• Caryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Well, I am blown away by the wonderful sketches and writing I'm observing in everyone's responses.  So nice to be part of a group who shares similar interest to me! I enjoyed drawing from the photo as the fact that the subject was still gave me a chance to focus on details and get the shape more or less correct.  It also was good to practice sketching in itself as it's been a while.  I'm excited to add some colour next.  I love playing with a fresh new paintbox! If I had only looked at the photograph, I think would would have noticed most elements but drawing made me pay closer attenttion to the shape of the lichens and moss, and details of the bird I wouldn't have really focused on, such as the placement of the eye and the details of the legs and feet.  The different types of feather details I would have just not noticed.  I hope to be able to upload some photos of my work if I can get phone and computer to work together!  In the meantime I'm so enjoying looking at everyone else's efforts.  Great to be in this course.              
    • Cassandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      20191011_084728 (2)_LI I found it hard to get the proportions right even though it was a still photo, and the end result has some good aspects but less life like than I dream of being able to do. I noticed the feet much more than I might have as it was tricky to get them to curve around the branch
    • Chris
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      4E89F203-494E-4A43-B35F-D6333271BCE5I enjoyed this first sketch, but I didn’t find it easy.  I struggled to give it some life - but perhaps drawing from a still photo hampers this too.  And it looks flat - I’m not sure about giving it depth.   I also found out that I don’t know how the watercolour paints behave...  On the plus side - it is a lovely little bird, and I liked looking in detail at the plumage structure, subtle shades and colours.  This is what I’m aiming for - a more immersive period of observation.  I really don’t know how I’ll cope with a moving subject though, and a fleeting moment to try and catch how a bird looks and moves.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      sketch yellow warbler
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Might be simpler if critters in the field would stay as still as this photo...423FF79D-A63A-4C4E-B438-E7438A630A33
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      In all my 66 years, I never even once tried to draw anything, so I had quite a bit of anxiety with my first sketch. As I continued, I noticed I was smiling, inside and out. This exercise was a lesson of “self” for me. I loved it and look forward to many journal entries. 7D82AAEF-EB44-4198-BA2B-4DC045B30A00
      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Susan, I'm so happy that you discovered your talent!
    • Celeste
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Yellow Warbler Lesson 1
    • Celeste
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Drawing from a photo has always been easier for me: 2 dimensional photo to 2 dimensional drawing. What's difficult is getting the proportions correct. I probably would not have noticed the various lichen on the branches!
    • Sue
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      IMG_2917This was my first attempt at drawing since I was about 9 or 10.  Looking forward to seeing what the future lessons can draw out of me. Feeling rather excited about it all.
    • Kyong
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      EDE166A2-2CC1-4B26-AAC0-9E792311D1D5 Drawings provide that small capture in time. You may not have enough time to sketch a moving subject or you may miss details. When you’re drawing from a picture, you pay more attention to detail. You don’t feel rushed.
    • Jen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I felt grateful this bird was in profile and in a pretty easy pose to get down— fairly straight body position with the tail just a bit up— and that it was a photo and not moving! Getting the basic shapes— mostly one small circle and two bigger circles— was pretty easy, but getting their proportions right was not easy at all for me, and deciding how and where to overlap them was not easy. Even just sticking to the basic outlines of major feather groups, drawing the feather patterns in was not easy, especially getting the size & proportions and set at the correct angles. The color patterns were pretty straightforward on this bird, even if I’m not very experienced with watercolor.   2. Taking the time to draw the image definitely helped me focus on details that are easy to overlook, such as the angles at which the legs come out of the body, the shapes of the toes before the talons, the different feather patterns (even if I chose not to the draw them today) and how the different feather groups were lying. The way the primaries stack up only really became clear when I was studying the drawing to sketch it. I think if I were outside and nature journaling, rather than rendering from a photo, I’d only have time to notice one or two features in a session in any detail though, looking at birds live as they flit around, but I might be more apt to capture something that represents the birds motion in its environment rather than a static image as in a photograph.042752C5-1CDC-416B-96E1-ECF25D895F9D
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      YellowWarbler1 I LOVED doing this exercise! A focused respite on a Friday afternoon. :-) Responses to the prompts are in my sketch. Ahhhh, the satisfied sound at the end of what might have been 30 or 40 minutes of sketching.
    • maripat
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Maripat Maripat   Maripat It was both fun and a bit nerve wracking to start sketching but once I began I got into the flow. My bird looks a bit stiff to me and too upright but I do like how a did some of the feathers...may just have to draw him again! 222406BF-A929-47C3-9C83-8AB959AF4198
    • Danelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Drawing the Yellow Warbler from the photo gave me time to study all the intricacies.  I miss details when attempting to capture a bird in flight. The challenges for me then are C632FC5C-424D-41D6-A60B-5FFDCE88A395connecting by hand what my eye observes-shading, proportion, position, color variation and in the field not being intent on getting the drawing perfect. But I love the feel of moving pencil on paper to capture the essence of the Yellow Warbler.
    • Mariana
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      IMG_8081Everything was challenging about drawing the bird. My proportions and composition were muddled, I had to change the eye placement and beak direction about four times each and in the end, the bird ended up elsewhere from the photo. But it was good to have given it a try. Drawing definitely turns you into a better observer. I would have never noticed the different types of feathers, the feather pattern in the back, the flatness of a bird´s head and skull, the length of a tail with respect to the body, how shading a background makes an object pop up - even for someone who doesn´t know what she´s doing.
      • Heather
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        I think you did a great job. The bird looks alive!
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      First I tried drawing with the mechanical pencil and then was excited to try the water-colour kit, and quickly got into trouble!  While my colours were drying (and the warbler's eye started weeping), I tried again with a draughting pencil.  It's really tricky to gather patience to draw the feathers properly, to follow them through all the way along the bird's body - I was wanting to rush things.  Drawing does encourage noticing the details, which I wouldn't do from a quick glance at a quick photo.  Drawing forced me to see how the feathers lap onto each other, how there are such thin long lines of feathers, and how the feathers are crisper toward the tail and softer and fluffier at the shoulder, and not even noticeable at the head.  The angle of the legs is interesting too - we can't see how the legs connect to the bird's body but we wonder, because the angles look so awkward.  Makes me appreciate the yellow warbler! When I went back to my watercolour, the colours had all smeared and were way too thick and dark for highlights, poor bird.  Then I thought, I wonder if these sponges are here in my kit for a reason?  Could I take colour away with them?  Yes!  I took away thick black and sierra highlights and streaming mascara; it smeared the outline of the warbler a bit but I think he looks happier. Looking forward to getting better! Andrea (this class is my birthday present to myself - happy birthday to all the other birthday giftees!)   Lesson 1 - Yellow Warbler colourLesson 1 - Yellow Warbler drafting pencil
    • warbler 3 1) Drawing from a photo perhaps made me hyper focus or overfocus on details. I think that might have taken away from some of the enjoyment as I was worried about getting the details perfect/accurate. 2)However the fact that it was a photo and thus not going anywhere I was able to see details on the Yellow Warbler and the tree that I normally wouldn't have noticed such as the number of primary feathers and how they were graduated. It also helped me notice the partially eaten leaves. This made me think about how Yellow Warblers eat worms, probably the very worms that have been eating the tree leaves perhaps. It made me realize how important this bird is for the trees survival.  I also probably wouldn't have notices the different kinds of moss and fungus on the branches. I liked noticing the lines on the leaves too. I will say I was getting impatient worrying about the details and thinking normally I would be quicker and take more artistic license.  I think I may try some journaling for science and details and another journal with more abstract or surreal drawings for fun.
    • sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      image
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Yellow Warbler
      • Judith
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        I wasn't able to type my comments in with my drawing above (not sure what I did wrong)- but I enjoyed doing this drawing.  One of the things I enjoyed was that I did not think about work or other daily cares; sometimes I thought about nothing and sometimes I thought about Yellow Warblers- how they have that very plain yellow face, their song, and remembered from another Cornell course that they are one of the only warblers that can recognize Cowbird eggs in their nests and sometimes push them out to protect their young. Interesting birds. I guess that is one of the things that is so different than taking a photograph- it is a slower more meandering experience of the bird.
      • Judith
        Participant
        Chirps: 7

