and moss.  The absolute black eye.  Leg angles - Nature journaling reqyellow warbler  draw 1uires these details.
    • Aki
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      akiko212
      1.  It was fun.  I was able to capture more details than the live objects.  Getting the proportion and shapes right was challenging. 2.  Details in the leaves and the bird.  Shading in the feathers.  Overall shape of the birds. Photo on 4-7-21 at 7.32 PM
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Solliday
      IMG_9502IMG_9503 My 6-year-old daughter decided to join me for the for the first exercise, and we had a blast! I felt comfortable drawing the sticks and leaves and then totally lost with the bird. I would not have noticed the moss if I hadn't drawn the image, and I can see how that would be a nice environmental detail for a nature journal. I like that when you draw, you really need to hone in on the details to capture them, and often with general photography you trust the image to do that for you.
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        warfi002
        sooo cute! Now I'm intimidated!
    • Chantal
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ChantalProulx
      I probably would not have noticed the feet as much.  It was a great exercise.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Lisa_Harvey
      I’ve been trying this year to add a page to my journal every few days. I’ve also been doing some drawing and watercolour courses. I approached drawing this bird as just drawing it. I intended to draw quickly and tried to draw confidently. I’ve always been more of a photographer than a drawer but I love the focus that drawing gives me and my results are improving. I’m so impressed by everyone’s contributions to this discussion. Here’s mine (note that I am in Australia and we do dates differently. This is dated April 6.) 602E4BCD-EAC2-4851-B3B7-B3DA95E3BBBA
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lrowe314
      Ex1-YellowWarbler At first I didn't trust myself to get started, but then it just kind of flowed.  Having the time to draw from the photo really let me focus on the details.  When I'm just looking at a photograph, I don't really notice the finer details of color variations, patterns, and proportions.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      maryykchan
      IMG_5323 I didn't think much, had no prior training or practice in drawing...just listened to Liz and drew what I saw. I liked what I did and look forward to learning more. Wow! SO many drawings look like professional work already!      
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      svalett
      Yellow Warbler
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Rhonda_Robert
      8BF46E7C-BC44-4EFC-AFC0-AE6A7F34790B
    • April
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      agalyardt
      When drawing from a photo, you have so much more time. So I was trying to work quickly to capture key details and get to just a little more than a gestural drawing. I was also trying out a "field brush" where the water is in the handle of the brush. I discovered that severely limited my ability to control how wet the sketch got, and I couldn't get any detail on the wing until I switched to a normal brush. IMG_20210402_163155
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      MarthaElliott
      imageI was more focused on the bird in the beginning and less on the foliage at first.  I later realized that habitat is important too.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      michaelmumma
      IMG_2866
    • VYVYAN
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      VITALENGINE
      Yellow Warbler 2021-03-30-0001
      • VYVYAN
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        VITALENGINE
        Drawing from a photo has definite advantages over drawing in the field -- you have more time to look closely, but perhaps you're also more inclined to get caught up in extraneous detail and not develop the skill of registering key features quickly. Even with the photo, though, I made the beak too heavy and Corvid-like, and had to set the sketch aside a while to see where I went wrong. Improved a little after posting.
    • Judi
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      judifine
      IMG_2134 I liked drawing from the photo because I could take my time and really look at the bird. I saw much more detail than looking at the bird in the wild. I did this pretty quickly and struggled with the feathers. That's something I need to learn. However, my biggest issue is sketching the legs and especially the feet. I find this very hard. Like others, I can lost in the detail and spend too much time on things that not that important.
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mudbirdz
      I like drawing birds from photos because I get distracted easily outside and using a photo gives me the opportunity to look closely at what I'm drawing, particularly when it's a subject like a bird that would normally move out in the world. None of drawing birds comes easily, but figuring out angles and proportions comes more easily than knowing what to do with wings, feathers, and feet. I had to force myself to revisit the feet after sketching them in half-heartedly at the end. When drawing out in the field I'd most likely not be able to see the feet well enough to draw them accurately so a photo reference would be required if I wanted a complete drawing. Beaks and eyes are challenging but fun to work on and when you get them right it almost makes up for anything else in the drawing that's not quite right.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      wren44
      913261E1-ADF2-4E11-BFC5-46882BED4DA3
      • Diane
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        wren44
        Didn’t get the text in first, so replying to myself. Been working on birds for a while. Thinking this class offers nice direction and solid experience. The photos are helpful because the bird sits still. I get lots of bird detail, but it can also pull me into too much detail. I can get a little lost in it. When you first glance at the photo, you think yellow bird. But you get a chance to study it and see so many colors and light. The photo has everything in it, but I know I don’t want to include everything. I’m trying to capture some of its energy with less of what’s in the photo.
    • Lindi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lindirae
      IMG_5238 It's a bit difficult drawing from a photo because there's just so much detail to take in..  proportions, light aspects, scenery... and it's all right there in front of you to compare your drawing against. I don't think I've ever drawn a bird before so that was a challenge in and of itself. I loved figuring out how each feather was folded together and the patterns they form. The careful attention to detail that's required for sketching will definitely impact my ability to take in the small details of a scene/subject. Even with this bird, I was immediately drawn to the dark eye and bright yellow color and would probably have noticed this in nature, but it's doubtful that I would have picked up on the muscles in the bird's talons or the breathing hole and the bluish tints in it's beak. I've learned so much about bird anatomy just from this simple exercise.
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tikitc
      I started a bit stressed out because I do not draw very well. After a few starts I decided to approach the drawing a more relaxed way and to really observe the photo and let the focus take me away. That was much better -I stayed present and just observed, drew and wrote notes. I am looking forward to doing more!
    • Leelee
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Leelee78
      Day 1 Exercise I feel like my drawing didn't capture the spirit of the bird as much as eye wanted. It looks like a mischievous look in the eye I didn't capture. The beak was very challenging and I erased it three times before sticking with this one. The feet also were difficult. If I hadn't been drawing I wouldn't have noticed the soft brown lines coming from the eye of the bird or the little rippled edges of the leaves and the way the light hit them. It was very relaxing. Seeing extra details would add more vividness to the pictures, giving them more life when nature journaling.
    • Frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Frances S
      I found this very intimidating as I can't draw at all. Most of the journal example videos looked very professional and I thought - oh boy this class is too hard for me. Anyway, I went ahead and drew the bird. I felt nervous and unsure. Nothing came easily. I used the "circle" type method to try and get the body and head right but it didn't help. I persevered and ended up with a recognizable bird so that is a good start. I did not even try the feathers much. I just wanted to get a drawing that at least resembled the photo in general terms. It was great that the photo "didn't move"! I wouldn't have noticed the lovely way the feet curl around the tree branch if I had just taken a photo. Nature journaling encourages , actually demands, observing details. That is more fun than taking a photograph I think. I need to overcome my frustration that my drawings are not only not perfect, but are the opposite. And accept where I am now and that what I do now is the best I can for where I am right now. Easier said than done but a good goal.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      AmandaBarwise
      I definitely felt a bit nervous, trying to get everything perfect, but then I remembered no one is looking at the picture except for me. Drawing the bird shape was a bit easier than filling it in. I had a hard time trying to get the patterns of the feathers into the sketch but that's definitely something I noticed more than if I were taking a picture.
    • Melinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      melwest
      7D6E4359-0C0F-45A7-AEF2-0C680DC74480
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Popcornwall
      Once I realized that there is not time limit, I took my time and tried to get as much detail as I could.  Doing the contour of the warbler was easiest for me but when it came to the eye and beak this was another story.  I erased my eye and beak 4 times before I was happy with it.  My distances and proportion of the eye never added up.  Yellow Warbler March 27, 2021
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      djwilliamson
      Here's my Yellow Warbler. It was much easier to draw from a photo than from live observation. Yellow Warbler
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      clmeis
      I felt intimidated at first because I'm not artistic. But I'm taking this class to enjoy nature as I see it, and I feel my bird turned out o.k.; just a little longer and chubbier.:) Getting the bird's body dimensions and details was difficult for me.  I found I enjoyed drawing the leaves. Although I used no color in my drawing, I think I would not have noticed all the beautiful colors and details of the branches had I not drawn this.
      • Katie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        clmeis
        • IMG_6083
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      maple7
      I felt at ease while drawing from the picture because I knew that all the details were already captured and always there for reference. I'm not sure that any of it came easily; I had to think about every part. The part that was especially challenging was creating the varied texture on the branch. Oh, and capturing the bird's expression was tough. Had I not drawn it, I wouldn't have noticed the extra detail around the bird's eye or its nostril. Not having those details would not have a dramatic difference while journaling but having them makes it more special. 20210325_163310
    • Judyann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      JaB.A.Grant
      DSCN8309 Is this primitive? Yes! Was it a challenge? Yes! Was this a fun exercise? Yes! Do I have room for improvement? Oh double yes! :)
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        djwilliamson
        Love your attitude!
      • VYVYAN
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        VITALENGINE
        Perhaps because of the simplicity you've managed to capture the relationship of the eye to the beak very effectively. Love this.
    • carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      helenasam
      Once I got over the fact that my drawing wasn't going to look like a photo, I was able to relax and really take notice of the details. Finding the starting point took me a few minutes. I decided to give a faint impression of the tree so the little warbler had something to land on. The feathers were the biggest challenge. There are so many textures and patterns! I wouldn't have noticed the little smile on the bird's face if I was just looking at the photo. It was a pleasant surprise. I was also intrigued by his little feet and wanted to get them just right. It's something about how he's holding on to the branch that captivated me. This would make a big difference when journaling because I have a deeper connection to this little fella. I also want to learn more about the different feathers and their functions. fullsizeoutput_10f3
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 40
      doveTale409
      When you have a photo you have more time to draw and you can go back and look at the subject any time. There could be many details that you might have missed in the field if you aren’t trained to pay attention to certain important details right in the beginning.  When drawing you can see more color, shape and dimension .  There can also be a sense of wonder and awe along the way. 8D83B31E-2600-4FA6-8584-1D407DBF5F7E
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      reabaya
      What fun!  I just grabbed my granddaughter's sketch pad, a pencil and two colored pencils... and forgot about making dinner. I loved examining the relationship of the wing to the body with the different textures and colors as I tried to draw the little bird.  I would not have noticed these components if I had just a photograph to study.  0D4EB80B-8CDC-4F5C-A142-ECDF7355459E_1_105_c
    • Fernando
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Felixfer
      IMG_6476
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      VolvoSoccerMom
      1. I prefer drawing from photos over real life events.  It gives me the opportunity to notice so many little details I would have overlooked. 2. There are so many things I would not have noticed if I wasn't drawing it; the different types of moss/lichen on the branch, the reddish/brown feathers underneath, the perfectly circular eye, the chewed on leaf... I think nature journaling forces you to slow and pay attention to the little things. Yellow Warbler
    • Gudrun
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      waxbill63
      99CF2327-F2E2-403F-8623-03D4B9AFFDCBIt is fun to draw from a photo as I can zoom in for detail and the bird doesn’t move.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MacCormack
      I was surprised that I could draw anything remotely ressembling a bird!  Drawing has always intimidated me! Photography is my hobby, but my usual focus (!) is on composing the image, etc., and many of the fine details the bird identification are lost.  I like trying to place the eye in relation to the bill, placement of feet, shape of head, etc.  It was fun!Initial;Drawing
    • Michelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      schuettkes
      I’m pleased my drawing looks like a bird! I felt a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to draw anything. At first I was really trying to get the shapes right but once I started focusing on the details I let go of my perfectionism (a little) and just enjoyed noticing and trying to get some of the details. I found the feet to be really tricky! D0F84769-53F5-41D4-BA0B-202833F7C392
      • carrie
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        helenasam
        You captured those little feet just beautifully! They caught my attention, too.
    • tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tom zimmer
      The photo allowed time to really examine the scene.47316A69-8427-4673-86C2-2E03B17FF266
    • Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Hannah M
      It was difficult to capture the bird's pose - the bird has such an alert, energetic presence. My rendering slopes down too much at the tail. It's dismaying to see the differences between the photo and the drawing but feel as though I have limited ability to bridge the gap. I do enjoy finding the lights and darks in an image and taking note of textures. IMG_7796
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bmcgee168
      After taking Liz's Drawn to Birds yesterday, I immediately signed up for this class. It has already been so much fun! Drawing from the photo was definitely easier than drawing from nature. When I try to draw birds at my bird feeder, they shift and fly away so I end up drawing from a field guide. The leaves weren't too difficult, but the overall shape of the bird was challenging. Trying to determine the relative sizes of the head and body was not easy. If I had not been drawing, I probably would not have noticed the lichen, moss, and the reddish color on the bird's breast. When nature journaling, noticing these details will make my drawings so much more realistic. IMG_2979
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      maria.sendova
      viber_image_2021-03-21_19-40-53
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cholyoak
      I enjoyed this first exercise, especially because it forced me to slow down and to notice details I might have glanced past otherwise. For example, I noticed some of the surrounding leaves had nibbles taken from them, the specific way the warbler's feet wrapped around the branch, and the beautiful patterning on its chest, details I might not have noticed in a photograph. I found it quite difficult to match the shapes, angles, and lines of the warbler, even when I thought I saw them quite well, with my own representation on the page. I did feel okay about how some of the details turned out, but mostly I'm excited to pick up some new tools throughout this course, and to hopefully see some improvement at the end!
    • Kristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      pnwsundodger
      The most challenging was drawing the bird and trying to get its anatomy correct. I’m not sure I would have noticed all the detail on the branch in the photo or it’s texture from the lichen and moss. Yes. I think noticing more detail does make a difference in nature journaling. One may start out drawing the bird but then notice the detail and decide to place mor emphasis on this detail rather than the bird. Noticing the detail opens up more journaling avenues.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      christopherbass
      IMG_0675 Need to learn to use the watercolors.. I like them, but they're a bit messy. I think photos have an advantage in getting everything recorded at once, so no details are lost. However, the sketching process makes *me* pay attention to the details as I'm drawing them.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      studiogloria
      PXL_20210220_210320352PXL_20210320_194417276I think drawings have the advantage of capturing feeling through the eyes and hand of the person drawing - as long as a scientific approach isn't required.  Photos have the advantage of capturing actual colors and detail in a clear image.  I enjoyed drawing from the photo, because I tend to be slow and might miss a lot of details if I were drawing from nature.  I think the overall proportions came easily to me, although there are some areas that are a little off.  What was challenging for me was the relationship between the eye and the beak, and capturing the position and definition of the feathers.  I might not have noticed all the detail in the branches and feathers if I didn't draw it, and this detail can be important when reporting on your observations in your journal, to differentiate the various birds and their environment.
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      erpolich
      1)  I felt intimidated at first drawing from the photo, but relaxed when I realized the bird was not going to fly away and that I could take my time. It was challenging to get proportions right and to capture the essence of a living creature.  The easiest thing was making observations. 2)  I would not have noticed the details on the branches, eg the lichen and mosses.  I also would not have been as aware of the subtle colors on the bird and leaves.  I think this makes a difference when nature journaling because it exercises observational skills leading to questions, the next drawing, getting lost in the moment, etc.IMG_20210320_134755364 (1)
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      vtjemmac
      3CA7B200-71D6-4261-9B90-A3E885411BED_1_105_cPhotos are quick and easy but one's attention to detail really comes into play when you try to draw/paint it. I kept wondering how much detail do I need to add?
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      slrakow
      Getting the shape of the warbler was not too difficult but I struggled with the beak. I did notice a slight up angle on the bottom of the beak and how it wraps around the head. Just had a difficult time trying to capture it. I like to do drawings from photos to loosen up and practice shapes. There is less pressure to be quick because your subject isn’t about to fly away!44D8DA6B-9EA4-4A42-B194-679C69F2148A
    • Joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Joyce01*
      It was a fun sketch to do.  I love drawing birds.  Drawing the bird was easy, except for its feet... I probably would not have noticed the lichen or the moss on the branches. I would have been focused on the color of the bird and it's markings so I could identify what kind of bird it was.  Yes it would make a difference in journaling, because the type of tree and leaves are part of the birds habitat.
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      SueGilbert
      There is so much I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't draw this yellow warbler, particularly the fine details, like the color of his legs and feet, or the way the the reddish brown is patterned on his breast. I am sure it all makes a difference with nature drawing because so many differences between species  are so subtle, that they are important to notice and document, if you really want to learn what you are looking at. Drawing is such a good way to focus, and to take the time to really notice. IMG-0049
    • Himesha
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Himesha
      • When you draw, you pay attention to all the details in the photo, even the tiny ones. But when just looking at a photo, you don't notice those tiny details.
      • Drawing this photo was very interesting. I'm a little bit sad, because I don't know how to paint properly. Hoping to learn it here.
      • Drawing the bird was easy but getting it's beak right was challenging. Still couldn't get it right.
      • Yes, there is a lot that I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't draw this. I wouldn't have noticed how it's feathers are placed, how it's legs are placed and how the branches are.
      • This would help me to notice more details when nature journaling.
      IMG_7511
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      vermontplum
      What a treat that the warbler stayed still! It was very quiet; I would have liked to hear it sing on this cold March morning. Leaves are easier for me to draw as it feels there is more room for interpretation. The proportions, curves and angles of the warbler were tricky to capture accurately. The eye is so rich and perfectly circular in the image, the beak a triangle. Painting, well...I find it extremely hard to find the right colors. I don't know how to mix, and the water came out to fast from the brush. Maybe I was squeezing to hard? I went to dipping it in water and that was worse. I used a watercolor pencil for the streaks and it wasn't sharp enough and made wider streaks than intended. Being asked to draw it helped me see the details: where the wing met the body, shape of the beak, the twiggy nature of the feet.  Fun!warblerIMG-0610
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Homedaleteach
      My first drawing
    • Derek
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      derekberlin
      It was a tough draw! I am very rusty, but it was fun to play around and work on how to approach it. There are absolutely elements I would not have noticed if I had not attempted to draw the bird. I perhaps would not even have noticed the prominent red coloring around the chest and throat, instead focusing on the yellow and black, had I just spotted it in the wild or glanced at the photo. This would certainly make a difference when journaling. March112021 Yellow Warbler
    • joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      andijker
      photos of course have the  advantage of rendering the image in a perfect way; however, digital photography has made most of us snap happy. I point and click and click and click and do not necessarily look at the all the little details in the bird. Drawing forces us to study minute details of the thing we are recording.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Homedaleteach
      My image would not upload. It was in JPEG format and only 4 MB. Don't know what I did wrong. I felt challenged, a little scared and wondering how much detail I should in. I ended up drawing the entire picture with pencil, not just the bird. If I had not been drawing, I might not have noticed the red stripes on the bird's breast and the leaf that had been chewed.  I guess you should try to draw everything you see. But not sure.
    • Luz
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lvm107
      My first thought was that it was pretty unfair to be asked to draw a bird without receiving any instructions on how to do it, but I have to say, the end result was not as disastrous as I thought it would be. Still, I can't wait to learn some techniques and tools in this course, including how to use watercolor :) Yellow Warbler 2021-03-11 at 10.55.27
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LDeShantz
      I’m really new to sketching and this was challenging, but I was surprised at how not terrible my bird’s shape and proportion came out. I can’t wait to learn some tools in the upcoming lessons to see how my style develops. The feet were challenging for me, and painting it didn’t do it any favors, but whatever. I’m here to learn!739CB885-9764-4A1E-9275-B8B6EAB4DC17
    • Mary Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      maryellen712
      Kind of scary until the head was drawn and it surprised me by looking like a bird! The head imagewas easy; trying to get the body proportioned was more difficult.  I would not have noticed the brownish stripes on the bird or the way the feet were wrapped around the branch. This would make a huge difference in nature journaling because the more you notice, the better able you are to identify the object.
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jselisky
      Amazed; surprised at liking my drawing. I stopped thinking and just drew; shape, shape, shade, get some scale on the beak, position eye, then more shading with shape of tail. I was out of my comfort zone until I wasn't. DJ's journal and narrative was a big difference maker. Feet were most challenging, partly because of the angle. I would not have noticed the bird's bend to the right without trying to draw the legs and feet. In journaling, that's significant.Photo on 3-8-21 at 5.40 PM
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      chachaholt
      I think it was probably easier to see details on a photo of a bird than in real life because obviously the birds typically are moving around but it was less relaxing. I think when in nature, I feel like I would sketch and not worry but here where it's clearly that I'm seeing all of the details, I felt some sort of pressure to include all of the details (of the bird - didn't do much with tree). It was interesting as I started going along how I started to notice the layering of the feathers and slight tone differential of all of the yellows and browns. When I came to the neck towards the end of my time, I didn't realize at first there had been a pattern there. YellowBird NJCMarch2021 from photo
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      camilleb
      Taking the time to stop and observe was itself grounding, relaxing, drawing is a little unnerving, when done for critique. Still it is so good to put pencil to paper. What was easy was the angles of the contour, what was challenging were the proportions, and the feeling of 'hereness' of the bird. I would not have noticed the blunted point of the beak, the wrinkleliness of the branches, the lichen, the slight turn of the head towards us, the very different angles of the legs, the orange breast streaks.
