• 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?
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    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I observe more when drawing. I saw colors and gradations that I would have missed
    • Emma
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I had a hard time deciding whether to focus on textures (individual wing and covert feathers, fluffiness of breast feathers) or focus on color differences (bright yellow versus slightly more muted yellow versus black on the wings). Tried to get the shape right by starting with circles for the head and the body...definitely think I got closer than if I'd free-handed it, but still room for improvement! IMG_7114
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BFA39E48-F2F8-4DF9-BBC0-265DF47F4682 My pencil drawing seemed inadequate, given the lovely colours and textures in this photo. I realised I could enlarge the photo on my screen, so I guess that is quite an advantage over drawing something in the field. Great to see the other drawings and comments, a great first exercise!
    • Asher
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      It felt a bit off, like I was missing a support structure. I felt like starting came easily, but continuing past that point was really difficult. I don't feel like I noticed anything diffrent this time around. It would probably be a major different while journalling though, as you have less time to examine what you are looking at.
    • Danae
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      image
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Thoughts about photos vs drawings: photos are kind of static, whereas a drawing is always a work in progress because is represents so many decisions, changes, alterations, and hints and so many that could still be made. A photo, and reality of course, contain myriad details that a drawing could infinitely explore.
    • Philip
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Some really good illustrations submitted, I was not going to paint it however having looked at some of the other I will have a go. not confident with water colours, give it a try.   WIN_20220915_08_54_50_Pro
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Since the subject is still, I can pay more attention to details. yellow warbler 1
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_20220914_205626435 (1)
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      453FD36C-0FC2-4975-AE38-E54D63A1CC5CI felt pretty good about my first attempt, tried to get to scale right on the bird
    • Lindsay
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      For me, two things about sketching from a photograph stand out. First, with the picture right there I keep seeing things I want to fix, I had to give myself a timer or else I'd spend hours trying to get it "perfect". Secondly, no songbird I've seen would stay still for 15 minutes! sketch - start
    • Fin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      It was definitely difficult especially since I was trying to do it fairly quickly as if I were drawing a real warbler in the field and it might fly away at any moment.
    • elaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I was very critical of my work - but it was wonderful to have time to think about proportions and angles.  I also paid quite a bit of attention to the markings, even if those didn't necessarily translate to my sketch. Y WarblerI haven't done much drawing from life - it's usually been from photographs, but I was thinking all the while how this might be quite different if the bird were moving about. Or if it just alit, then flew away!
    • Fiona
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I almost feel like drawing from a photo is more annoying because I feel like I have to get everything down. If I were drawing this bird from life I wouldn't have the time to think about exactly what angle each part is at, I would just have to get something down as best I could. There also might be behavioral activity that would make watching them way more interesting. 2. Because I was drawing from the photo, I did notice how the leg connects to the body in that you can see and infer where the joints go based on how their body is positioned.
    • Jackie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was surprised that the more I drew the more details I started to notice in the bird photo that I hadn't really paid attention to when I first looked at it. Trying to figure out where everything would be in the drawing made me notice more details of different feather groups, the little scaly legs and how the beak was shaped. 624F71EF-6840-45C6-94C2-46179D303E00
    • Debra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      First Warbler 08-12-2022
    • Elana
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_2405
    • Julien
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing from a photo is technally easier because nothing moves.  Plenty of time to look, draw, erase, redraw.
    • Steven
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was surprised how focusing on the details changed what I saw. Shapes and striations I would have never noticed. Also little things like the toes of one foot were not wrapped around the branch. Also placement of the eye relative to the beak. So interesting to see what I miss by not paying attention to the destabilize.   56CF7974-1587-4998-B77B-957625D978EF
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing from the photo makes us observe all the ways the feathers interact, their various colors and textures.  You look at those skinny legs and how they grab the twig.  You see all the different colors of lichens.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Pretty 👍
    • Dayamiris
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Drawing from the photo, I felt that I had time enough to capture the bird morphology, plumage, and body proportions. To sketch the whole body in proportion was easy with the photo as reference, trying to emphasize details like the number of primary and secondary wing feathers was challenging. Yes, I did not notice before that the ventral stripes of this yellow warbler were of a different color (brown) than the stripes on the rest of its body (black). It makes a difference depending on the goal of this particular entry, to document just the presence of the bird, or to make a study towards a correct illustration.
    • Vicky
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      First drawing! It was hard to be confident that I could do this! Realize I need a good eraser,,, thought about shapes I saw like the other person said they did. Was happy with this try
    • Parineeta
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Since the picture was clear, it was easier to draw looking at it as reference. However, I was having a little trouble with sizing and shading, as you can see there is minimal shading in my drawing. The bird came quite easily, I was having trouble with the tree branches and leaves. And the claws of the bird. I may not have noticed the brown markings on the belly of the bird if i hadn't been asked to draw it. Yes I think it would be far harder to get these details when drawing outdoors. Also, to get size positioning, negative spaces shading etc. 20220705_181322
    • Gillie
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      It was fun creating some kind of likeness of the bird in the drawing.  It is an impression rather than a reproduction. I didn't feel confident about the drawing or the painting, in fact it is one of my first times trying watercolours and I had trouble mixing the media and confidently applying it. I am not very happy with my colours.  I also didn't feel confident about "owning" my journal page.  At first it was an empty sheet and then I put the image on it .... and then, "what will I write and where???" Regarding looking at the photo and seeing things I may not have otherwise noticed, yes and no.  I did see what was in the photo as I would have used the details for ID, however i certainly took more notice of the detail of what was there and that has re-inforced those features in my mind.  These details might be useful as notes to make at the side of drawing as I will never be able to quickly capture such details in a watercolour - not as far as I can imagine anyway!  Journal page 1
      • Tara Mc
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I'd be so happy to have an image as good as this by end of course - I particularly like how you captured the head well. I struggled with that shape and placement of eye and beak. question: did you start with a pencil outline? hard to see if you did.
