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Old Monday 22nd March 2004, 21:41   #1
Den
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Sketching/painting birds- any interest?

Hello all!

I enjoy sketching the birds I see. I am not very good at it but strive to improve and I've found some good websites like surfbirds.com . There does not seem to be a forum on BF catering for people who enjoy this sort of activity. Is there any interest out there?
I really enjoy action sketches of the birds seen through the scope as a way of really looking at birds. I seen to learn a lot more about the bird when I draw it.
I've photographed birds for many years but I seen to derive a greater pleasure from trying to draw and paint them lately (and its cheaper!!).
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Old Monday 22nd March 2004, 21:55   #2
Gill Osborne
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I absolutely adore sketching and drawing birds/natural history subjects! A good sketch of a bird means so much more to me than any amount of photos!!!! Would love to see more on wildlife art...will definitely look up the Surfbirds site!
Do you subscribe to the new magazine Birds Illustrated....or Wildscape?

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Old Monday 22nd March 2004, 22:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gill Osborne
I absolutely adore sketching and drawing birds/natural history subjects! A good sketch of a bird means so much more to me than any amount of photos!!!! Would love to see more on wildlife art...will definitely look up the Surfbirds site!
Do you subscribe to the new magazine Birds Illustrated....or Wildscape?

GILL
I really enjoy Birds Illustrated. I still have all the old copies from when it was published in the early 90's. It used to have profiles of bird artists like Robert Gillmor.
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Old Monday 22nd March 2004, 22:20   #4
Gill Osborne
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I remember Birds Illustrated when it came out in the 90's...used to buy each issue. Unfortunately my mother gave them away to a charity shop when I left home and had forgotten to take them with me! Was NOT happy!!!
Robert Gillmor is one of my favourite artists...as is Peter Partington...Thelma K.Sykes...Chris Rose...so many wonderful artists!
Should give Birds Illustrated much material to work on for a long time.

GILL
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Old Tuesday 23rd March 2004, 04:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Den
There does not seem to be a forum on BF catering for people who enjoy this sort of activity. Is there any interest out there?
Certainly there is interest. Fairly many of us sketch/paint, and there are great expressions of that in Artwork category of the Gallery. I draw & paint myself.
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Old Tuesday 23rd March 2004, 09:43   #6
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I try and do pen and ink sketches whenever I can.

<------ this is one! It would be good to have a forum - I'll ask Steve. There is a gallery especially for illustrations and there are some stunning pictures in there.
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Old Tuesday 23rd March 2004, 10:17   #7
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I have done one sketch to try and get an ID for a bird that I didn't recognise but at the time I saw it BF was having it's overhaul so instead of getting posted here it was despatched to some of the forum members who I thought might enlighten me, which by consensus they all did! I am a keen sketcher but usually they are done when I get back home, as I am unable to carry much gear around with me.
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Old Tuesday 23rd March 2004, 10:40   #8
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There are some lovely sketches in the gallery.
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 17:14   #9
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Anyone tried sketching through a scope? I find this a hard one to master. My short-term memory isn't what it used to be and birds do move constantly. I need to look every 5- 10 seconds to refresh the image and then get down another bit of detail. I find it best to start a number of 'jizz' sketches as the bird moves around. Tried all sorts of pens etc, but the humble 2B pencil seems to move over the paper nicely. I am in awe of the likes of Lars Jonsson and John Busby who seem to draw effortlessly, Jonsson using a scope most of the time. I suppose I should practice more!
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 17:17   #10
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I cheat and redraw from bad digiscoped pictures!
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 21:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
I cheat and redraw from bad digiscoped pictures!
I find the gallery great for sketching practice during the dark hours.I choose a page of pics at random and do 2 min pencil sketches to get the hand used to putting down images quickly. I have a tendency (Virgo) to put too much detail in my work. Doing timed sketches is a fun way but some of my results are truly awful! I use pencil and photocopy paper for this activity and hide the rubber.
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 21:42   #12
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I am a bad phtographer and a worse drawer from life. I am however not bad as a draughtsperson so I can make the most of a bad lot :)
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Old Wednesday 31st March 2004, 23:05   #13
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Thumbs up

I'm always interested in anything to do with wildlife and bird art and a dedicated forum would suit me fine, so you get my vote.

I am lucky enough to have had work in both Wildscape and Birds illustrated so I reckon they are both great mags!

Sketching through a scope isn't easy and I'm still learning since I've only had the scope for under a year. I'm finding the digiscoping incredibly useful though for gesture and proportion.

