Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: April 13, 2021
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 15

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    Oh how I love the morning chorus! Your description is marvelous. In our neighborhood most parts of a day, a flutter of sparrows populate a particularly dense hedge.  Those birds debate or celebrate in their convention center with a raucous cacophony, but as I draw abreast the shrubs, they hush into silence. After I pass, they take up their discussions all over again. I can imagine their frozen poses re-animating just where they left off.
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    I love your poem and find the same true in my life.
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    I loved the other students' reading suggestions. Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek captures my imagination and Lilia's Trotter's simple but exquisite water colors take my breath away. Elizabeth Goudge, a twentieth century British fiction writer first sparked my interest in her descriptions of nature. She captures not just the details but the essence of a thing, often with humor.  I sense God speaking to me through creatures and beauty. Below is one such lesson. IMG_4583 “Chip. Chip. Teacher, teacher.”I scan branches,  searching for the bird with its unmistakeable calls. Ah, there he is, so easy to spot with bright red plumage. Cardinals make me feel satisfied, because they’re the one bird I can always identify. I call him, Mr. Cardinal, because he reminds me of a creature suitable for Downton Abbey. His crest gives him an air of importance like a top hat. The black mask he wears contrasts pleasingly with the red, and he wears it like a British gentleman lost from a masquerade party looking for his wife. Mrs. Cardinal, likewise, fills her sophisticated, if old-fashioned, role. She fusses over the nest, responsible for its construction and tidiness. Her garb of elegant feathers blend hints of orange, rust, gray and sand. She’s not nearly as showy as her counterpart, but doesn’t need to be, which makes me respect her all the more. She tends the eggs while her husband flies away to hunt, and returns to wait upon her with his catches. In the birdbath, the pair take turns watching for predators and bathing. These two birds live respectable, monogamous lives. Each has an important job and relies on the other to do their part. They delight me and grant me a feeling of wholeness. That is, except for one of Mr. Cardinal’s curious behaviors. He habitually taps his reflection. He pecks the window, and I caught him striking a car’s side mirror. At first, his action is humorous, but when repeated, it becomes irritating and alarming. The poor fellow will damage himself and drive us crazy in the process of exorcizing his doppelgänger. Of course, he’s defending his territory and his spouse. I wonder what Mr. Cardinal sees? A frightening masked threat? A disgusting flirt? What in his reflection alarms or repulses him that he must attack? Mr. Cardinal, please stop. I am grieved that you peck at something you wrongly perceive. You are an entirely satisfactory bird just as you are, but you’re wasting your efforts in this never-ending loop while your family needs you elsewhere. The only way you’re going to be rid of your reflection is to turn and fly away.
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    Gerda, you are so right about taking time to allow the paint to dry. This is my stumbling block to avoid as well, but I'm still slow to finish my work. Sometimes I sit it on the piano where I will pass it several times a day. Seeing it upright instead of flat on a table and at a distance reveals things I can do to improve. BTW, my husband and I harvested acorns this year and made acorn crepes and pancakes. Delicious!
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    Great job on the bird, and the branch is very realistic as well!
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    I admire your crisp use of black in the feathers. Your lines are so clean and straight! Any tips for doing that?
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    The contrast between my before and after drawings show the effectiveness of Liz's instructions. I used her tips on varying values to create dimension, squiggles to create the lichen, stippling in the branch, and negative space to position the bird on the branch. The proportion measuring with a pencil trick helped my poor bird's first shape improve. I am happy with my progress and look forward to gaining skill with all these tools. IMG_7524IMG_7523
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    IMG_7518Capturing stumps me. The wildlife do not hold a pose, the clouds interrupt the sun and shift shadows and tones, and as a beginner, I'm very slow in drawing. I'm discovering that I should take a photo to continue the rendering later, go back to observe at the same place multiple times if possible, and be patient with myself. If all I get is the temperature, wind, scents and sunlight, the day wins. I trust that I will improve in speed and skill the more I try, and meanwhile I'm enjoying God's good creation. Liz's instruction helps me appreciate it all the more.
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    I find the proportion tool useful as well as simply going back several times after stepping away a bit to add more detail. The more values (light, medium, and dark) shades I give the drawing, the more 3D it becomes.IMG_6832
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    Like Dorothy below, the chest markings confused me, but they ended up giving the bird some depth. I also didn't trust the length of the tail or the shape of the eye, but those turned out about right too. I used negative space often to help place the line. This exercise enlightened me!IMG_6822
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    I'm with you, Dorothy, on confusing the chest markings!
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    IMG_6651I watched a heron intimidate another to leave his territory. I noticed the basic shapes of the birds to capture their movement. Their legs and feet seemed to inform the sketches more than their wings, which I thought would be the other way around. Maybe if I'd been more accurate in portraying the wings, they would indicate more.
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    IMG_6507My contour drawings resemble monsters. Second tries did not improve much. Gauging the distance of long lines throws me off. I did focus on the subject. I also took note of the "negative spaces," which might have contributed to my disappointing results. I'd love to hear tips and tricks, if anybody has some.
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    These sorts of patterns draw my attention as well. Broccoli look like miniature trees, clouds resemble the patterns of settled sand at the shoreline, a river with its tributaries resembles our circulatory system, a flock of birds, especially when they turn as a group, resemble a school of fish. I'm happy to hear someone else notices these quirky similarities between very different "systems."
  • Suzanne
    Participant
    I completed the Florida Master Naturalist Classes, and though I enjoyed them tremendously, I remember so little of the vast information we covered. Documenting  with illustrations and facts will help me to remember not only new moments/experiences but the details of the marvelous creatures and plants I've seen. I've used online watercolor tutorials this past year, and hope to build skills in this class. I'm thrilled to marry my love for creation and painting.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)