    • Glen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gdchapman
      I definitely notice more detail in the photo when I am drawing from it.  I was afraid that my drawing would not look like the Yellow Warbler that I know but it does have some resemblance.  The outline of the bird cam easier than I thought it might.  Filling in the wings and rest of the bird was harder than I thought it might be. -like how to get those primary feathers to look like primary feathers.
    • Glen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gdchapman
      53C8B459-03EA-45CF-B4C1-A53058035303_1_201_a
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      kathleentitus
      I enjoyed drawing from the photo. What came most easily was that the bird stayed nice and still! The angles of the legs and the way the feet wrap around the branch was the most challenging and also what I might not have noticed if I hadn't drawn it. And yes, this would make a difference when nature journaling....
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Anna52
      It was a blast.  I really enjoyed creating. The shapes came pretty easily and the proportions were harder.  The shading also seems harder.  How do you make the shadows and the darker lines in black and white.  I noticed the lines on the feathers and around the eye, also the moss on the branches.  These differences would be missed if just looking at the photo.19B8C884-9BE4-4ACB-BB7E-B61890226554
    • Adrianna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      AdAnderson11
      1) At first it seemed easy. Getting the outline was okay. It was more difficult when I began adding details. I felt like I was messing up the more I added, and I was happier when it was more of a general shape and feel. 2) I definitely notice the bill and eye details more - particularly the shape and color.
    • Van
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      VanMcC
      I felt find drawing from a photo.  Easier than chasing a fluttering bird.  I think any time you are asked to draw a thing you pay more attention to the details, like the black eye, the layers of covert feathers, the red streaking.  You can dig down deeper into the little things.  I think the goal, for me, to do the NJing is to pay more attention to these details.   IMG_0859  
    • Francesca
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      FrancescaB
      Having a photo to draw from wasn't too bad.  I found it a little difficult to get the posture of the bird right.  And without coloring it in, it's hard to distinguish between the greenish & black on the back of the bird and the bright brown on the front. I definitely noticed more about the feather structure than I would have from just looking at the photo.
      • Francesca
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        FrancescaB
        IMG_9646
      • Francesca
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        FrancescaB

        @Francesca IMG_9648 I wanted to try to get some of the color, so I experimented with the watercolors on a second draft.  I am not a very experienced painter, and my lines seem very wide and uncontrolled compared to some others I see.

    • Mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MCurtis1
      IMG_0001The drawing was a bit challenging having not seriously practiced drawing for over 40 years. The basic shape came easily but getting the shading and details was challenging. Just looking at the photo I would not have paid attention to the different types of feathers or their placement. It encourages you to pay more attention which will only enhance your journaling and make it more meaningful and memorable.
    • Leo
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LeoSnead2
      034983CA-3EB5-4600-91EA-76F11802042E
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      meli9er
      1) I was apprehensive about drawing a close-up of an animal because I usually draw scenary. Once I got going, drawing shapes and their relation to each other was relatively easy for me, but getting the textures right was difficult. 2) There was a lot I didn't notice until I was trying to draw it, especially the color variations throughout! This would make a huge difference when nature journaling!
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LeeZLee
      Photos give me time to compose my page - and the bird sits still!  (unlike if I was spotting them along my creek). As always, the sketching forces me to slow down, and then I really do start to notice the little things. Like the lichen on the branch, the bug holes in the leaves and the amazing feet of the warbler. Once everything is on the page, then I had fun listening to the song of the yellow warbler & learning about it's range.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nlrboomer
      IMG_7171
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dawn C.
      I photograph birds and nature a lot and enjoy it. It's a quick way to capture a moment that quickly disappears! I then use the photo and take my time to draw in the details that I wouldn't have had time to with birds. Photos are also great in inclement weather when you can't spend a long time outside! Plants and trees are more easily sketched and watercoloured since they don't move much, other than a little breeze or the light changing. I really prefer the journaling as it is a more personal way to record your time with nature. Perhaps more "grounding" if you will.   IMG_0820
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      charadams
      I find both photographing and drawing equally challenging.  I have spent many hours just watching a bird to see how it moves, what it does, how it looks at different angles, and waiting for the "shot" I want to take.  I really get offended when someone wants to use my photo for a painting without asking me.  I spend lots of time and money on camera equipment, finding the bird and taking the picture.  Often "artists" do not recognize that photography is also an art form.  I have spent hours in freezing temperatures and many hours in the car searching for birds such as snowy owls.  So, I don't think photos are quick and easy.  However, I also like drawing birds and wildlife from nature and my own photos.  It is equally as rewarding in different ways.  I am certainly not an expert at either, or I wouldn't still be taking courses such as this.
    • Emma
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      BirdFriendForever
      B7D0844B-E6B3-4D4A-806D-EBFA14F6A1DF I liked drawing from the photo, because photos don’t move around like real birds do. I haven't actually tried sketching a bird in real time, though, and I can't wait to do that at some point! If I hadn't been asked to draw the photo, I probably wouldn't have noticed a lot of the smaller details like the moss on the branch or the positioning of the warbler's legs. I'm excited to do this again at the end of the course and see how my drawing has changed! :)
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      aliceclee
      1. I like drawing from photos because I can take my time. The drawback is I can't alter the focus -- some parts of the photo is blurred and I can't see what's going on there. 2. I would not have noticed how colorful the tree branch is! Also I think I would've not been able to notice how the feathers and feather groups lay in relation to one another, and the proportions of the feet and legs  (birds rarely come close enough and stay long enough). 144982413_779048062699479_1786355540921751440_n
    • Lucas
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      BirdBoy86
      MyFirstDrawing I felt the watercolour and the legs were the hardest. What I enjoyed was paying attention to to the details and really appreciating the bird. It really helped me make a connection to the bird, and if I were taking a photograph in the field, I wouldn't have noticed the positioning of the feet, the overall positioning of the bird, and the details on the wings.
    • Cherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      bayogabird
      IMG_2247 I found drawing the legs and feet the most challenging. What I enjoy about drawing birds is having to pay attention to the details - the posture of the bird and the overall shape of the birds. I hope to master the feathers, bills, and feet!
    • Wesley
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cozyCauliflower
      I felt good while sketching the birds and I think it was a satisfying result. The easiest part in my opinion was that it was a picture so I didn't have to worry about it shifting positions. What was challenging was that I didn't know how much detail to put into it. One thing that I like about sketching is that I notice things I wouldn't have otherwise if I was just passing by it on a walk. One thing that I noticed while sketching, was the talons, I never noticed how intricately they wrapped around the tree branches. The way that they wrap around to me seems so flexible and something I wouldn't dream of doing with my hands. It's cool to see how adaptations allow animals to do such things. If you're are wondering why there are two, it's because me and my mom did them together. (me top, bottom mom) PXL_20210130_010953763_2
    • Lynne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lynnebeth
      I enjoy looking at my first drawing of this sweet little yellow warbler. It came easily and it was challenging. The distance between the beak and the eye and the claws/talons/feet were challenging. I never noticed the layers of feathers or the number of individual claws (for lack of the real term). Yes, it would make a difference with nature journaling.
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BirdHill83!
      I'm fairly comfortable drawing from a photo, and I enjoy having the time to look at details and try to render them—but feathers are a challenge! Drawing birds lets me discover all of the lovey details that I would miss otherwise.IMG_3982
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      corvus16
      Drawing from a photo is something that I do often as a studio artist, so I felt comfortable with it. I challenged myself a little by drawing the warbler without taking any measurements, and trying to eyeball the proportions this time. Hopefully this will be good practice for field sketching! Drawing the feather groups and overall shape came relatively easily since I've practiced before, but estimating proportions was a challenge. I find this especially tricky when deciding how to position the legs so the bird looks balanced. Without drawing this photo, I might've missed some of the wing details and subtle differences between olive and yellow tones. When nature journaling, I think noticing both details and the bigger picture is a great way to become a more attuned observer.
    • emilie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      emilieaeyelts
      It has always amazed me how you immediately look with a lot more intensity and eye for details as soon as you set out to draw an image. For me that is one of the rewards of finding time to draw and watch.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      kielbasinski
      yellow warbler
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Quiltheart
      6B131529-6CC0-45E3-8AE8-7BA848B1E578In some ways, it’s easier to draw from a photo - birds don’t sit still!  It’s easier to get the details of coloring & such.  But it’s harder to get the sense of a three dimensional living bird from a photo.   I don’t think I would have noticed how many subtle shades of color there are in the Yellow Warbler if I hadn’t drawn it.  It would have registered as mostly yellow, with black details.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cburgess426
      First I felt nervous, already thinking "What if it's not good enough?". Enough for what? I'm such a perfectionist! Then I just got to it. Liz had already said at one point that the eraser was my friend, whereas I had had an art teacher who always admonished "No erasers!" So I relaxed and used my eraser, which wasn't a lot. I compared eye to beak re: positioning the eye, paid lots of attention to proportion, and the different short and long wing feathers. I kind of enjoyed it!
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      johannalane
      warbler I loved this exercise.  It was a challenge for me to allow the patience and time to draw.  I found myself rushing.  I used to draw when I was a kid and would spend hours at it.  It came easily for me to recognize details, but I didn't notice the two layers of wings/feathers initially.  A poor representation of the wing layers.  Nature journaling will reteach me patient observation. I'm looking forward to that :)
    • Abigail
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      agriffwood
      I really appreciated getting to see all the variations on the journal both in the first video and in these comments. Starting off felt a bit awkward, but I have already noticed elements (such as textural direction shifts in the wings) that I would not have noticed otherwise.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      jess504
      Honestly I felt extremely ANXIOUS just jumping straight in to drawing this bird! I think I did OK with the proportions, but it was challenging to add some of the shading in just black and white. I did find it interesting that I noticed a lot more detail (such as the very faint stripey bits around the bird's head, and it's weirdly long right toes) due to drawing the picture. If I weren't drawing it, I just would have seen a pretty yellow bird and moved on. Nature Journal Day 1
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Huckster58
      4BFBA59B-87F9-4E0A-A422-1B153A86FD84Did not use the watercolors.  Not sure how, looking forward to learning how to use them.  When drawing you notice all the details.  Hope to learn how to better incorporate these details with much improved techniques.
    • Giulia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      giuliaa
      Firstexercise I can´t wait to see the evolution at the end of the course :D
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      turtleadventures
      This is the first time I have tried to draw a bird. Well, beyond little black "V" marks. It took me an hour and lots of zooming in. The proportions are way off, this bird probably wouldn't fly! Aside from the difficulty of getting life into a drawing, which I hope to learn, I had NO IDEA how hard it is to represent leaves, branches, much less lichen! Wow. A big lesson! I'm very glad this was from a photo. As I took an hour, no way could it be done live. I'm going to shed tears but learn much from this course!