    • Madison
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. Drawing from a photo is my usual method, I tend to trace details when i cant get them right, so this was a good exercise for my minds eye. I feel the perspective is a little off, i had a difficult time positioning the head and getting the body length correct. 2. The texture and variation in the leaves and branches, i tend to draw leaves at the same angles and taper branches more than necessary BAC9300F-388B-4F3B-A31F-3C44DB14F2AE
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
        Watercolor is unpredictable and difficult to correct.  The colors didn't transfer faithfully to the jpeg. One challenge was to put the eye in the right spot on the side of the head.  It was helpful to try to visualize the bones that underlie the masses.  The more I looked, the more I saw and it took way to long to do this exercise.  I anticipate the I'll have difficulty catching the moment when in a natural setting. 8CE799BF-D46A-4AB8-B970-747E315C3246_1_201_a
    • Courtney
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing from an image allows more time to focus and add details; however, it also grants the viewer the time to dwell on aspects you may have overlooked in nature, which can be a blessing and a curse. For instance, a photo allows the opportunity and time to complete the drawing without disruption but also introduces the ability to erase and become critical of your journaling. PXL_20220612_205510376.MP
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Warbler_6.12.22 I did okay for my first attempt. The eye is a bit too big. I could see the angles and the shapes, but it is more challenging to replicate. The shading and the coloring is challenging in just a pencil drawing. I noticed how the moss is similar in color to the warbler. Drawings can capture the minute details. Photographs can show clearly the intense colors.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I prefer to draw from a drawing because it shows me how the artist interpreted the image and I am better at copying other drawings. I see that the eye is too big and that a yellow warbler is smaller and rounder than I depicted. My painting skills will hopefully improve over time... I used Sibley's to copy the notes on the page. I want to learn as much as I can about birds. IMG_1358 3
    • cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I’m used to drawing from photos, but I would prefer to draw in situ.  Getting the perspective on the branch was difficult.  I wouldn’t have noticed the subtleties of the coloring on the warbler, especially on his head & around his eye.  I would think the more I notice the better my drawing/painting will be. 448D7F9A-3C94-4A2B-AFC8-1E95DAA509CA
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Screen Shot 2022-06-05 at 2.06.48 PMI like the stability and clarity of the photo, though I'd rather be outside with this little guy. I noticed colors and feather shapes I would not have without drawing it. I'm definitely here to draw and not take photos-- though I'll keep doing that, too!
    • 20220529_111321 I noticed things that I never had about Yellow Warblers, particularly how much black is in the wing. I tried not to do a lot of erasing, but I obviously need to!
    • Jeanne-Marie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      This was a fun assignment! I haven't used watercolors since high school art, and let's just say that was more than a few years ago. Nothing really came easily for me - I had to work for every stroke and every color. I haven't drawn a bird to this detail before, and over the years I've preferred writing to drawing, so this is a good stretch for me. I did this drawing twice, once with just pencil and then again with pencil, watercolors and marker. I was really intrigued by the feet holding on to the branch, and interestingly I did a much better job with them in the first pencil drawing. I might not have had the time to appreciate the feet holding the branch if I was trying to quickly capture this bird in the field. Yellow Warbler - May 2022
    • Cecilia Louise
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      It was pretty easy. I've been drawing for quite a while using photos and other drawings as a reference point. The overall shape was fine but the beak and the correct angle on the head was kind of hard for me.  I probably wouldn't have noticed the turns and curves of the branch and would have tended to make it more streamlined. This would make drawing from nature look not quite as realistic so yes, I have to work on that! IMG_20220504_175555
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      The joy of having a photo is being able to take time looking, colour matching, getting as much detail down as possible. It was only after finishing that I realized I had missed the upper part of the wing, so when I paint this again, I will hopefully remember! It was nice to try out watercolours and the water-reservoir brush; I can appreciate how handing this little kit is for taking out in the field. I might not have noticed the brown striations or streaks on the belly and how that brown carries on up to just under the beak on the throat if I hadn't been asked to draw it. Those sorts of details would definitely make a difference when nature journaling.
    • Drawing from the photo is good for me, as a beginner, because I have so much time to look and capture everything I watn to. I feel challenged by the proportions of the bird, I think is one of the most difficult things to do, I had to re-do the bill several times. Drawing from a photo makes me focus more on the details, I think is a great way lo learn more about birds. 278170393_463537292125766_1455666501060036784_n
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I am a beginner and super detail-oriented. Drawing from a photo helps me to see details I would miss if the bird was moving outdoors. On the website there is a game to test your knowledge of bird anatomy.  I found that my brief exploration improved drawing the bird in proper proportion, relatively speaking. I wish I knew how to better illustrate the fluffy/downy feathers from say, tail feathers. C9C72ECA-DDE2-43DB-8E80-CA4519A207E2
      • HOLLY
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I love how you captured the eye in greater detail, and the streaks on the breast of the bird!
    • Laurna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      0Drawing from the photo felt easier than trying to sketch a bird in the field. There is the luxury of everything sitting still. Using colour - in this case watercolour - is new to me, so I find it challenging and I hope to improve this. I want to learn how to use the colours for reference without losing details that my pencil and pen create. I might have overlooked the feather groupings and the colour of the legs as well as the shape of the leaves if I had not stopped to draw it. -Laurna, Toronto Canada
      • NANETTE
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Love your drawling.
      • HOLLY
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Well done! I love how you added text about the bird.  Great job on the watercolor! I’m new to it too.
