• Karen O
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      FF1D5472-CC0B-41A6-A2F1-FDF25C2F1599
    • Helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Fun exercise for a cold, snowy day! 860E44F0-F95C-4FD2-B20A-1B71D109787F
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        I like the bark technique! The texture looks so real. I was daunted by the bark on which my lichens were growing so did not focus on it. Now I'll try these techniques next time.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Looking at two different items with the intent to draw them to show their differences certainly does slow me down and fine tune my observation skills. And while I was able to basically sketch the differences in color and anatomy, I just don’t have the artistic skills to make the images more interesting and three dimensional and lifelike, so that frustrates me. The act of trying to draw each set of flowers and leaves does help imprint on my mind the differences between the two, but if I waited a while before using a key to key them out, I wonder if the drawings would be sufficient to prompt my memory about the details. A647DC68-E29C-42DD-9FA0-E424FE9FC702
    • Chloe
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Since most plants are dead here, I chose to compare two rocks. I thought that it would be hard to find a lot of information on them, but when I dove deeper, there were lots of hidden details. This was a very meaningful exercise. I think that we go by so many beautiful things each day, that we don't take enough time to look at the details. This got me in the headspace to become more motivated, and it was also quite relaxing.
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      There’s so much information I want to get in that it’s hard to get it on the page, and between my lack of drawing practice and a certain rush to do the work, the art is literally sketchy. Even working as quickly as I could, this took me about an hour and a half. But I really enjoy the chance to observe. I spend a lot of time grubbing up Bermuda grass and crab grass, so this was a “know thy enemy” exercise. By the time I was done I at least appreciated the structure of both grasses and understood a bit better how they spread. And I’d never noticed the pretty purple on some of the Bermuda grass stems before. Now I’m curious why some are purple and some aren’t. 7B29A5C5-2AB4-4456-8F0E-F421C1342871
    • Isabelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I have been waiting for my weekend to do this. Finally, it is Saturday but it was 12 degrees this morning! So I went to pick up some freshly fallen leaves in my yard. I picked up 2 very different leaves fallen from one of my purple Smoke bushes. They are quite distinct, which really intrigues me since they come from the same tree. The mise-en-page is quite improvised, a bit messy, I had a lot of descriptions to record and not enough room on my small pad. I’ve got to think of that next time. Anyway, here they are. Nice seeing everyone’s work. Thanks for sharing y’all. Isabelle C816C69E-A0B6-4C69-90A7-44FA2DAC7F30
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      GrassComparisonThis was my first comparison study and I enjoyed the experience. No doubt, even though my fingers felt warm upon starting, had they not cooled off 30 minutes later then I would still be outdoors sketching and observing. This comparison study of grasses reminded me that comparing and contrasting can be a highly effective way to learn about something. The questions that arose are mainly based around the labeling of parts - flowers, stalks, stems, leaves, grass - I do not know what to properly name each part of the grasses. Had my fingers not gotten cold, I would have mustered the umph to draw a close up of each grass's flowers. They have similarities but are not the same. I like sketching what I see, labeling parts and then using the drawing and my observations to prompt my words. This lets me practice the skill - drawing - that I'm trying to learn. I incorporated numerical data, which likely would not have happened if this exercise had been done without seeing Liz's modeling it in her example. Certainly, the use of numerical data adds credence to a scientific observation, while also enhancing the descriptiveness of what is being viewed. FYI I am thoroughly enjoying myself in this course! I set aside time each weekend to do one or two parts of a chapter, not wanting to rush on any given day and hoping to make this class last well into December. Thank you Liz and Bird Academy!
    • Viki
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I guess I like to work big!  I compared 3 seed heads / pods as it's winter and NO flowers, even the leaves are all gone.  This was very fun and I did get to wonder about prickles, opposite vs. alternate leaves (I could tell by the attachment points that remained) and stem striations.  I liked having all the information, drawing, writing, as well as a little bit about size.  This lesson was very useful for me to think about all the things that can vary from subject to subject.   MilkweedsunflowerTeasel
      • Robin
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        These are great. I was working on a milkweed pod, too, and I noticed that the seeds, which I always "knew" were a flat ellipse/teardrop shape with a seed in the middle and a skrim of "wing" on the perimeter, are actually curved like a human spine when observed from the side. Perhaps this allows them to catch a lighter breeze or travel further?
      • Martha Davis
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        You've inspiring! You model close observation of a variety of issues on your seed pods--and pose questions.
      • Claire
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        Very nice composition of your page and beautiful drawings.
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Flower comparisons
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      I have really enjoyed the comparison drawings.  It has created a deeper layer of observation and patience.  I found this beautiful Maple leaf on a hike and brought it home to draw; then, a few days later found the Oak leaf.  Both leaves were inspiring in different ways.  Thank you for this exercise!
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Maple LeafOak Leaf
      • Janice
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        These leaves are stunning. The colors are so beautiful. Well done!
      • Sallie
        Participant
        Chirps: 11

        @Janice I agree!  Valerie, are you using colored pencils or watercolors?  Your colors are so vibrant!