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      turtleadventures
      20210121_160433
    • Ayn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      welleford
      Well. That wasn't as awful as I expected it to be :) There is so much to see in this photo. There are so many different textures and colors in the branch alone, I can imagine getting lost in the exploration.
    • Pam
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      pzbentley
      Drawing from a still subject is a bit easier, able to see more details and enjoy the process. I saw the fine details of the feathers, the feet and the beak.  I don’t think I could have seen it all from a bird on a feeder or limb, but look forward to that challenge.
    • Jacob
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jake Vinsel
      Ines (7 years old): I felt great. I felt like a great artist.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      rhorwitz
      This exercise was a good pre-assessment. It wasn't easy for me. It doesn't feel authentic to draw from a 2-dimensional photo. But yes, I did notice details of the bird that I wouldn't have if I wasn't trying to draw it. What I noticed were all the little stripes in the bird's plumage. On the breast there were all these light brown streaks. On top there were black streaks, and one area looked a bit greenish. Before, all I noticed was bright yellow. It's still yellow, but not crayon-box pure yellow. I wouldn't see this detail in the field, so it was helpful to draw from the photo.
    • Karly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      KMintz311
      1. How did you feel about drawing from the photo? What came easily and what was challenging? I felt great drawing from the photo. When I draw, I prefer photographs or still images to draw from because I can take my time and really study and take in detail. The head shape, beak placement and some detailing was a bit challenging, but I found the rest to be easier. The branches and leaves came the most easily. I also found that I was very nervous to add color! I'm not good with watercolors and was worried I'd ruin the sketch. 2. Was there anything in the photo that you might not have noticed if you weren’t asked to draw it? Would this make a difference when nature journaling? I don't think I would have noticed the 3 individual toes curled on one of the warblers feet. this would make a big difference  when nature journaling because it gives you more data to take note of.IMG_0577
    • Jay
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jpurcell
      20210114_145435
    • Melody
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MelodyMarie
      592FE2A1-B64E-4133-ABC8-82CC149084AB
    • Alyson
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      adudek
      AD6AB711-F453-430E-B480-8E6153F8C4BBI was really nervous to begin and once I started I became lost in it. I spend most of my free time photographing all nature and so drawing from a still picture was much easier than in the field.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gobigred22
      As I began drawing from the photo, I greatly appreciated that this wonderful little bird was not moving.  It gave me a chance to look carefully at the detail (the varied colors – usually I would just note “a yellow bird” –but now I noted the brown streaks on its breast.  Also the different kinds of feathers overlapping. And the details of the twig and the moss/lichen).  The actual drawing was a challenge….it has been a while since I have done any drawing – figuring out proportions and angles, but the more I sketched, the more I enjoyed it!  In fact it was a very relaxing exercise.  As I progress, I hope to experiment more with color. The advantage of drawing over photographing is that you spend more time actually looking at the detail of the subject.  Having just completed a digital photography course I understand the detail of getting the correct light, aperture speed, focus, etc.  Although you focus on the subject in terms of composition, you do not zero in on the detail.   I think in nature journaling I may find it difficult to draw the detail since the subject may be moving, but instead I may spend more time observing the behavior of the bird, or the environment – in fact a combination of photos and drawing on the spot may be a nice compromise.  The advantage of journaling is observing the interactions of the animals and the plants in their environment and then recording those observations.   Jan 12 2021 Yellow Warbler 1st Sketch
    • jenica
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jenicaandic
      DBE1926B-AD39-4535-B12C-6525F36EA157 Well, this was scary to dive right in!  I really enjoyed spending time making this first drawing.  Without drawing, I would not have found the weight of his little breast, the fullness of his upper wings/shoulders/neck area.  Finding the angles was difficult.  Studying his sweet eye was joyful. It was nice to have a still subject to study.    I really enjoyed the peace that came when studying this little fellow.
    • Carla
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      carlaret
      F327858A-B4D2-448C-861A-40EF1C5B6E82 While I was initially intimidated, I enjoyed the process, I look forward to learning the skills I need to capture a subject with my hands. The drawing process made me more aware of what is around the bird, especially the lichen.
    • Chloe Hernandez
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      chloehernandez1
      IMG_6712IMG_6717I felt good about drawing from the photo, but I did struggle with the head shape, eye, and painting the back and wing feathers of the bird. I find painting feathers difficult. Also, if I wasn't asked to draw it, I wouldn't have noticed how box shaped the bird is. At first glance, it looks round and fluffy. It would make a difference journaling because if I didn’t have this photo to stare at, I probably would’ve drawn the bird more round than square.
      • Robin
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        turtleadventures
        Hi Chloe I'm a fellow student. I think you captured the bird very nicely indeed. Your foliage is amazing!
      • tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        tom zimmer
        Really nice work. you really got the three dimensional feel. The painting is superb. Is that just water color work?
    • Antonia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      antonia.bennett
      20210110_yellow-warbler-sketch The scraggly branches were more interesting once I started drawing them and noticed several kinds of moss & lichen and the little bud joints on the leaf stems. Birds need their little claw feet in order to look like real birds. There are many layers of feathers on the warbler. Looking forward to learning drawing techniques like shading.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      afenner
      P1098182
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gdps4849
      Okay, well. I think my bird is a little to fluffy. I'm not sure he could get off the ground.  I chose to leave him as a pencil drawing for the time being. I am freaked out about watercolors. My previous attempts at it have been less than inspiring. Bird legs are hard. I too feel that the best part of my drawing is the branch and leaves. 46pxzc87x9enkopl3k6r0q1ncrjft57p (2)
    • april
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      anewlander
      This was hard for me. I had a hard time getting the shape and the aerodynamic look of the bird. The legs were really hard too. I think the leaves were the easiest, but they still need some work. Any details from the photo on the stick were difficult and not captured. I used colored pencils. I enjoyed drawing but I think it looks like something my kids would draw. My 8 and 5 year old kids just came out and told me how great it looks. yellow warbler #1
    • Matthew
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mvandood
      It was hard, especially the red on the chest, but fun. Drawing this made me notice the lichens on the branch. IMG_E5420[1]
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jpwidroe
          Good Morning!  I loved drawing from the photo as the bird didn't move!  I could take my time and really study the shape, shading, and colors.  Finding a quiet, uninterrupted time to explore proved to be the most challenging aspect although the drawing itself was challenging.  Getting the lines and proportions "correct" was a task.  I didn't let myself get frustrated but just worked quietly and intently.  (Listening to Costa Rica soundscapes on Calm was helpful here!) Working from the photo allowed me to see nuances of the bird... the angle of the head, the placement of the talons on the branch, the subtle shades of the head and shoulders.  I might not have noticed these otherwise as I wouldn't have spent (or had) the time to really observe carefully.  I think the struggle with journaling moving animals, plants, living objects is just that, they move.  I imagine practice with stationary objects and photos would make me quicker with the basics so that I would have time to get to the subtleties.   Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 9.58.14 AM
    • Deanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      deamoore
      I felt very confident  doing this drawing , the head and breast became easier for me rather than the wings and bottom . I noticed the varios tipes of moss and lichen on the branch , that would be important if you wanted to determin what species the tree is that the bird is standing on or how old that tree is.
    • Midori
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mikudo
      1. It was fun! I'm excited to hone this skill more and more, and to keep continuing with this course. Getting the shape of the bird was harder than I anticipated; drawing and continuing with the sketch despite imperfections came more easily than I thought (as a perfectionist, I often get caught in the particulars which hinders progress and/or completion). 2. I wouldn't have noticed the geometric shape of the bird: how it's head is flatter than I would've assumed if asked to draw this from memory. The position of the tail feather and its structure was surprising as well! Very sturdy looking, and not as long as I would have anticipated. I am very excited to progress and learn more.
    • L
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jemison
      yellow warbler
    • Tyler
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LordVader
      1. I felt like everything I needed was in the photo but that the challenge would be in my translation into the drawing. I felt like my drawing did not capture the proper scale. I made my branch too big so some of the leaves did not make it on the paper. I also had a really hard time drawing the leaves. When it came to the bird, I didn't get the eye correct. My bird was also not fat enough. Overall, I struggled with what I should start drawing first. I thought I should have started drawing the bird first because that is the focal point of the exercise, but I started with the branch first (working left to right). 2. There were a lot of things I would not have noticed had I not been asked to draw it. Perhaps the biggest thing is that I wouldn't have noticed the impact of the focus of the picture. Clearly, the bird is the focal point, but that also manifests itself in the rest of the picture. Some of the leaves are in focus and some are not, etc. I think this does make a difference when journaling. I think this exercise taught me that I should be focusing on the subject first and the background second. When I drew my picture, I started methodically - left to right drawing the picture - because I was trying to make sure I drew the entire picture and not just the bird.   Tg0h74x5nsugvmtcml9jaad90k7jg0alc
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      KimPage
      yellow warbler Fun!  I prefer using colors.  Keeping it simple worked for me!
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jenny5526
      I feel more confident drawing from a photo because the subject doesn't move.  I also felt less pressure because I know this is a pre-test of sorts. I wouldn't have noticed all the cool lichens growing on the branch, the small bill of the bird, the way the foot grasps the branch. Differences in nature journaling would be noticing not just a single subject, but all around that subject too
    • Janelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jmazariegos
      yellow warbleI think I noticed a lot more detail by drawing it. I also realized that I couldn't quite capture the way the bird was standing on the branch.  The yellow warble that I drew looked awkward. The color of the lichen was also challenging for me.  I feel it would be easier to draw something that was standing still, though, than if it had been moving.  So the photo exercise worked for me!
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      b.kossoy
      Drawing from the photo I could take my time. Easy for me were the legs and feet on the branch.  Having the negative space between the legs was very helpful.Challenging was getting the shape of the bird, particularly the head and the breast. Noticing the streaks on the breast I might not have noticed if I wasn't drawing.  Yes, I think you see much more detail when nature journaling.
    • Wanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      wsbirdw
      lesson11. Overall, I enjoyed drawing from a photo. However, sometimes I noticed tensing up trying to capture details. The detail of primary and secondary feathers was particularly challenging. I also struggled with the position of the warbler; as it turned out, I drew it more upright than it was in photo. 2. I think I would not have noticed shadows; the more I looked, the more I noticed shadows and they were fun and easy to draw and they make a big difference in making the bird look more alive.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      jenkimar
      It felt a little sterile drawing from a photo that I did not take or experience first hand. The photo was a size that I could draw to size in my sketch book, so it was easy to take measurements. I didn't like the pencil I was working with and all the smudging I created, but I decided to not worry about it. If I weren't asked to draw it, I may not have noticed the different lichens and the texture of the leaves. It's those kinds of details I like to notice when in the field.   day one draw from photo yellow bird  
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      alltheprettybirds
      It felt easier after watching the evolution of other people's journals in the video.  I put up such a high bar for myself that I don't even want to start drawing but this made it more approachable.  I was surprised the bird I drew actually looked like a bird! I wouldn't have noticed how black the eye was along with the wing bars and even the branch his foot was on.  Black seems blacker.  In a photo I don't see the contrast.