    • JUDY
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Comfortable.  I have done drawings before and pencil is my favorite.  Pretty much all of it was pretty easy.  I took the course to learn some new things I hope.  I do birding with friends for some years now.  Drawing will help me remember them better.  The bird likes berries so my guess is that it is in a berry type bush or a birch tree of some sort by the leaves. Paper makes a big difference in what you want to do.  Nature is one of my favorite things to watch.  I learned that the color of beaks and legs also help identify the bird in some cases.  P1010846
    • Ambar
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Getting the dimensions/proportions and details were challenging. But taking note of the warbler's position in relation to the leaves and the branches helped a lot. Through a photo, I noticed more of the details and the richness of the colors that I likely wouldn't have picked up from a drawing. I suspect I'll need to take photos first when I begin field sketching. My eyesight is not great and I feel like I'd miss a lot of the birds' details along with their environment. ambar_baseline_yellow_warbler
    • Marilyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      imageDrawing really made me look at the details. It imprinted them in a way that the photograph did not. The drawing tests my patience. The photo is instant gratification.
    • Natalija
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      The advantages of the photos over the drawings and vice versa? The photograph has great detail and color information that a drawing done on a smaller format using only graphite lacks. Nevertheless it makes the subject look flat. Although the photograph is focused on the bird a draftsperson has more control over which part of the picture he can add detail to as well as what to omit. yellow warbler with notations 1. I felt comfortable drawing from the photograph because the subject wasn’t moving. Getting the proportions and the main pose of the bird was easy, however it was difficult to capture all the detail that I saw in the photograph. I think I should have drawn the bird at least twice as big. Also it was a challenge to capture the brightness of the bird's feathers. I think I would have been more comfortable had I been working on toned paper or if I had added a tone to the entire background (the photograph background is a medium tone and green in contrast to the yellow of the bird so that it really stands out). 2. Drawing from this photograph made me observe each part of the bird for a longer period of time than I would have just casually looking at it. This allowed me to notice the detail of the feathers around the eyes, the subtle color difference between the birds above and below feathers and the peculiar shape of the top part of the beak. I think that observing the subject for longer periods of time certainly makes a difference and it would do so in nature journaling as well.
      • HOLLY
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Magnificent sketch! I love how you did the shading, and the added field marks.
      • Gillie
        Participant
        Chirps: 26
        Beautiful!
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1) A bit nervous, but tried tom look closely and draw what I see.  Once I looked at how the bird is located on the branch and how the different body parts are in relation to each other it was a bit easier to get the dimensions.  Found it difficult to get the lichen and the shading on the leaves.   2) Probably wouldn't have noticed the fringed feathers, and the different shadings - just see more of the whole and register that without looking specifically at each part.  Yes I think it is easy to just register the image rather than looking at how all the subparts of the image are in relation to each other and how they overlap - it is more likely that a phot is seen as one or two dimensional.
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      This was interesting. I have always been intimidated about drawing birds. I realize now that careful observations will help me improve. I did love having a subject that didn't jump around.  I will need to improve my computer skills, however. Taking the photo was the most challenging part. WIN_20220306_12_10_08_Pro
    • Helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      This was a very fun exercise.  I'm new to drawing so the most difficult aspects of this are getting the proportions right as well as learning how to show shadows and negative space.  But I'm overall pleased with this drawing.  I'm impressed at how some people can whip their drawings together in just a few minutes!  This took me over an hour.  It's so easy to get lost in time when drawing.Day 1 - Yellow Warbler sketch
    • Rita
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I enjoyed drawing from the photo. However, I've always been better at drawing inanimate objects.  :)  I want to get more life into my drawings, eyes are my nemesis. I believe that becoming intimate with your subject always draws your attention to the finer details.   I've included my lowly attempt.  :)   IMG-3712
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'm so used to my subjects moving so fast when I am sketching birds. It was nice to draw from a photo! I feel like I may have made it more wooden feeling, though, because there was no movement to capture. But I was able to see details I wouldn't otherwise have been able to see. The stripes on the bird's breast I probably wouldn't have seen if it were in real life. I did a very quick sketch, in ink, because that's how I usually sketch when I am nature journaling. The hardest part for me was judging my work. I am not very talented or good at drawing.IMG_1061
    • david
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Loved the exercise. The photo made it easy to observe, sketch, observe, sketch, observe some more and sketched and then try to get the main colours right. In nature the little fellow would have been long gone before I even finished typing these three sentences. The annotations made me think more about the details as well, notably the difference between the  finer dark grey stripping on wings compared to orangish brown coarse stripping on lower body.  Tried to complete my sketch in under 5 minutes since figured that would be well in excess of what a real nature venue would allow. Will have to try water colour paints... the colouring pencils were not capturing the shades or hues very well. Great sketches by all the other participants... congratulations to everyone. Not ready to share my attempt yet, my grandkids may see them and may be merciless in their critique.
    • Chuyu
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1It's a little bit hard to depict the feather of this bird but I think the part of general outline is OK. There are much more layers of birds' feather on their wings and that's a difficulty for me to draw them.
    • Lucinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      A little intimidating. More comfortable starting with the branches. A bit of a struggle to get the bird’s ratio and perspective correct.  The fine feathering structure was more varied than I realized and fell there will be a rather larger learning curve to get it accurately.  3A3C53FF-2A99-4FDA-A37A-F64A660A1264
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      155826AC-0420-4217-ABF1-A0EB1E3DB766 I enjoyed this… it was a good feeling to “jump in.” It helped to format my drawing area to approximate the dimensions of the image on my iPad screen. Then, blocking in the branches provided a foundation for me to have some success with my goal of placing the warbler in relative size with its surroundings. Drawing from a photo is great! Everything is locked in place. Drawing most definitely inspired me to look closely at details and their relationships with each other. I am an amateur photo-naturalist and believe this skill (photo to drawing) will greatly enhance my observation skills and understanding of Nature’s intricacies. It seemed logical to begin labeling and jotting down questions.
