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Old Monday 3rd February 2014, 20:50   #1
Vectis Birder
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sandown, Isle of Wight
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Need some help!

Long time, no see!

Right, this is going to be a bit of a waffle so please bear with me...
Back in the mid-2000s I did a bit of sketching, on and off, but wasn't very prolific at all and eventually photography took over, totally at the expense of sketching. I guess the reason for this is the almost instant gratification - putting aside the time spent in the field and perfecting their technique that the really good photographers do - of photography; compose, focus and push shutter button (I know there is more to that before anyone flames me!) and, 'Robert's your mother's brother', you have a photo. However, while I still enjoy photography, I have got frustrated with it, most of my bird photos are, let's face it, crap (and that's down to my rubbish technique rather than the decent Canon DSLRs and lenses I own - but I am not slinging them away just yet, I photograph other subjects: landscapes, ships, pets, etc. with a LOT more success!) and I do get tired of lugging one or two DSLRs and a couple of lenses about, especially with a herniated disc in my neck/upper back that I get from time to time.

So, before you all say 'Sod off to the camera and photography forum!', having got back into birding recently after a bit of a layoff (apart from casual birding round home), I want to give sketching another go but I am hopelessly rusty. But I have a problem...I know I am capable of a decent sketch, particularly after practice, but when it comes down to it, I get a kind of writer's block, especially in the field. I start off and it looks terrible so I give up. Instead of persevering, the pencils go back in my pocket. And if other people are around then there's no chance of me doing anything. I don't stick at it and that's my problem.

I find it difficult and awkward - and embarrassing, too! - sketching in the field, but don't want to fall into the trap of doing the sketches from photos, although as we all know drawing from photos is a lot easier than from life where you have a little flitting bird. Recently, I've been taking photos and then drawing the birds from them in my notebook, which is all very nice and the drawings look good, but that's not really the way I want to do things. So, how on earth do I start again? Properly?

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Old Monday 3rd February 2014, 22:02   #2
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Hey VB

Why not video some familiar birds, even ones in your garden and work from that? Good way to ease yourself back into it again and then you won't be as self-aware if people start looking over your shoulder when you out sketching in the field (and you know they will!)
"...Bureaucracy is a parasite that preys on free thought and suffocates free spirit..." Douglas Adams
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 06:05   #3
Vectis Birder
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Thanks Adam, that's something I hadn't thought of doing.
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