    • Ashley
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Mabarret
      I notice many more details when drawing compared to simply taking a photo.  The difficulty lies in controlling my pencil.  The good thing is this bird will not move and I can take my time.
    • Tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tmacfie
      I felt self conscious working, a little too aware of myself trying to draw! The whole effort was pretty challenging, the self critic hanging around most of the time. All pretty challenging; maybe it was easy to "stay with it, the project." I was drawn to the texture of the tree limbs. The invitation of nature journalling: look at the details. yRUTPohlTAKxHgchelLqUQ
    • Carmen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      cvalero
      PXL_20201231_015746533.MP1. I like drawing from a photo because I have time to pay attention to the details. I can redo something if I feel it doesn't quite lol like the photo I have plenty of time to make mistakes and to try to improve the picture. It was easy  but I don't give much detail not adding colors. 2. When I drew the bird i did notice the different kind of textures of the feathers that i might not have noticed, I also noticed the lichens on the branch and the ring around the bird's eye. I think when nature journaling I will be able to pay attention to details that otherwise I would overlook. Just looking at a picture of a bird I get the general idea but don't pay attention to those details as much.
      • Jessica
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        jess504
        I love how you captured the feathers on its back- I struggled with those!
    • linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      breakfastinbed
      image
    • Pam
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      pboard
      birdsketch1
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JudyNewF
      The first drawing I have attempted since school (and I am now retired). I chose not to do the surrounding branches which I now think would have framed the picture better. I liked drawing from the picture as I could zoom in a bit. The claws were fascinating and I wouldn’t have noticed them without studying the photo. I struggled to replicate the beak and to show the tilt of the head. 3381C9BC-6CA1-47C7-B29D-170EEEF3CD1F
    • Janine
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Janines07
      I had some trouble with proportions and with soft, fluffy areas   Exercise 1
    • Evangelyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      evteaches
      BC276698-30DF-4F38-A9EE-2B50A5811CFA I liked drawing from the photo because I had all the time in the world.  I could focus in and out.  My first attempt was with pencil.  I did another with watercolor. I like painting better.  It is easier to deal with the textures - I think.  It also forces journaling because you are waiting for the paint to dry.  I liked having to really think about the shape and perspective.  It was challenging to capture the fine detail - black edges of feathers, the twig.  There was so much in this simple picture so I can imagine focus on just one thing instead of trying to detail everything - or an impression of everything with focus on one.  There was so much I noticed because I was trying to draw.  The shape of the breast and belly.  The color variation around the eye.  The lichen and spots on the leaves.
    • Miriam
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      mtalalay
      IMG-2646 I enjoyed this exercise because I would love to see my progress by the end of this class. Drawing from a photo is easier than drawing from life, because there is no movement, and you can copy exactly without worrying about any changes during the drawing process. If I had not been asked to draw this, I wouldn't have noticed how the bird's claws wrapped around the branch. This would definitely make a difference in nature journaling because observation is extremely important.
    • worker33
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      worker33
      yellow warbler wk It was a good first exercise, drawing from a photograph was much simpler than a live study, since no creature would give me that much time. The detail I wouldn't have noticed was how the feet clutched the branch, an it was until the end that I realized that there was a bit of a tilt in the warbler's head that I tried to add after drawing the head and really struggling with the beak!
    • Derrick
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      fortunateson33
      IMG_8697IMG_8696
    • Lisa K
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      LisaKalil
      Details.  Paying close attention to the shapes- head shape, where the eye sits.  I had trouble making (him?) look like his head is cocked like the photo.  And patience- drawing the lines and exact colors.  The feet were so interesting to draw, and difficult.  Drawing from the photo also helped force me to look at the negative space more.  Excited for the next lesson where Liz shows us her tricks. IMG_6414
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      suewfan
      Drawing from a photo means I can take time to practice observing and capturing the shape and color. On the other hand, with all the details on the photo, it is challenging when trying to prioritize what to focus on and what to leave out.   Yellow Warbler 1
    • mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      buteomike
      jpg_20201226_0001
    • sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pipaman
      Sketching a bird is much more detailed than taking a photo.  The detail is very difficult and there is a point tool let go ... 68CFEB8C-58AD-44A5-BC15-2003B1FC0320
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kbruins
      D26F8C97-E026-4A84-BB65-C78EF9DB854FI was happier with my sketch until I added the watercolours. I am still learning how they work. Having the photo definitely lets you see the subtle colours in the bird and in the branch. Replicating them is a whole other thing for me.
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      janaueam
      IMG_3806
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cjmray
      Journaling-sketch 1 - Yellow Warbler
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lisamsimp
      bird sketch
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lisamsimp
      I enjoyed sketching this way. It felt freeing. The wing bar
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Fresh Basil
      1. I wasn't familiar with the paints or paintbrush, I kept struggling trying to find a comfortable way to hold the paint box.  I knew the proportions weren't quite right and that kept distracting me.  My bird looks more like a chicken, somehow. 2. There were lots of things I noticed once I started to pay attention: the way the wing feathers had layers, the different colors of the streaks.  This is one of the big advantages of drawing -- you have to really observe.   First Lesson
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      coachy
      IMG_2257Drawing is not my strength. Trying to capture the spirit of the bird was what I was hoping for and I saw that many here were able to do that with posture and shape. I tried colour but painting is not my strength either. I will keep experimenting and hopefully improve as we go on. I have seen many of these warblers in the wild and I have always been struck by their bright yellow and in the males a noticeable chestnut streaky breast. These are beautiful birds to appreciate and ID as they migrate through in the spring and trying to capture the essence of one has made me appreciate it even more.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      coachy
      IMG_2257
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      csteelewi
      Drawing from a photo is easier than trying to do a live bird; I can study it often and return to finish it when I can see if I missed a detail. I noticed the empty spaces around the bird remembering Liz's Saturday afternoon Zoom class that I took. I wouldn't have paid attention to the space around the warbler, if not drawing it. The space around the main focus will help me with the proportions of the nature scene, such as the size of legs compared to the body or size of the head versus the body.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      csteelewi
      P1030310
    • Lindsay
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Lindsay816
      1 Bird pre instruction Drawing slowed me down and allowed me to really see the breast markings and the shape of the birds beak. I even took time to identify that this is the male of the species. Drawing is like meditation when I'm in the flow. Had to quiet unhelpful self talk first.          
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      still waters
      1. It was more difficult than I thought it would be.  It was challenging just to get the shape.  I erased many times. 2. There were details and subtleties that I probably would not have noticed if I was not drawing the bird.  This would make a considerable difference when nature journaling.  I can understand why each person journaling was making notes about the pictures as they were working.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      still waters
      Yellow Warbler
    • Reinhard
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Reinhard23
      yw (1 von 1) Very good to jump in but it was realy challenging.Advantage for drawing: I get more understanding how the bird looks like. For me ist is difficult to match the right colours. To take a good photo is not so easy , too ;). How did you feel about drawing from the photo? Drawing from a photo is much easier than to do directly in nature
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      AnnReiss
      IMG_20201217_130127567~2[1]
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      DeeLutz
      Yellow warbler 1 Dec 10 2020What I liked about this was studying the details. Frustrating to not really be able to judge scale.  Benefits of sketching is the attention you pay to the details, a photograph captures the details, but one may not really notice them since everything blends together more.  I would not have noticed the veins in the leaves, or the layers of feathers if I didn't draw this and just snapped a photo.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ksundin
      imageDrawing from a photo is easier than a live subject as you can study details.  Just admiring a photo, I probably would have missed the lichen on the branches.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dickcate
      thumbnail Photos capture detail that is difficult to achieve with a sketch, particularly from a live bird that is moving around.
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      CWMorford
      1. How did you feel about drawing from the photo? What came easily and what was challenging? The hardest was not judging myself--I'm gonna need to practice drawing without self-judgment! The eye and beak came sort of easily, the proportions of the head and body were challenging. So were the lichens--yikes. Oops. Judging again.   2. Was there anything in the photo that you might not have noticed if you weren’t asked to draw it? Would this make a difference when nature journaling? Lots: the texture of the branch, the number of colors in what I thought was simply a yellow bird. I've seen them in the wild but never had a chance to study what they actually look like in detail. Will absolutely make a difference going forward!yellow warbler
    • Mwangi
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      gathondu
      IMG_20201215_113507 - drawing the branches and leaves seemed easier than drawing the warbler - the warbler's proportions seem off, elongated in my drawing while it seems more compact in the photo - fun exercise, glad to start on this course!      
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Cecilia.V
      12.13.20.YellowWarbler Drawing at all is a challenge after not doing it in so long. Drawing from the photo was helpful because, of course, the bird is not moving, in contrast to the birds at my feeder, who dart in and out, especially the nuthatches, or the birds in the woods, who are seldom close or still. The photo made it possible to really look carefully. I can see the different parts of the wings, but I really don't know how they all fit together. This helps me identify the knowledge I need. I think if I understand and draw the structure of the wing, that will help drawing in the field -- even quick sketches. I actually loved drawing the leaves and the lichen. My frequent "interactions" with leaves and lichens probably inform my drawing.
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JoanBrenchley
      IMG_1941
    • Deva
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      devamck
      IMG_4214 (1)
      • Deva
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        devamck
        It was a challenge to get the angle of the head and body, my leaves are much smaller then they should be.  If this was in nature I would not of had any chance to study it, getting the color of the Warbler or the gray on the branch or the lichens on the branch.  I normally take photo's of birds, getting the light correct and getting a good pose, you have to be fast and take a lot of photo's as they jump around from branch to branch.