      • HOLLY
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Well done! This is one of my favorites!
    • Esther
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’m so rusty with drawing that I felt a little intimidated. 1. I feel like my proportions are off with the bird. It will be interesting to see if there are improvements over the course of time. Drawing from a photo is a bit easier for things like birds and animals since they are captured in the moment, and for seeing some detail. The challenge is the lighting made it a little difficult to see the detail of leaves on the tree, but I also just roughed those in. 2. I probably wouldn’t have noticed the nuanced coloring on the head and wings. 3. Making notations of those differences and nuances might trigger my memory when doing field sketches. 53B9122F-B070-4FAA-ACB3-454FA26901D7
    • Eva
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      My first pencildrawing of the yellow bird. I am going to color it with colorpencils. Can't decide wether to go over it with a black pen first. I know that will give the drawing a harder impression than if I dont. And I dont nessecarily want that. On the other hand I will be more in control of the drawing.  /Eva 20220216_164052
      • Eva
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Ready for colors. But was it destroyed in the proces? Hmm 20220216_171858
      • Eva
        Participant
        Chirps: 3

        @Eva <p style="text-align: left;">Now with colors 🙂</p> 20220217_175047

    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Trying to the get proportions on the beak just right really made me look at the shape of the beak. A detail I wouldn't have thought about while taking a photo. Drawing lets me pick what stands out to me.
    • diana
      Participant
      Chirps: 52
      65B2C351-5C9A-4A65-885A-460DBFC86886 Liz didn’t say to paint, only to draw — so that’s exactly what I did. I worked quickly and tried to capture some dimension in B&W. 1. I loved drawing from the photo … it helped see details & proportions more easily. The feathers individually were challenging - so I just blocked them in -  and the basic shape was fairly easy. 2. The little circle around the eye is never seen unless I draw a bird. The nuanced feathers and markings would not be noticed in detail except for drawing. The beak is very different when drawing from photos than seeing on the wing. All those details would slow me down and possibly cause me to ask WHY/purpose  (form follows function) questions in my journal.
      • diana
        Participant
        Chirps: 52
        AE8D5F76-B0F7-4952-8F5E-748A74F15ABC Sketched proportions of bird aren’t exactly right & still need fine tuning. The 3D quality needs work through shading. Too flat looking. Overall, the bird does feel cohesive though — like it could actually fly. But the bird needs much tweaking and refinement for accuracy. Ready for next learning steps…
    • Xhaira
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. Drawing the basic shape of the bird was easy, but adding the details of feathers/shading was more difficult. Drawing from the photo was much easier than drawing in person, since the bird doesn't move or leave. But it was difficult to make the bird look "alive" since it's so static in the photo.   2. I wouldn't have noticed the minor color differences or how the talons curled around the branch without the photo. I would have been too focused on trying to draw the shape and get the base colors for the bird before it left. With creatures, I would have to draw quickly to catch them, which may leave me without the chance to study them closely. With plants and landscapes I should be able to slow down and get the minor details.   IMG_5871
    • Krista
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm usually more comfortable drawing from a photo than from real life or memory, probably because the photo allows me lots of time and something 2-D to work from. I only saw all of the beautiful coloured birds posted by others after I had finished mine (and my son his). My 11-year-old son thinks that drawing is more fun than photography and can be more impressive. IMG_6661IMG_6660
    • Olivia
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      when you love to draw and enjoy it, all the sensations are really satisfactory and gratifying, was not exactly dificult because usually i make drawings taking a photo as reference, but using few colours with pencils, ballpens and maker pens, so with this course, i hope to learn and test new techniques and materials as watercolor and improve it, more specific i think to emphasize some details in a few brushstrokes,  influencing of course, in a more sensitive final result too. yellowwalbler
    • Joy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. It felt intimidating in one sense to try to draw that beautiful bird from such an expert photo. What came easily was the basic bird shape inside the brain already but trying to actually translate what was being seen in the photo to the paper was challenging. The finer details of the feather lines and the fluffy feathers along the tops of the legs and the exact sillouette was challenging. 2. Yes, I would not have noticed the finer details of the feather lines and the fluffy feathers along the tops of the legs and the exact sillouette if I had not been asked to draw it. Yes, it will make a difference in nature journaling, to take something that you observe and notice and ensure you capture it in the journal (but it would not have to be excat replication, you could add a note about what that part of your drawing was meant to show).
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 7.39.09 PM I got very happily involved in this activity! I can get really precious with my drawings and overwork them, and was stymied at first putting down the first few marks & reworking proportions.  I work from photos I've taken frequently because I draw slowly. When out hiking, I usually just take a few notes & then photograph or do a scribbly minimal sketch. Here I decided to play with a mix of pen, watercolor pencil and brush, and pencil. Messing about with media where I'm less comfortable ended up being really satisfying. I know I didn't get the feathers as exact as a photograph, but I don't mind--as long as the significant markers are accurately depicted. (Plus I'm not sure I would ever have the patience.) I did like thinking through how to create an impression of the different textures of the feathers and lichens/mosses and how they moved. Without the photo I certainly wouldn't have picked up on the depth of detail.  I do find that I remember more about my observations when I draw and write.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      When I draw the birds I feel like I remember them better. I. Enjoy the drawing....but wish I was better at it! Promotion is tough....and the legs and feet are impossible haha!
    • Teresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1)I liked drawing from the photo because the bird didn’t fly away or flit around…no wind, lol. Trying to get correct proportions and angles was difficult. I found that I was able to see more detail in the beginning then tapered off toward the end of drawing. 2)I may not have noticed the texture of the birds feathers. The details like the lichen on the branches and the length of the claws help make the drawing realistic.
    • Arwyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      yellow warbler I felt ok drawing from the photo. I've done that many times before. I'm not sure if I've drawn a bird before, though! What I do know is that I didn't get the proportions where I wanted them to be, but I didn't spend much time on this. Still, I feel that if I was drawing out in the field, I would have spent even less time on it. Getting the colors where I wanted them to be was fairly easy. What was difficult was determining what details I wanted to keep in. It's difficult to get the fine striping on the wings done with the brush I had (the water brush that came with the Koi field watercolor set). This really got me thinking about the different types of feathers and textures on a bird. Is this important in nature journaling? Maybe, and I suppose that depends on the purpose of the journaling. Photos have advantages over drawings in that they can show the different textures very well. Being able to show different textures in drawing or painting media takes practice. Pictures can also be created in an instant. However, drawings can show more depth. They can also represent what colors you see in the field; sometimes cameras can be very finicky and they won't pick up on the colors you actually see.
    • Cheryle-May
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1: I felt nervous as I have never felt I had any talent for art. This is my first ever attempt at drawing a bird. Getting the general shape was fairly easy.  Getting the color right and drawing the beak was challenging. 2: The Lichen on the tree branch, two types I think.  Also the fine brown striping on the breast of the warbler was more obvious when I was trying to draw it.  When nature journaling I will need to train myself to be more observant of details. PXL_20220124_003634427
    • Kimina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I found it hard to make a bird look like it has feathers. I also found that I'd like to get a finer tipped paintbrush to allow for better details. I was surprised that I could get the texture of the leaves I wanted just from a quick sketch and going over it with a pen.PXL_20220123_172607129
    • kat
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      D2C83ACE-8BE9-4DF9-8714-85B71969D233I felt a bit stressed about starting. Then I just went ahead and drew using a pencil. I’d like to wait for instructions before I start painting. My critique was easier and had better flow than my drawing. I’d like to even that out as I get better. The most interesting thing I noticed was that I thought the bird was facing me so that I got the right and left legs mixed up. That is one point for drawing over just taking a photo - analyzing what you see. Probably the best advantage of the photo - you’ve got it before the bird takes off.
    • Dann
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Yellow_Warbler_WilkensI started with a light pencil outline, then added color with watercolor pencils, with which I have no experience. Not especially satisfied with the color from these pencils, so I'd like to try watercolor paint next time.  I like working from photos because in the wild you usually get only a quick glimpse of a bird. They don't stand still for long (except Great Blue Herons, who will stand motionless for hours).
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I usually draw from photo for inspiration but not for exact likeness, close but not exact. I want to get better at drawing live  examples . Might still take photo for color reference and the patterns on subject till I get better  at drawing from live forms.   Hoping to sharpen drawing skills  from live nature forms first then develop better water color painting and notes and super simple color. I am not fast at drawing from live objects so this  is going to be a challenge for me, but I look forward to it.   Joan Stanton
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      • E194DAFE-D2B6-493D-8B4F-A68B111514EBWell , here is my first horrible attempt with pure water color. I normally paint with gouache or water color pencil. Hoping to learn more techniques from this course.  Joan Stanton
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      It was fun to not think or add judgement to my first drawing - I'm new so it can be bad. It didn't end up looking terrible and I found that when I took the pressure off I also focused more on what the bird was perched on. I missed the moss and lichen but adding the leaves made the whole experience for me. Lil yellow came out looking as happy as I am right now!20220118_104729
    • L
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing is something out of my comfort zone, but hope to improve upon during this course. It was good to be able to refer back to the photo when I was drawing.  The branches and leaves were somewhat easy to draw. But getting the proportions of all items in the photo was a bit challenging along with drawing the warbler's head. My drawing is not ready for prime time showing....maybe next time.
    • Nanci
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      N_Worthington Assignment #1
    • R H
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoyed drawing the picture.  It is certainly apparent that drawing it really make me notice lots of details.  Journal class yellow bird
    • Chuck
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I found this sketch very difficult (challenging?), especially getting the proper proportions and placement of the bill and eye. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn about drawing feet. The textures and colors of the branch, and particularly the lichen, were a challenge. YEWA - Yellow Warbler 06a The bill is one of the key features distinguishing warblers, so I struggled to get the size and shape of the bill right. I'd draw it too large, then erase it and draw it again but this time too short, then again too large, then again too short. I drew 5 or 6 iterations of the bill and I'm still not sure it's correct.   This is my first attempt at seriously using colored pencils. I found it both satisfying and frustrating. It was satisfying to be able to add a bit of color to my sketch and it was easy to control where the color went, but it was frustrating in that all the colors appeared very pale and lacked vibrancy. I used colored pencils that I had on hand from a prior effort with "adult coloring books" and I was frustrated by my limited palette and inability to blend colors.   I look forward to learning to use and mix watercolors and hopefully get more vibrant colors and a wider range of shades and hues.
    • Mark
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I was, at first, afraid...anxious. I wanted to do well, but I was afraid of creating something terrible here at the beginning. Patience came easily once I started drawing. Attention and forgetting time are natural to me. Getting the angles and attitudes correct was challenging. My warbler's head is still a bit too tall. Maybe more round than oval? Getting the forward-lean sleekness of the bird was difficult. 2. I definitely noticed new things like the moss at the base of the branch junction the bird is perched on. This and the bites out of many of the leaves (insect bites, I assume?) were things I didn't see until I attempted to draw them. Also, the knobbiness of the branch, the light and dark sides of individual leaves, the amount of black in the bird's tail feathers...all of these were details I didn't see in this picture until I attempted to draw the picture.  For a difference this would make, I think this level of detail would help my ability to identify similar birds. Also, even more than simply identification, the appreciation of a bird's (or a branches) beauty grows with the attention I dedicate to it. I've noticed this with the birds that regularly return to my feeder. I never realized how formal and sleek chickadees were until I observed their tail feather patterns day by day. Similarly, the intensity of a red breasted nuthatch when it fights alone for its spot on the feeder formerly occupied by four chickadees than pauses curling it's body out to stare down any potential combatants. IMG_20220109_150756175 I also included my 9-year-old son's drawing. He saw what I was doing and asked to sit and join me. I've wanted to get both my boys more into birding as I fall more in love with it, and this was a great step in that direction. For him: 1. It looked pretty hard, but everything was actually easier than I thought. 2. Probably the details on the leaves and how there were more than one in some places that I thought was just one big one. Now I know that some hard drawings you have to look at pictures and you could get pretty good at it. IMG_20220109_150748789_2
    • Susie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      CBA.1
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      PXL_20220109_195812104 I enjoyed interpreting the little textures and values of the lichen and moss on the branch. Drawing allows you to remember things more vividly than a photograph does.