A good practice aid is the humble video recorder, just tape the progs that interest you then play the best sequences and have a sketchpad and pencil to hand

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Old Thursday 1st April 2004, 22:28   #14
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There are some superb sketches in the Gallery.If I was able to sketch,I think I would draw from a photo,as one could never hope a bird would keep still for long enough.
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Old Saturday 15th May 2004, 22:44   #15
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Whenever I try to draw/paint from a photo the bird always seems 'flat'. I have mounted my telescope on the window ledge with a hide mount and am currently trying to sketch the birds visiting my bird table at the bottom of the garden. It's great fun and a real challenge. I seem to start lots of drawings but never finish them as the bird always moves!! I wonder how others tackle 'real life' sketching?
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Old Saturday 15th May 2004, 23:10   #16
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I make rough quick sketches, and later draw or paint a proper picture. An important information those sketches give, besides of the bird shape and colouration, is how light and shadows work. Many times situation out there is too quick to draw a proper figure, then it is essential to get the main features and check others from photographs (when working on piece of art).
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 08:13   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christineredgate
.If I was able to sketch,I think I would draw from a photo,as one could never hope a bird would keep still for long enough.
Hello everyone, this is my thought exactly. I take piccies then paint from the picture. Or i let the experts take piccies and use them hehehehehehe. I love taking pictures though i am not a professional. I do a lot of owl paintings (obviously) if i figure out how to upload to the gallery i will show you some of the paintings. Now i have my new digicam (and the knowhow on how to use it) the piccies come out quite well. I take my hat off to those who can draw through a scope!!
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 08:18   #18
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[quote=Den]Whenever I try to draw/paint from a photo the bird always seems 'flat'. QUOTE]
Hello there, just a quick tip, do try using dark and light shades with your pencil. I find that once you have the outline of your bird, do a darker shade around it then a fine lighter one around that and you will find it becomes tridemensional. Don't be afraid to experiment, i always used to stick to what others told me to do, but the only thing you should keep in mind is draw what your eye sees, if you see a darker squiggle that really looks silly when you do it, draw it and when your drawing is almost done you will find that you won't even see the funny sort of squiggle because it blends in harmoniously with your drawing. But i think this forum is a great idea, i vote for it.
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 12:17   #19
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I don't usually share my sketchpads but since we are talking about sketching through a scope....

I was off work ill on tuesday and spent some of the afternoon in the conservatory with the scope sketching the sparrows in the garden. Here are some of the results.

Some of the sketches are 'better' than others but IMHO it doesn't matter. What matters is experiencing the birds and sketching makes you observe closely. It's all 'grist for the mill' when it comes to producing a finished work whether you work from photos or not.

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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 12:23   #20
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I just found t his thread and I too vote for the new forum, sounds like a great idea.
I've tried a bit of drawing myself but without too much luck.
But I would love to know more about it and maybe do a bit better.
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 12:25   #21
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I think there are two schools of thought regarding sketching from photos: One that it's a complete no-no, another that's it's perfectly ok. I subscribe to the latter - I see no harm in it, as long as you can avoid the subject looking too flat and lifeless - even though I prefer to sketch from life whenever possible.

I would like to see a dedicated sketching/painting section, plus one to discuss artists here on this forum...any chance mods? Please...?

The Surfbirds site mentioned above has an excellent page dedicated to sketches: http://www.surfbirds.com/Sketchbook%20/skindex.html is the link for that.


Quote:
I seem to start lots of drawings but never finish them as the bird always moves!! I wonder how others tackle 'real life' sketching?

More or less exactly the same way, Den. I did read a good piece of advice in John Busby's "Drawing Birds" and that is to sketch the birds, although you will only get bits and pieces at first, it will get easier as you get quicker and more practised.

I met Ian Lewington (one of my favourite artists) at the Bird Fair a few years ago, and he told me the key to it is lots of practice! Even people like him have to constantly practice.

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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 13:22   #22
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yes, i agree, practice is the key word here. At first, i had many problems getting the feather effect, or getting the birds feathers to go in a certain direction but after many many hours and canvases, i am getting there. I have loved drawing, sketching, and painting for a long time but have only done it seriously for a couple of months. (this is embarassing but i don't know how to upload piccies so i can't show you some of the work, i tried to upload a barny i did but i didn't come out. So i will just have to tell you about them instead hehehehehehehe. I have just finished a LEO and the next one the list is the siberian eagle owl then i am going to do that lovely little owl picture sitting the oak tree, taken by ed78user. fab shot that is!!
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 13:37   #23
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hi guys not sure if this is going to work. you will have to excuse my lack of knowledge about computers etc. but if this works here is the LEO in question, i have the final touches now (such as the details of branches etc to do). Owls are just such fun to paint, but my personal opinion is if you mess up the eyes then the whole picture is a no no!!.
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 14:15   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Den
... Is there any interest out there? ...
Oh yes, there is. This thread nicely mirrors one i was going to put up along the lines of 'Any tips ...' as it's something i'd really like to get to grips with but just not sure how.

My sketchings, well it's just not happening.
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Old Friday 20th August 2004, 14:29   #25
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Good Idea

I'm another person in favour of such a forum. I take pictures of birds through the scope, and paint them. I have previously just painted from books, but I prefer to paint something I have actually seen in a place I know.

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