    • Julia
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      IMG_4763   I really enjoyed drawing these 2 flowers.  I used a picture that I took back in September.  There was enough information in the picture that I took to record the flowers and the leaves for each plant.  This was really fun.  I will be doing more of these types of studies.  Thank you!
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      I enjoyed this comparison study as it encouraged me to focus on fine details of each leaf. Autumn is the best season to study leaf structures and color changes. This study allowed me to ask very curiously questions, such as why the color changes of each leaf are different and how the cooler temperatures affect this change. After completing each drawing, I found myself returning to add more detail. IMG_1333
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      I am enjoying comparison studies, I have been focusing on patterns and got out my hand lens recently for closer looks.  I found that acorns have more texture to them than is obvious to the naked eye and that pine cones are really hard to draw.EA542C86-9799-4594-B1DA-AD07AF4FF5D8
    • Gayle
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I think making the comparisons helped me pay more attention to the details. Writing and recording numerical data provide information I am unable to successfully show in my drawings. As my drawing skills improve, I will probably incorporate less writing and data.   IMG_0656
    • Constance
      Participant
      Chirps: 26
      IMG_20321) I compared two plants on my deck. I am a beginner at sketching and it took me a lot of time. I enjoyed it so much but this did make me wonder how I can adapt my work for going out in the field--my goal for my nature journal. I know that practice will help me work more efficiently, but are there other things I can do to capture important points about the subjects in a shorter time period? Birds are not going to sit still for me. I continue to be surprised by just how much more I observe when I draw. Drawing also gives me more time to think about questions I have. I have a biology background, so I think my observational skills are quite good. However, this study showed me just how much more I can grow in this regard. 2)This question of balance is key for me. When I finished drawing, I first thought I was done until I realized I had done no writing! Quantitative data is important, but asking questions led me to go back and do even more observations. I have an additional page or writing I didn't upload. In the earlier video on journal styles, one person had lots of boxes on her pages. I think this might be useful for me to use this more to force me to have a box for quantitative data, one for qualitative observations, one for questions , etc.
      • Susan
        Participant
        Chirps: 30
        These are beautifully rendered. The shading using stippling works really well and you captured the dimensionality and depth in the individual plants. Congrats!
      • Constance
        Participant
        Chirps: 26

        @Susan Thanks so much for the kind words!

    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      Another rainy day comparison.  I used a hand lens to look closely at the two plants. 84348607-7F8C-4C86-BB41-EFCFF6C4951A
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      WIN_20191101_13_00_51_ProToday was way to smokey to go outside but I had these pine cones as part of an indoor arrangement.  Watching our instructor draw her comparisons really helped me.  I have very little experience and learned a lot from watching her.
    • Christy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      I have been putting this off because of rain and then we had a hard freeze last night so there went the flowers.  So I chose the berries.  This assignment is great because it is really helping me to be more observant.  I'm having fun with these challanges. Hnkh1ZCuQM6cYtPpYLuyLA_thumb_6c6c
    • Mary Jo
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      IMG_6158
    • Seth
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Comparison 1.) I really enjoyed this study.  These feathers have been on my mantle for six months, but I truly saw them for the first time tonight.  I learned that, although they have the same basic pattern elements, there are big differences in coloration, speckling, and contrast. 2.) I would like to try to add more numerical data because I have never thought to do it before.  It would make it more scientific.  I have only ever noted the presence of birds I hear while journaling so that I can imagine the atmosphere after the fact.  It would be interesting to count plants, flowers, insects etc as well.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I enjoyed this activity. I selected two specimens of Holly from my garden. It was interesting to examine the many differences between the plants. The Winterberry was new to my garden so a fairly immature plant while the English Holly is very large and over 25 years old. I thought the difference in the leaves were especially interesting. I took some additional time to read about both species. I learned a bit about how to distinguish English Holly from native American Holly.IMG_2263
    • Valerie P Stevens
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      mushrooms
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      Comparison study of two different maple leaves, with shadow and palette practice.  The sugar maple is not quite as dark as I expected, but the watercolors are very new for me.  Not much painting experience or even detailed drawing prior to this course. image
      • Charlene
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        I love that you're experimenting with color. It not only adds more data about the leaves you're comparing, it also really brings the images to life, as if you've invited the readers along on your outing.  I have a watercolor set but I still haven't dipped a brush into it. Seeing your work is really making me want to try adding color to my descriptions. Thanks!
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      Autumn garden makes for some good comparison of plants at the end of season. image