    • Alison
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      IMG-5816
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoyed the process of drawing the photo. The instruction said to draw following Liz' instruction but I didn't find this piece. From the comments and general feel, I assumed we could do as little or as much as we wanted. I used pencil sketching and played with the watercolour box. It was interesting looking at the bird to see that there was some shading that almost needed a grey colour. I chose not to mix colours but go quickly with what I had.  Really fun!Yellow Warbler
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 45
      I have to say the drawing process was super fun!
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 45
      My water color soaked up the pen and made my drawing look dirty. :(
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 45
      lIMG_3930
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      IMG_2147
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I wasn't sure how long to spend drawing it. If it was in the field I suppose it would be a quick gesture drawing depending on how long the bird could stay still. The advantage of the photo would be adding more detail.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was hesitant to start and then pushed myself to rush right in & ended up starting too high on the page so the top of the bird's head is cut off. But once i realized that i relaxed about getting it 'right' this first time. I found myself drawn (pun intended) to the branches in leaves, as a result, zeroing in on the bird's feet, the lichen, leaves & shadowing, which i might not have really noticed if not trying to draw the picture. So i think that drawing in nature journaling leads to looking much more closely at things like beak & wing structures, claws around branches, etc., & could produce richer connections with the subject and so possibly stronger memories of the experience than just taking a photo. . .
    • Jorge
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      i felt like i was outside looking at a real bird. I realized that there were tiny strikes of dark yellow on the underside of the belly!
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Yellow warbler
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Yellow WarblerIf this turns out to be a double submission, please excuse!  I found that I can focus on the topic and ignore extraneous details, but I had to work on it, since everything in the photo was clear and detailed.  This gave me an accurate portrayal of the bird, and I was able to concentrate on the details in a way that I wouldn't have been able to if I was doing this while watching it.  Photos provide a good resource to go to when, after an observation outside, I want to go back and check details on what I've captured in drawing.  On a technical note,  I was concerned how I was going to show the various shades and tones of yellow, and scoured my pencil box for the "right" color to use.  I finally landed on using one color, and found that my shading with a graphite pencil provided the shading I was looking for.  A good lesson learned!
    • Tony
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I I know the bird and so was negotiating between what I saw in the photo and what I know about the bird, its habits, etc. That was interesting! I found myself quite interested in the branch and the leaves...a fun exercise! Similarly to taking photos, finding "the focus" of the shot is problematic for me. I see a bird and it looks awesome and so I get my camera ready and once I am looking at the viewfinder I realize the berries to the side of the bird are so striking and the marsh behind it so alive... need to reflect on this longer~ Yellow Warbler
    • Ria
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      The photo was nice for reasons many others have mentioned: static image, ability to zoom in, etc. I did find it difficult to capture the essence of the warbler and got caught in the liminal space between quick sketch and detail. I think you can see my indecision in this drawing, especially in the bird itself... I'm looking forward to feeling more natural with the process so my hesitations stay out of my images and I can accurately reflect my subjects personality and being :) RVK_YellowWarblerIntro
    • Kallen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This was fun! I definitely noticed things that I might not have if just taking a photo—like the way some of the feathers looked like scales. Which prompted all kinds of associations. D84697A5-73AF-4DB1-81D9-23760D96612C
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      One of the unexpected benefits of working from a photo was the ability to zoom in to investigate the details. I'm looking forward to working on my proportions and watercoloring. Both were very challenging. PXL_20220101_231141619
    • Samantha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Yellow Warbler (2) I feel ok with the drawing but defiantly with practice improve I'm sure.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      image0 (1) I don't have my full-sized journal yet so did this assignment on a small sketch pad--I think it will be easier with a larger surface to work on! 1. How did you feel about drawing from the photo? What came easily and what was challenging? Honestly, I felt relieved I wasn’t trying to capture a bird in real time! It was still a challenge however. I wasn't sure where to start so found myself defaulting initially back to those geometric shapes learned in school–bird are ovals, as D.J. said! But once I felt I had the head and back shaped correctly, it was easier to fill in the other details proportionately. I struggled with the beak and made many revisions there, while the wings, legs, markings and branch came easier. I am very curious to learn strategies for field sketching, when birds, bugs, leaves, etc. are moving around and not holding perfectly still! 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? There were many small details in the photo I didn’t notice until I reached that area on my sketch, like the fact that the markings on the underbelly are a different color than those on the wings. Leaving that out wouldn’t be detrimental to a nature journal, but the act of drawing and observing it adds more to the journaling experience. It’s a reminder to pause and stop our brains from filling in the blanks!
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      IMG_4676 Well that didn't go as planned ;) This was my first attempt at drawing anything in years. I need to get some drawing pencils. I didn't think to add color yet. Drawing did force me to notice details I would have missed-such as the streaking on the belly, and the way the feet sit on the branch. Details I would not have have likely noticed if looking at the live bird.