        @Judith A comment on my comment: I looked up Yellow Warblers and Cowbirds, and the ones that recognize a Cowbird egg do not actually push the egg out, but cover it with plant material and may lay they own eggs on top.  As I remember from the course, a theory as to why Yellow Warblers do this and other warblers don't, is that they have shared a range with the Cowbird for longer than many other warblers and so have evolved this ability.

    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Yellow Warbler 10 Oct 2019 I enjoyed trying this first assignment, but I definitely am unaccustomed to working with watercolours! I had too much moisture on the paper and couldn't get the finer marking details properly. I didn't find it too difficult to get the basic shape of the bird, but I didn't capture the energy and character of it to my satisfaction. I know what I would try differently if I did it again, though. I definitely would not have noticed the details of the markings if I had not been asked to draw the bird. This would make a difference if I was trying to identify it and learn more about it.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      I haven’t used watercolors since I was a kid, so I was pretty intimidated at first. But I had more fun than I expected. I thought mixing colors would be hard, and I definitely have a lot to learn, but it was magical how I could get to a first approximation fairly quickly. I was using a set of cheap brushes and decent ones are on my shopping list. Brush control was a bear and my tools weren’t helping me out. I wouldn’t have noticed color variation nearly as much if I’d just been looking at a photo, nor the way the ends of the primaries pile up toward the tail. The black and yellow striped effect makes me wonder what the wings look like in flight.63ADA7B8-505B-41CA-B060-F80AB86D7896
    • Karen O
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      By drawing and really looking I noticed the way the warbler’s feet wrapped around the twig, and the lovely pale blue green of the lake and on the branch. Lots of detail that I couldn’t figure out how to capture. 28FF1E72-297A-4EC9-AC08-706847AB1A94
      • Chris
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        That’s a really nice picture - kind of looks like a field sketch rather than from a photo.  I hope I end up being able to capture that kind of feeling.  Nice one!
      • Karen O
        Participant
        Chirps: 14

        @Chris Thanks Chris, trying to transition from colored pencils to watercolor. But loving this class already it’s so great reading everybody’s comments, And seeing so many different styles each with their own personality

    • martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I actually thought it was easier to draw from the photo since the bird wasn't moving.  I do use my iPhone camera a lot and have relied on that for documenting things. I might not have noticed the subtle coloration on the shoulder area if I had seen this bird in the field.  It does make you look a bit more closely at details.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      CA5A9C75-2CC7-4003-9863-14324145E164 Drawing from the photo was nice - no stress worrying about it flying away. While nothing about this was “easy”, I think that capturing the texture was much harder for me than the overall shape. I don’t think I would have noticed the different types of lichen, or the faint brown on the bird’s head if I wasn’t drawing.
    • Maura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1st Drawing First drawing!