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Magscs74
      How did you feel about drawing from the photo? It was a challenge which is why we are taking the course and are using it to connect with a granddaughter many miles away over Zoom. What came easily and what was challenging? The eye and beak were the easiest and the body was the hardest. Was there anything in the photo that you might not have noticed if you weren’t asked to draw it? The angle of the legs seemed unnatural so I was drawn to the fact that I had to correct my first attempt which was straight up and down. I also "felt" right away that something was off in my picture even though I thought "that can't be right" when looking at the angle of the legs at first so it kept me honest! Would this make a difference when nature journaling? It would depend on time and purpose. In a photo you might be able to go back and notice a detail but in sketching you are more focused at the time so you may note or make note of, some detail you might even miss in the photo. IMG_5817
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Susan_Bidinosti
      51981D21-70FC-4A08-9B72-8260B9F3C43D
    • Annick
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      AnnickL
      IMG_4640
    • Angie Paola
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Angie_Bird
      eab05716-a5af-476c-ad7a-1ed17c537f3a 1. Very good, it was very good to jump directly to illustrate, I wanted to do it in a more detailed way similarly, detailing from the branches to the bird itself. 2.Maybe you see the details of the moss on the branches. This could make a difference because it could give us data on the type of vegetation and even the climate, in this case, for example, the moss on the branches denotes that it was a humid environment.
    • Brandii
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      BrandiiH
      I love drawing from photos because you have time to really study every aspect - the light brown in the feathers, the pattern of black in the wings...Drawing from nature wont allow the luxury of unhurried studySketch 1
      • Joan
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        JoanBrenchley
        I love how you got the little nod of its head.  Not sure what you did to do so?  Bill profile definitely, but still, I can't see what you did beyond that (and bill profile is subtle!)  Also love the shading you did on the head and back.  Branch detail is great too!  Joan
    • MARY JANE
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mjsmhw
      I have no idea how to insert a photo of my bird AND insert my reply to the questions.  Sorry for, perhaps, creating a little mess.  If any one can give me a few clues how to streamline inserting photo and replying I'd appreciate it.   How'd I feel about drawing from photo?  It was fine with me.  I had very little time to devote to the drawing so I just dived in and did it without recommended pencil or drawing pad.  Quick sketch wasn't too hard.  If I had tried for accuracy/details etc I may have become discouraged AND color would have been a nightmare!  I drew so fast that I didn't have time to notice details other than color of beak, feet, and reddish lines on chest.  All things I would have "seen" as a long time birder.  I was happy that I just jumped in and sketched quickly because FEAR always 1st Drawing Quick Dec 4 2020holds me back from drawing.  Drawing YES would help me see more!
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      flobro7
      Sorry about that. I goofed when sending. This was challenging. Birds are difficult to draw so they look correct and not cartoon like.  I draw from photos most of the time to keep as a record and go back to it later.  Probably several things I missed in the photo.  I tend to only see the basics and going back several times I notice more.
    • Florence
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      flobro7
      0781663A-EFF6-4A32-9F28-F0E75B0CF5CD
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      motto54
      DFAB6200-46A5-45E2-8313-4E07913563C8 I found it some what daunting to draw the image . I wasn’t sure my drawing would actually take the proper shape  I also had trouble with perspective I noticed more of the details on the birds feathers and also the coloring  it isn’t just a ‘yellow bird’ it has other coloring and markings yes I would be more observant than when I would have been taking a photo
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      adrienne06
      8D497766-BCF9-43F4-9B5D-FD7753CE3B41I found the process to challenging but enjoyable. A couple of months ago I would have found it to be a bit more challenging, but I have been practicing drawing birds here and there using a great nature journaling resource by John Muir Laws. It’s been both relaxing and rejuvenating to spend some time practicing while my young girls are resting. The sketching portion is definitely easier for me, although I find getting proper proportions and small details to be a challenge. Painting is even more of a challenge for me, but I am loving it! Sketching and painting definitely allow me to pay better attention to the subject and feel more intimate with it than I would by simply studying the photo. I love putting than finishing dot on the eye and feeling as though the bird has come to life in front of me.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      njrives
      5AE89C2B-C71F-432F-87B5-A59A6B7B47AA_1_105_cintimidating but helpful to look at how others approach the challenge!
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Kimrinca
      MORITA WARBLER I found the exercise challenging as I haven't drawn in years and I did not excel in drawing years ago.  While trying to draw the bird, I noticed how fluffy the birds feathers were and how cute he was.  I normally don't have a chance to really look over a bird I see in real life.  I found it hard to draw the tree branch he is perched on and make it look realistic.  I have a tendency to want to draw either straight lines or smooth curves.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mrstracy23
      I was intimidated to start, but it got easier once I began. Drawing the warbler came more easily than the branch and leaves. I have to fight my perfectionism, and often it feels better if I just approach it a bit more intuitively. If I hadn't have drawn it, I don't think I'd have noticed so much contrast in the leaves and branches. 20201202_220049
    • Sherrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      HopeKell222
      It's been a couple of years since my last art class. Looking forward to using my water colors again.20201201_122830
    • Clare
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jeremiadsoul
      I felt a little nervous about drawing from the photo, jumping right in as it were.  The most challenging part was just putting pencil to paper.  Once I got the pencil moving, making short strokes that formed shapes, I could feel things relaxing a bit.  The more I relaxed and looked at the photo, the more I was able to notice little details.  There were little holes in the leaves from bugs.  The warbler's feathers were tufted and soft looking near its legs, whereas the feathers on its back were sharp, layered precisely on top of one another.  When I first looked at the photo, all I saw was yellow, but as I drew and looked more, I noticed little fine colorations such as the brown streaks on its breast, black layers in its folded up wings. I also was able to notice how large its eye was compared to the size of its head!  Drawing the details makes such a huge difference because it can help with identifying whatever it is you are drawing.yellow warbler
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mararbizu
        The bird was easy to draw. The challenging was to draw the logs, because of the shape, textura and that different kinds of lichen.
        I didn’t drawn the logs and leaves
        I consider write some characteristics of the bird, log and lichen
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      mararbizu
      0727D312-C79D-419B-A7AE-8FFA73D19E27
    • Maggie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Maggie_Doherty
      1. I have to admit that I was nervous to draw without any instruction as I do not know how to draw. So the entire exercise proved to be a challenge, including overcoming the challenge to just dive in and try to capture the bird's form and expression. I had difficulties capturing its shape and hope to learn how to do this as we make our way through the course but I kept at it. I really want to try and sketch what I felt looked like a smile or smirk on its face. Yes, I'm likely anthropomorphizing but I felt like there was a real liveliness to the bird. I felt more comfortable trying to sketch the branches and leaves but wanted to fully capture those details like the lichen and bends of the branches. The subtleties of the whole photo--from the way the warbler's feet curled around the branches to the vibrant green pouf of lichen--commanded my attention. Now if only my I could gain the artistic skill to render all of it on the page. 2. I likely would have overlooked the way the warbler's feet grasped the branch and the intricacies of its claws. Another detail was the branch itself -- I was really "drawn" (excuse the pun) to its shape and various textures. YWarblerFirstExercise
    • Patti
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      owlmamma
      Photos capture the scene in a millisecond! Birds don’t stand still typically, so I can snap off dozens of shots while they flit through the bushes or trees, or hop on the ground. My focus while photographing is on the lighting, focus, and peering through the aperture to frame the subject. While photographing I’m not focused on the feel of the air, or gregarious sounds of the birds, or smell of the woods. And I’m in constant motion. When sketching my ears and nose as well as eyes are activated. I am taking note of scale and position of the bird; its stance, its shape, and noticing detail such as the alignment of the eye to the beak. Could this have an effect on how the bird is able to feed? Yes, sketching opens my mind to ask other questions beyond creating a photo that captures light, color and composition. 83B5F4D9-1B1F-44E4-89F3-4E46746F8AFB
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      erinfoxmann
      nature journaling pre-assessment E Foxmann
    • BARBARA
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      DrWhooo!
      Bird acad warbler Nov272020
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      amo500
      I have usually sketched from photos, so I have a little more comfort there with a still image, and a pencil. The beak was a surprising little challenge - as it was initially wider than the little pincer-like warbler feature I was first going for. I think the thing I really enjoy about journaling over photographs is the labeling of other things - like the lichens, and the tree species (even if unknown). Adding features like time/date/weather, maybe the trail etc. I am most nervous about the real-life drawing in situ - the figure/motion drawings is something I've never done.warb1
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lindalbrett
      I liked drawing from the photo as it gave me lots of time without movement of the bird.  I felt happy tackling this subject.  Appreciating the little feet wrapped around the branch. Getting the proportions of the body-head-wings was challenging but taking the idea that the bird structure is geometric -various forms of circles and ovals helped. In particular it was challenging  was achieving that slight gesture of the head to the right and the relation of beak to the eye and the eye was the hardest to enliven.
      • What drawing helped me notice was the way the wing is buried in the shape of the body.  And the neat little toes on the branch.imageimage
    • Margaret
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Margaret mackenzie
      I felt fine about drawing from the photo. It took a long time to get the dimensions of the bird right and I don't have it right yet but I stopped after making 2 copies of it. I noticed the wing structure more and where the wing starts and ends at. I noticed how far back the legs are situated on the warbler. I noticed the placement of the eye in relation to the bill. I tried to notice the relationships in the anatomy of the bird. I find the feathers in the wing difficult and want to simplify it. In a photo I think it's harder to simplify than if I had been copying a  drawing. Would it make a difference when nature journaling? Well, good question. That's why I'm taking the course. I want to be more exact in the drawings I make of birds. Wings and feather structures have defeated me and I simplify as much as possible. It doesn't make a difference to my nature journaling in so far as I'm usually trying to tell a story, something that happened and is of interest to me, some behaviour or event I want to capture. Still, I would like to have a better idea of how to draw the bird more accurately. IMG_1192IMG_1193
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SuzanneD99
      20201123-IMG_7255
    • Audrey
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      wren01
      20201120_223701_Burst01I love drawing from photos because you can take as long as you want! I had a little trouble getting the body shape right at first, but once I got it filling in the details was fairly easy. I don't think I would have noticed that some of the leaves have bug bites in them if I had not taken the time to draw it.
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      BlancaManzanilla
      Photos are quicker to take although if you want a nice high res photo, it takes time. Drawings - details! Nov 19/20 - My first yellow warbler drawing. Yellow Warbler #1 - course
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Library Lady 3232
      It is easier to draw than a real bird because it doesn't move. If I am going to paint or draw something, I often snap a picture with my I phone. I don't think I would have noticed the moss or fungi if drawing in the moment for the journal WIN_20201119_14_50_42_Pro
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      DaveRich
      DSCN4249
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        DaveRich
        I thought that I had submitted this earlier, but could not find it. I did not mean to submit it twice though.  How do I delete one?
      • David
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        DaveRich

        @David I changed journals after this drawing as I did not totally like the course paper I had in this journal.