    • MARLIES
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      There is still so much new to learn - about the general shape of a bird, how the feathers of the wings rest against the body, where the beak sits in the face, etc. I spent a lot of time trying to get the facial expression right. I think when I draw from Nature I will just focus on the shape first, and then try to add detail when I have more experience. I haven't used water colors before, so I'm starting out with colored pencils (just pulled out this box that I used to make botanical sketches 40 years ago). IMG_20211225_0001
      • Michele
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        That is beautiful!
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.  I enjoyed drawing from the photo, easier to look at details and capture what I am seeing.  Challenging was getting the proportions correct, and not being comfortable trying out the watercolors yet.  2.  I noticed the moss and lichen on the branches, and where the darker areas were on the bird.  It would make a difference depending on what I was intending to capture, and brings in details about the habitat. IMG_5343[165]
    • Michel
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      As for photography versus live model, I already find it hard to spot warblers with binoculars so drawing a bird in situ seems to me about impossible Of course, other species can be drawn live more easily, for ex. great blue heron, feeding ducks and I am looking forward to trying that next spring.
    • Michel
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I spent a lot of time trying to get the shape and proportions correctly with pencil.  Colouring the fine black lines on the wing and red streaks on the breast without the lines becoming blurry was another difficulty. As I was using WC pencils for the first time, it was trial and error finding the right colours as well. I also wondered how to do the colouring in of the warbler. I started by spreading a light yellow all over the bird as a background and then added darker colours (orange, ochre and last black).  Sometimes, the colours bled  and ended up with a  muddy look. Eraser particles tended to get stuck on the wet paper. I used mixed medi paper and F-C watercolour pencils. I am, of course, open and eager for suggestions and constructive criticism. Thank-you for your attention Michel601057B2-F7EC-4705-A093-1A43CE00924A
    • Sonia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing from a photo is easier than drawing while looking at a bird. Getting the exact shape and gestalt of the bird is difficult. Seeing samples from other students' drawings is quite intimidating!. I'll learn how to import!
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoyed it, since the bird was sitting still. Although I found it slightly intimidating at first, I did enjoy the overall experience. Getting the proportions right is something I need to work on. Also the slight angle of the head was challenging. 2) Yes if I would not have noticed the different colours of the branches, or the different colours in stripes on the chest of the Warbler. I hope to improve my drawing skills when nature journaling IMG_7614  
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      C2A21604-F5D4-42AF-966D-A696A9911007 1. How did you feel about drawing from the photo? Good.  It gave me lots of time to observe the bird. 2. What came easily and what was challenging? The wing was challenging. The head was easier--less detail. 3. 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 all the black lines in the wing and the detail of the stripes on its chest. I guess the difference would depend on the purpose of the journal entry.
      • Dawn
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Wow!  This looks incredible for a first drawing!
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      IMG_1024I love trying to draw/paint from a good photo like this.  I think I got the form down pretty well.  The proportions may be off a little, but not too bad.  I felt like it wasn't as vibrant as I wanted it to be so I added a second darker color to the background for added contrast.
    • Ines
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.  I was very intimated by the process.  So much that I put it off for days.  But once I started I felt very good.  I realized that I need to develop my patience and slow down.  2.  Yes, the wings.  Yes absolutely.YellowWarbler1st
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      image 1. It was fun and interesting to draw from the photo. I noticed right away that preparing to draw/paint made me look much more closely at the details of the bird. The general shape was easy but capturing the nuances is hard. The particular way the bird is holding his head and body is hard to capture. 2. There is lots in the photo I would not have noticed, like the streaks of red on the breast and how some of the wing and tail feathers are primarily black. I would like to learn how to capture some of these important details without getting too hung up on trying to produce a ‘technical drawing’ of whatever I am seeing.
    • Rebekah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. Drawing from the photo was fun! The fact the bird is sitting still makes it easier. When drawing from a photo the challenge is not experiencing the habitat. 2. I didn't see the moss on the sticks until we had to look closer to make the artwork. And yes, that makes a difference with nature journaling for sure.   Rebekah Lowell_Yellow Warbler Nature Journaling
    • Risa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1. Drawing from photos is my comfort zone. Yet, in this particular pic, it was hard for me to catch the proportions/shape of the bird. 2. The proportion of the head to the body, and the tail to the body. Yes, the shape is very important for nature journaling, because it is part of the identification process.
      • Risa
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        IMG_2559
      • Chuck
        Participant
        Chirps: 2

        @Risa As you mentioned, shape and proportion are an important part of the ID process, and for a birder, the most important part that identifies a bird as a warbler is the bill. You did a great job of capturing the size, shape, and proportion of the Yellow Warbler's bill.

    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      imageThis was tricky for me but I will say it’s a lot easier when the bird isn’t moving lol. Excited to see how I improve
    • Becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      IMG_2518
    • Anastasis
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      1. At the beggining I felt it was really difficult, I thought the backgruond was easier to start on. 2. A lot of details in colors, shapes, shadows, etc.WhatsApp Image 2021-10-28 at 17.56.43
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sketching created a type of investment into the process.
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. Drawing from a photo has the clear advantage of the stillness of the subject. I can't imagine being able to capture the tiny claws of a warbler from life. I can't say any of it came easily, but I enjoyed the process of trying. The flatness of the near-consistent yellow of the bird made indicating any kind of contour -- already a challenge -- even harder. 2. Even though I am a "plant person" I spent some time thinking about what kind of twig this was, even though I didn't try to draw it. Considering the context of where the subject is (and where I am) will be an interesting aspect of nature journaling, I think. lesson1_yellowwarbler
    • Marie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      IMG_8916
    • E. Lee
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      My first attemt was in charcoal pencil, this one is in graphite pencil. Much room for improvement, and I look forward to getting better. IMG_7829
    • E. Lee
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      It's been years since I've drawn and seems I'm more free-form in my later years, but it was fun and I can see how much I can improve. Very exciting!IMG_7828
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      As an avid birder, the challenge is getting the right proportions on a bird I know very well.  I am keen to learn to illustrate what I see rather than what I know to be true from lots of experience observing.  I have a long way to go, excited for this challenge.5573CEAA-1C7B-4048-ACA9-5DC5C97C1D05
    • wanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing from photo was good. I noticed a lot of details I wouldn’t ordinarily see.
    • Richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      59B32680-3D5E-4A4C-AF8C-5A2A49AF4B90
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      1. Was very thankful the image wasn't moving! The biggest challenge was proportion. 2. The beak shape, especially the curve at the tip. Helps to understand a warbler beak a little better. Yes, this will help journaling!
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      C460CA22-3751-4D09-A041-F3C8711528FF
    • Allison
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      At first I was nervous about getting the drawing “just right”, but then I relaxed and just did my best to notice curves and small shapes and put them together. My goal for this class is to learn to observe more in nature and make a record for myself of what I saw.  So I need to be nice to myself and have fun. I had a hard time getting the shape of the head and beak to look natural, but I feel good about what I got in the end.  I might not have noticed the texture of the bark and mosses.  I think the branch, leaves, and moss all help tell the story.C6F501FB-C061-41C8-947F-FD965CCAF393
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 6
      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
      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
      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
        This is beautiful! You captured the intelligence of the bird. You must already be an artist.
    • Theresa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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: 3
      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
      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
      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: 8
      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: 19
      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: 17
      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: 17
      DBBB779A-6550-46F9-A4A0-CA7792D83EDC_1_201_a
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      YellowWarbler1
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      • 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
      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
      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
      image
    • Esteban
      Participant
      Chirps: 128
      20210722_143721-01
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Yellow warbler
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      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: 16
      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
      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
        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: 19
        This is such a beautiful sketch!
    • Leslie McCawley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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: 14
      8283A29A-0DD9-4C09-966E-C9CA53CBC9F0
    • Jacqueline
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 3
      Thank you, Liz, for creating this course.
    • John and Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      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
      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
      I really enjoyed this. The warbler is very cute in the picture.IMG_4412
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Not much art experience here: I am relieved that my pencil sketch is at least identifiable as a bird.
    • Celia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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: 4
      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
      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
      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
      I loved the activity
    • Leauri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
      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
      I forgot to add an image to my comment. Here we go. {shudders}PXL_20210521_004736172
    • Kate
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      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
      20210519_225709
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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: 19
        This is absolutely gorgeous!
      • MARLIES
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        You really captured how the warbler has turned its head toward the observer. I struggled with that.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      24C5251A-B977-4E85-AA76-27DAAF892745
    • Analilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      D54F0B8C-2393-42D5-B554-234C0DE5FAE8
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      • 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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 2
      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
      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
      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
      Paxaro amarelo
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      Lesson #1 Yellow Warbler
    • Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      IMG_5675 copy
    • Kelley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ., 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
      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
      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
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    • Katharina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      Drawing helps to focus the eye on fine details and to journal them for later memory.
    • Pat
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      • Assignment #1 - Yellow Warbler IMG_1162 (2)
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      D360544F-A198-431B-80C2-9D1099667C46
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      IMG_0274
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
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    • Sage
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
      9C73469F-1FDC-4A4F-BCB0-93DDD1D5F908_1_105_c
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      this was an enjoyable first attempt. I also enjoyed seeing the work of others... E327F05E-5BA2-4582-A564-F7015E452A74
    • William
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
        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
      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
      First Image_0001
    • Dee
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      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
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    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
        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: 5
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
        Amazing --especially love the bark and lichen--for a watercolor "beginner"!
      • Mary
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Amazing --especially love the bark and lichen--for a watercolor "beginner"! Mary in NH
    • Janice
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
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    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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: 6
      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
      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
      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
        sooo cute! Now I'm intimidated!
    • Chantal
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I probably would not have noticed the feet as much.  It was a great exercise.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      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
      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
      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
      Yellow Warbler
    • Rhonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
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    • April
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
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    • VYVYAN
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Yellow Warbler 2021-03-30-0001
      • VYVYAN
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        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
      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
      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
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      • Diane
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        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
      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: 5
      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
      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
      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
      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
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    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      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
      Here's my Yellow Warbler. It was much easier to draw from a photo than from live observation. Yellow Warbler
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
        Love your attitude!
      • VYVYAN
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        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
      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
      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
      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
      IMG_6476
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      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
      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
      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
      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
        You captured those little feet just beautifully! They caught my attention, too.
    • tom
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      The photo allowed time to really examine the scene.47316A69-8427-4673-86C2-2E03B17FF266
    • Hannah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      viber_image_2021-03-21_19-40-53
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      • 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
      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
      My first drawing
    • Derek
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
    • 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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      53C8B459-03EA-45CF-B4C1-A53058035303_1_201_a
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
        IMG_9646
      • Francesca
        Participant
        Chirps: 9

        @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
      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
      034983CA-3EB5-4600-91EA-76F11802042E
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      IMG_7171
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      yellow warbler
    • 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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      Firstexercise I can´t wait to see the evolution at the end of the course :D
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      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
      20210121_160433
    • Ayn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      Ines (7 years old): I felt great. I felt like a great artist.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      20210114_145435
    • Melody
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      592FE2A1-B64E-4133-ABC8-82CC149084AB
    • Alyson
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
        Hi Chloe I'm a fellow student. I think you captured the bird very nicely indeed. Your foliage is amazing!
      • tom
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Really nice work. you really got the three dimensional feel. The painting is superb. Is that just water color work?
    • Antonia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
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    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      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
          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
      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
      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
      yellow warbler
    • Tyler
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      yellow warbler Fun!  I prefer using colors.  Keeping it simple worked for me!
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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: 3
      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
      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
      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 t