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Old Saturday 3rd September 2011, 19:46   #476
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Just keep showing them here, John. Great stuff!

Yes please.

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Old Wednesday 7th September 2011, 19:35   #477
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Old Sunday 18th September 2011, 22:14   #478
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Hi everyone - well, I managed to drop off the first page again, due to being on the Oregon coast for a week. However, I had a great time painting plein air oil pieces, but also managed to fit in a bit of bird sketching.

Following are some sketches of Western Gulls that were the common species there. The first one here is done from life - a gull was hunkered down in the sand taking it easy, and I was able to walk within about 8 feet of him, sitting down in the portable chair and sketch him. These were done with fountain pen, following by washing cross-hatched areas with water to give the grayish mantle color (most of the time I use water soluble fountain pen inks, to allow some tones to be washed in). The bill color was watercolor added later - it mixed too well with the ink in the first sketch and so the bill is too dark. The remainder are very quick sketches done from photos I took earlier in the day. They are done with fountain pen. Finally, there are two small (8 x 10 inch) oils that I did which were to depict birds, not just the landscape. The birds in them look a bit wonky, but it was good practice to work quickly in oils. The one with the two gulls standing is an oil paint sketch - no preliminary drawing was done on the canvas, I just went for it with oil.

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Old Sunday 18th September 2011, 22:16   #479
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And here is the oil sketch of the two Western Gulls.

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Old Monday 19th September 2011, 05:39   #480
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nice John, your work has really progressed in the last year
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Old Monday 19th September 2011, 12:38   #481
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nice John, your work has really progressed in the last year
Colleen is right. You've made a lot of progress. I particularly like the field sketch , but also the oils. Getting used to working fast in oils is a valuable thing I think, and something I've never learned.
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Old Monday 19th September 2011, 21:11   #482
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So now we know you're a closet Larophile, John. Congratulations! Nice work with the preeners. The states definitely has a pull on me as a fellow larid lover. These piccies just whet my appetite even more.

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Old Monday 19th September 2011, 22:30   #483
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Thanks Colleen, Ken and Russ! I do feel like I've improved over the last year, but it is hard to see one's own incremental improvement, so nice to hear those sentiments.

Russ - I'm not sure whether I'm a Larophile or a Larophobe...! No, I like gulls, but not to the extent of a true Larophile (we have several in our area, as you might imagine). In terms of making your mouth water for some stateside gulls...the big news out here is the presence of a Black-tailed Gull in Commencement Bay near Tacoma, WA for the last few days. Two years ago, one was here for a significant amount of time in the fall and winter, so there is speculation this one may be the same bird, and may be around for some time. A hopeless Larophile in Chicago posted to our regional birding list a couple days ago asking for info on the bird, and seriously contemplating a trip out here specifically to see it. I saw the one two years ago, and so haven't chased the current bird yet...but do have some photos a friend of mine took of it.
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Old Tuesday 20th September 2011, 22:16   #484
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wonderful sketches and paintings
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Old Thursday 29th September 2011, 04:04   #485
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Here is a quick drawing while on the recliner watching the TV/telly. It is a Redhead (obviously only in monochrome) using fountain pen and violet ink. My main purpose in doing this one (other than a hour's enjoyment) was to draw a flight position - the values are not correct everywhere on the drawing. It is done from a magazine photo in an 8.5 x 11 inch sketchbook.

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Old Thursday 29th September 2011, 08:15   #486
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John - just been looking at the gull work - the first one (from life) is miles away the best of the bunch. You really can do this very well indeed - maybe time to chuck the camera away?
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Old Thursday 29th September 2011, 10:01   #487
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These gulls are great, I agree with Tim that the field sketched ones are the pick of them too. With a co-operative subject like this I usually take a few photos first then settle with the sketchpad; Best of both!

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Old Saturday 1st October 2011, 09:09   #488
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John - just been looking at the gull work - the first one (from life) is miles away the best of the bunch. You really can do this very well indeed - maybe time to chuck the camera away?
Advice indeed.

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Old Saturday 1st October 2011, 15:04   #489
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beautiful duck
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Old Saturday 8th October 2011, 15:03   #490
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Some great work here John!
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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 22:49   #491
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Gulls from life

Hi folks,

I keep falling off the first page...I've decided to spend the majority of the fall and winter focusing on oil paintings so I guess that means I'll have to start incorporating birds into them so they can be posted here.

Yesterday I did get out for a couple hours in the morning with a sketching group, and we went to Lake Washington where there are usually assorted ducks and a swimming platform with resting gulls. These are all in a 6 x 10 watercolor sketchbook and were done quickly with waterproof pen first, then some quick watercolor washes added. Most of the gulls are Mew Gulls which are smaller birds with smaller bills, smaller heads and a 'dainty' look compared to the larger gulls.

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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 22:50   #492
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And the last two sheets...

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Old Wednesday 26th October 2011, 23:30   #493
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Well, we're being blessed by an absolute plethora of gull-work on the forum at the moment and what a joy to see it all. John - these are great. You really have got into the real character of each species you're portraying and I very much like this pared-down way of working - the pen and wash style, is it? Looking froward to seeing what you do with the oils later in the year - with or without birds.
Terrific stuff - brill!
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Old Thursday 27th October 2011, 03:47   #494
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gull are surprisingly hard to capture IMO...for such a common bird, you've done a great job here....I don't think there are any of these at the beach I go to, but I've been looking for them.
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Old Thursday 27th October 2011, 04:02   #495
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I like your watercolor masterpiece of the kestrel and sparrow.
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Old Thursday 27th October 2011, 16:02   #496
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Thanks Tim, Colleen and Weng Chun!

I agree with you Colleen...I think that the most basic and outwardly simple birds are the toughest to do sometimes. I find that to be true with our Dark-eyed Juncos here - the most numerous bird at our feeders during the winter. There's lots of opportunity to play with the color a bit, even though they're not a bright bird (except for the pink bill, maybe) but the anatomy is so subtle in that pudgy little form and especially when their feathers are fluffed a bit that my drawings so often come out looking stiff. Of course with other species, at least in my from-life sketches, it's tough not to have the same thing happen. If I'm working from a photo, I have an easier time capturing the subtleties that portray movement. All of which is why I have to spend more time drawing them from life...!
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Old Saturday 29th October 2011, 11:16   #497
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Anybody who spends a few hours sketching gulls is alright in my book! Some nice studies here, and you've done well capturing some of those difficult facial expressions. You can get away with it with some species but definitely not gulls. If somethings not right it's usually this.

Nice work.

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Old Sunday 30th October 2011, 09:37   #498
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I reckon gulls are one of the toughest of subjects out there, kudos to you for tackling them so well.

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Old Monday 31st October 2011, 12:35   #499
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Well, we're being blessed by an absolute plethora of gull-work on the forum at the moment and what a joy to see it all. John - these are great. You really have got into the real character of each species you're portraying and I very much like this pared-down way of working - the pen and wash style, is it? Looking froward to seeing what you do with the oils later in the year - with or without birds.
Terrific stuff - brill!
Just wanted to add my late commendations for all these gulls from life.
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Old Monday 31st October 2011, 15:29   #500
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Thank you Russ, Mike and Ken!
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