    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      rfranks420
      Drawing from the photo made me really pay attention to small details.  It was challenging to get the proportions right - but fun to try.  Thank goodness for erasers!  :)IMG_5852
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LynnBushoven
      The photograph allowed me to get a sense of how the bird grips with strength in its legs and to get a closer look at the softest of the feathers and patterns os the feathers.image
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ellenreeves
      It was challenging to get the proportions right.  I didn't know how to get the shadings right either.  I know that details, such as the color of certain feathers and the striping are important in bird ID but it was hard to get them right in my drawing.  The beak I drew was not like the beak in the photo!
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dale Naomi
      fullsizeoutput_6614
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Zimbob407
      I might not have noticed how the wing flows into the body and the overall balance of the figure. Also the expression of the face, which I was not able to capture well.Document_2020-11-13_185634
    • Lindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      lindyjs
      It was hard to get the proportions right and to show shading without using colour.  As others have said, because the bird isn't moving it's easier to observe.   I want to learn how to do this better because I think I'll be doing this a lot from photos at the beginning
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      TCostes5
      It was fun!  I found it easy to get the basic shape, but I struggled with the details of the feathers, particularly the wings. The feet were challenging too!  Drawing helped me notice how the feet are folded around the branch and how the wing feathers are stacked in layers. P1400753
    • Ana
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      averdejo
      1 - Yellow warbler
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      StarN1eye
      I struggled most with the warbler’s proportions and feet. Also challenging, how do you capture and  represent feathers with a pencil? Drawing a active bird in nature I imagine will be a lot harder. One thing I did notice studying the photo was the ring encircling the warbler’s eye. image
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      seadahl80
      IMG_E7212I felt very comfortable drawing from the photo as this the predominant way I  practice drawing.  I find capturing the basic shape and position to be fairly easy, but am more challenged by creating shading, dimension and details without feeling like the drawing becomes over-worked.  If I hadn't drawn the photo I would not have noticed the layers and sections of feathers in as much detail, nor would I have noticed the array of lichen present on the twig.  If one of the purposes of nature journaling is to understand the subject more deeply, then drawing the subject is a way to be focus to details that would other wise be looked over.
    • Sonia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lopes_sonia
      had lots of fun with this exercise. Hard to give the tridimensional aspect and the wing details.
    • kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kevinw
      Proportions were difficult, as was conveying the sort of tilt of the bird's head, and the color of the bird when drawing with pencil.
    • kevin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kevinw
      bird
    • Todd
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      toddm49
      Photo on 11-1-20 at 5.10 PM Definitely a fun exercise!I can see how spending more time with a photo can yield greater detail; real-life, maybe not so much given how long the subject stays still :)
    • Ryann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      skippyrd
      I rather liked drawing from the photo, the bird couldn't fly away!  Especially a warbler, they move so fast!  The details were challenging, specifically the feathers on the wings. As I was drawing I noticed it looked like the bird was looking back over his/her shoulder at the photographer based on how the body was positioned away but the head was turned.  I also noticed so much detail in the branch, the fungus, lichen - I would like to spend time on more identification around that as well as keep up with my bird ID.WIN_20201101_13_59_15_Pro
    • Isa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      icheren
      1. I felt challenged to have the bird look like the picture- it was easier since the bird was frozen in time--challenging because I struggle to draw proportionately 2. I noticed the colors on the chest, also the  details of the lichen and moss on the branch it was sitting on. This focus helps with seeing beyond the bright obvious subject, also may share details about the environment.
    • joy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jggoodsell
      IMG_1260 Drawing from a photo is easier in some respects because the bird stays still and you can take your time looking at details. It is more difficult to see how it behaves and see what the margins of the wings were colored. Proportions are difficult for me. I was interrupted when I started the drawing and when I went back I tried to correct them. Still not happy but not bad for the first time. I am enjoying that sketching slows you down and gives you an opportunity to really notice small details. Photos catch everything all at once but I generally don't spend as much time really looking at them.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Birdie1234
      13B4CE36-BC93-40AD-B6B6-638BA64F8F74_1_201_a Drawing from a photo was good because the subject didn't move. I could take as long as needed to get the details right. The easiest parts were the items that were in the foreground and were seen head-on or in profile; flat leaves and even the bird itself. I find the items that are at an angle, like bend leaves and things that show different sides, like the bird's little talons, a bit more challenging. Even though I watch birds all the time, I noticed the various wing feathers more than I might in real life. Yes, it may make a difference; I might annotate the drawing if I noticed them.
    • Kristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      raptorfan14
      This is my first hand drawing of anything in a long time! Drawing from the photo was definitely easier than from a live bird. I still had trouble with the shapes and proportions of the different parts of the bird (i.e. the bill) and getting the subtle transitions of the coloring on the nape and back. I wouldn't have paid as much attention to that yellow to greenish/gray color transition and the reddish brown striping on the chest if I weren't drawing. I would like to capture as much detail as possible with journaling, it will be challenging to try this in the wild with live birds!IMG_3875 (2)
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ainwena
      image So, this entire piece was challenging.  I was able to block out the branches ok but my proportions were way off.  Next time I would do this landscape style.  I kind of gave up on the colored pencils after a bit.  They made everything muddy and I struggled with details with them.  I don’t think I am going to use them for awhile.   The leaves and branches were easier to draw but the bird not so much.  The legs are the best feature.  Drawing from a static image was good because I could zoom in, but it was inside and I wasn’t relaxed at all.  Photos maybe good for filling in tiny details later, I think.  I am not sure I would have seen the darker and lighter shades in the bird coloring out in the field.
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Pat.Martin
      IMG_2144I noticed leaf shadow and veining and where bugs had eaten lea leaf. I noticed flatness and roundness of the bird but did'nt capture it quite enough.  I draw and paint a lot from photos and try to notice all details.  I enjoy this game.  How can we do that in nature?  light shifts, things move away, plus...I'm too far away to see any details.  Am I getting ahead of us?
    • Kristen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kristen.drechsler
      Drawing from a photo does have the advantage of the subject being still, but I did not feel much connection to the photo. It is much less exciting to see a photo of a bird than to see one in real life. If I had not been drawing the bird from the photo I would not have payed as much attention to the shape of the bird or the subtle color differences between the feathers. I'm not certain I would have noticed the bird's claws wrapped around the branch. Noticing the intricate details about the world around us is part of the point of nature journaling. If you miss those details it is like knowing the melody of a song and only half the lyrics. 20201027_170616
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      docarkin
      I liked drawing from the photo. The bird stood still, and I was able to see much more than I usually do when observing birds in the wild or at the feeder. I noticed the subtle change from yellow in the face to darker shades on the nape and back. Also the lichen and moss on the branch are things I would not have taken note of if not for drawing. I like "seeing" more, but am concerned bout the 50 minutes it took me to sketch this pretty little bird. Perhaps I need to be more patient, and just enjoy the experience....20201027_190811
    • Lilly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lmull1219
      I felt comfortable drawing from a photo, as I take my own photos of birds to draw from. This would make a difference in nature journaling for me, as I love to put so much detail into drawings. It's hard for me to sketch something I see for about 5 seconds. 20201027_100806
    • Kyoko
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Kyoko Ode
      • It is my very first drawing! I am very glad to finally start. I could take time seeing the details in the photos. The disadvantage is that I couldn't hear the sound and smell the nature, drawing it in my room.
      • I wouldn't have noticed all the details of the bird. Yes it will make a big difference when nature journaling.
      • YellowWarbler
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sunolen
      My retirement goals included learning to watercolor and doing creative writing. I am a long-time though casual birder and recently moved to the country in western Washington state, where I live on five acres at the end of a half-mile dirt road. Many birds, lots of natural wonders everywhere I look (see photo below - it mushroom time at the farmette). This class is a perfect fit for where I am. When I was a grad student in the 80s I took a biological illustration course, which I loved. Doing the first sketch assignment after listening to the journalers and seeing their work, I started to remember lessons learned almost 40 years ago, drawing bugs (from specimens) and other critters (from photographs). They held still, like the warbler in this assignment20201018_09444020201025_190512. I am looking forward to learning how to capture a moving subject in some way that not only looks like the subject but catches something about the movement.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      rvblakey
      I enjoyed it, the most challenging thing was trying to figure out how to convey textures. I had no idea how to go about the lichen and even just the texture of the branches, ended up being lazy and just coloring it in. Similarly, looking at the warbler's plumage, I struggled to show the soft feathers, the different types of striations, shading differences and just different feather textures. Overall, I was so happy that my warbler looked like a bird! IMG_8076
    • Kelli
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      KelliDeferme
      5FB2023C-A3A3-42D9-9855-448522015CE5 I found myself anxious to get every detail right right off the bat.  As I kept drawing it was easier to relax and enjoy the process.  I enjoyed drawing his little feet and legs a lot.  I would not have noticed the details in the leaves and branches, the wispy little underbelly feathers, or the way his beak looks just like a little black oil sunflower seed.
      • Kelli
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        KelliDeferme
        21212865-D39C-4128-AD68-F5E915DCE9C0 I liked the suggestion posted about adding labels.. I also added another little section for myself with questions I have.. ie..”how do I add shape and dimension to leaves...how do I get them to look folded?”
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kellyhornaday
      1. I imagine that drawing from a photo is pretty different from drawing subjects in real time. I felt like I had lots of time, but live subject probably won’t be so cooperative. Getting the slightly turning posture of the bird was really hard (don’t think I quite got it) 2. I would not have paid as much attention to shape and proportions and details of markings if I has not drawn it. I think for nature journaling, noticing and capturing details is part of the point.35BADDE2-962D-49F5-9958-0B2DF24295D1
    • Joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      drjkill1
      1. I was self-conscious at first.  I haven't drawn in decades.  The face was the hardest to draw.  I couldn't get the right shape/proportion.  I wasn't sure where to start so I began with the branches so that I would have an anchor for the bird. My shading technique is not good, but it will probably come back to me faster than some other things. 2. So many things I would not have noticed: basic shape, proportions, where the wing starts. 3.  Sure I will be more conscious of detail in both what I sketch and what I write about.
    • Candy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Candy.schrank
      It is a challenge to render yellow and bright colors of the bird using only a pencil whereas light/dark and texture of branches and leaves more fruitful and less challenging.
    • Candy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Candy.schrank
      20201023_152011
    • Norma
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      wwwilma
      IMG_6505
    • Regina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Njbloodhound
      I enjoyed drawing the Yellow Warbler. I didn't get the scale of the overall space relative to the bird correct. The bird ended up bigger that it was relative to the branch, in the photo. It wasn't a bad thing, but I intended to get the proportions as in the photo. I hadn't noticed the bird's claws until sketching them. They're really interesting! Photos have the advantage of capturing fleeting details that would be hard to see in a living, moving bird.first drawing exercise
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      jenneve58
      • I think it was a good place to start as you could study at your leisure knowing it would not fly away. Can’t say this was easy. Challenging how to convey textures, curves, proportions. E7382D71-A6CD-4341-A95C-B052A63C5F022. I spent more time looking at textures and how things were put together.
