I 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.
I was gifted this course by my husband for Christmas, and I would love to have it inspire me to begin documenting all the beauty around me here in our new home in Florida. We live on the Nature Coast, and it's kind of a wild beauty, not perfectly manicured, and I love that about it and would love to be able to create a journal to capture it. I'm just so in awe of the completely different types of landscapes, birds, plants and animals here; even the light is different. We have also started doing some traveling and I would love to be able to keep a visual record of that too.