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      amykarst
      Well. He looks like a happy bird...Photo on 10-19-20 at 8.54 PM
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      amykarst
      I really wish the bird was facing the other direction! Why is this so difficult? Picture later. Still erasing!  :(
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Bnoel2
      I was able to notice a lot more detail. Zooming in on the picture helped. It was easy to see the geometrical shapes, oval for the body and a smaller oval for the head. It was challenging to capture the softness of the feathers. I ended up using short strokes. For some reason the beak was challenging and I had to draw is a few times before I got it somewhat ok. The proportions between the body and the legs are off. I wouldn’t have noticed the little hole in the beak if I hadn’t drawn it. I also wouldn’t have noticed the brown stripes in the lower body along the feathers either. Yes, not getting the hole in the beak would have been an important omission.EB750406-080D-4F79-BF87-01284699BEC3
    • Thomas
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dr.schreiter
      yellowWarbler Intended to draw electronically - with a new tool and a new technique. Came out better than expected, but still a long way to go.
    • Meriwether
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mmbrown
      imageI felt very intimidated, so I started with drawing the branch/leaves.  I noticed the shapes/textures of one leaf, the bark and the branch.  The warbler is so vivid and dynamic in the photo.  As I was drawing, I gained some confidence by focusing on the branch.  The most challenging thing is actually posting my sketch!
    • Steven
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sstadler
      1.  I need a lot of practice of course!  But it looks much better than I thought it would, YaY!  The feeling of looking at the small details and trying to capture them in the drawing is fun, interesting, and frustrating all at the same time.  How do I make it look like that?  is the frustrating part, but I have confidence that I will learn how to improve that in this course.  It is really fun to see how much better this looks than I thought it would. 2.  I had recently watched the bird identification courses for size and shape, and colors and patterns, and there were some clues in those courses that helped me get some of the proportions better, which I would have struggled with so much more before.  For example, the distance from the back of the eye to the front of the head compared to the length of the bill or beak.  Is it a bill or a beak??  Hmmm.  Maybe it's a bill on a duck and a beak on everything else?  Something to look for in the course.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      hollidog
      • This is a very familiar bird to me, and I was smiling as I drew it.  The bird was still, in nature this little guy is always moving. I liked all the leaves too. I noticed the shadows on the leaves and the texture of the branches.
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Jim_Platt
      1.  Drawing from a photo makes it easier to see details - the bird didn't move or quickly fly away and the lighting was constant.  I don't think anything came easy or particularly challenging (I've not artistic training), although getting a three dimensional 'look' to the drawing seemed difficult. 2.  I doubt I would have paid much attention to the proportions or the feather markings.  And yes, that will make a difference in my journaling. PXL_20201011_204343423
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JCharnley
      When drawing from a photo you don’t have the problem of the subject you are drawing moving. What was most challenging is getting the proportions right and the bird’s head is slightly turned and it is hard to get that effect in the drawing. I would not have noticed the more subtle colored patterns of the feathers. It might not make a great difference in nature journaling to get all the colored patterns maybe just the more prominent ones.YellowWarbler
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Mary17
      It was a good exercise & I’m looking forward to improving my skills especially in relation to proportions.C7720BC9-B9DF-4A64-AD00-B493807A9633
      • amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        amykarst
        Hi Mary! I love your drawing. Did you use charcoal for it? Your black is so bold. Great work! Amy
    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 31
      Vagabondgirl
      IMG_0703I looked forward to this evening's warbler foibles... say that 10 times fast! Sketching and painting is the perfect end to a busy day. A full hour of figuring out how my watercolour pencils work. The first bird I've ever done... and I'm a bit surprised at myself... it looks like a warbler! It isn't a Robert Bateman, but I kind of like its amateur folksy quality. There was a lot I wouldn't have noticed without trying to draw it. The nails, the angle of the legs, the ruddy streaks on the breast. I think the attention to detail is wonderfully meditative and it will impact my journalling for the better. It also makes vice-presidential debates much more palatable to listen to... regardless of which side you're rooting for.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      plattsa
      I enjoyed drawing this little guy.  I have a background in art, but it's been a long time since I've actually drawn anything.  It was a challenge recalling the techniques I had learned along the way.  I probably would have not noticed the branches and leaves as much and concentrated on observing the warbler, and that would make a difference in the "story" you are trying to convey of the moment.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      plattsa
      Yellow Warbler
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      NicoleMahoney
      I enjoyed trying to draw this bird, but it was hard to get the proportions right. The beak and eye placement were difficult too! I enjoyed seeing the details, especially in the color patterns and would not have noticed these details if not drawing. Fun!IMG_0337
    • Deb
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      AZGal01
      Who thought drawing with pencil could be so much fun?! Thank heavens the bird did not take flight and I had an eraser. As a lifelong birder, I have never really drawn birds before. It really solidifies your appreciation for this male yellow warbler....which happens to be migrating thru my neck of the woods right now. yellowwarbler
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JackieHunter
      I noticed a lot more detail drawing the bird than I thought that I would. Little things like the birds talons, and the way the colours are.
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JackieHunter
      IMG_3738
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Johanna23
      I didn't notice lots of details at first, including the rusty stripes on the bird's breast, the white and orange moss on the branch and the way the leaves attach to the twig, the details of the birds feet etc.  Drawing is so much better at making you look.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      cduffy
      In drawing from the photo I don't need to worry about my subject moving. To me at this point most challenging is getting the proportions correct. I always feel my drawing is a little off. By drawing the bird I become very aware of its shape and shading. There are so many things about drawing that increase your awareness and would otherwise go unnoticed,
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      DaveRich
      I could not resist adding color. I have tried photographing yellow warblers once or twice, but had better luck with Wilson's warbler. Drawing them from life is pretty much impossible. Neat photo and good practice.  
    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      larabelle
      Such great therapy ! Not sure when enough is enough.  I zoomed in after I thought I was finished and then saw so much  detail I had missed. So much to observe and see . Makes me want to be able to name the body parts correctly - I have some homework to😊AFEB4E2D-B78D-4043-BB17-D357E4A9D73B
    • Chari
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      norgardc
      Jumping into the drawing was scary.  However, once I began the sketch, I found myself seeing details in the photo that I didn't initially notice.  I was so focused on the drawing that I lost track of time--a good thing.  The initial outline of the Yellow Warbler and branches/leaves was relatively easy.  What I found most difficult was the level of detail--deciding how much detail to include and how to show the differences in textures and colors with only a pencil.  I would not have noticed some of the detail, especially in the branches and leaves if I weren't drawing the photo.
    • sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      slounsbery
      It was so scary! I have not picked up a pencil in so long and I was anxious.  But after just diving in and concentrating it felt like meditation. I can see how practice will bring calmness and a more relaxed style.  So much more is seen when drawing, the texture of the branches, the slope of the back, the fluffy and stiff feathers. I am going to love this class! I look forward to adding color. IMG_0777
      • Rachel
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        rvblakey
        This drawing is awesome, I love how how you captured all different feather textures and patterns!
    • Melanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Enid Melanie
      first attempt Getting the proportions right was most difficult. I would not have noticed the black in the wing feathers and the brown on the bird's belly if I hadn't paid such great attention to it trying to capture it. I kept thinking that I probably would not have noticed any of this either, had the bird been sitting on a twig near me, about to fly off any second.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjessop
      I felt both relieved the subject wasn't moving, and worried about trying to do everything I could see.  The angle of legs and toes is always challenging.  If I wasn't asked to draw from the photo I wouldn't see how the toes hang over and curl around the branch.  Also the spots on the leaves and just how much lichen there was!  I believe nature journaling gives you the chance to find out what interests you most.  I can't wait to see how this works in the field!  nature journaling 1 warbler crop
      • Melanie
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Enid Melanie
        Wow! This looks as if you've been journaling for years! Beautiful.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      erinallen28
      Drawing from a photograph was easier than thinking about drawing a moving subject!  Although - it was still intimidating to try to draw a subject as complex as a bird, branch leaves and multiple lichen/epiphytes!   I found it easy to block out the shapes and posture of the bird and legs.  I like looking at the outlines of different sections.  However, I spent so much time on the bird, that I realized by branch and leaves were out of proportion after the fact.  I tried to stop before overworking everything, but still fell into the trap of drawing from memory when I got to the leaves.   If actually nature journaling, the subject is moving!!!  ah!
    • Rosalie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rowiepaints
      I liked doing the drawing but didn't get the angle of the birds body correct. Drawing makes you look at the details, the feathers, the coloring.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      LindaWorden
      Yellow Warbler
      • Melanie
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Enid Melanie
        Very nice!!! I also like that you thought of labelling the colours.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      LindaWorden
      It always takes me a long time to sketch, so it is easier for me to draw from a picture.  I need more practice so that I can move quicker and also with moving objects.
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      MartaOli
      First_drawing_YellowWarbler_Marta Drawing from the photo seemed easier at first. I tried to use the circle/ egg shape suggestion from the earlier video. I like the result, although my bird looks a bit fatter! The beak is quite difficult! If I wasn't asked to draw, I probably wouldn't have noticed it in detail. Drawing makes me look at things in another way; a better way; and it makes me want to stay "there", drawing and drawing...
    • Wendy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SmithWendy
      imageI'm most comfortable drawing with just pencil, but I am going to try and challenge myself to add more colours to my work. To draw this, I started by drawing the negative space between the warbler and the branches it's perched on. I tried starting with the eye at first but my proportions seems really off. This other approach helped me and trained my eye-hand coordination, which needs more practice too. This was a fun exercise, but I am a slow drawer so doing moving animals is a bit daunting... though, I am excited to give it a try and practice more to improve! I love bird watching and identifying plants so this course will definitely be worthwhile!
    • Jen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jenmesskies
      There are 2 of us doing the course together- mama and 13 year old son:) 1. It was really fun. Getting the basic shape of the bird was really easy but the lighting was more challenging. As the adult who doesn't really draw- it was frustrating to try and put down on paper what I was seeing in the photo in an accurate way. 2. The shape of some of the feathers. Striping on the breast feathers. addisonjen
      • Melanie
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        Enid Melanie
        Great work, both of you! My kids (10 and 12) might also join me soon :)
    • paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pfomby
      6DE1C2E2-8E9C-478D-8F41-C6FB1D617052
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      JaniceMcDll
      EF4B8228-88C2-4AEF-AAE6-C6D3B6D68209
    • LAUREN
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      larledge
      9FC8A50C-0648-4027-BAA5-15C7E6BB4102
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4