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Old Wednesday 24th June 2009, 12:21   #26
Apodemus
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Absolutely gorgeous - I especially like the middle grebe.
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2009, 15:12   #27
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superb work, the light is terrific!
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Old Wednesday 24th June 2009, 16:42   #28
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thanks Tim, hope you will feel free to comment on anything you think I can improve on or anything you think I'm missing in these sets.

Ed, putting brillilant on any of my watercolors is a strecth, maybe lucky would be better We still are not friends yet, wc and me, this one was a fight as I tried out a new sketchbook who's paper was pretty mushy when it got wet.

I'm going to tackle oystercatchers today.....I've never heard of loons around here, I'll check with my birder friends.

thanks for all the encouragement everyone!

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Old Wednesday 24th June 2009, 20:30   #29
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Nick, I don't know of any Grenache around here, I'll look, but for oystercatchers, I think a nice Dehlinger chard will go nice, or you can pick from one of these http://www.dehlingerwinery.com/parkerreviews.htm

This winery is so exclusive you have to be on their subscription list to get any and have to buy 2 cases per year to stay on the list. Nothing open to the public for tasting. They make the kind of wines that produce euphoria on the first sip about 1/2 mile from my cottage.

Thought you all might like to see a shot of Bodega Head, where I spend a lot of time with the cormorants, and where I saw my first oystercatcher, through the scope of a birder there, who has become a mentor. My first sight in a scope was just electrifying, he had it focused so that the head nearly filled the field, that eye just did me in. I wonder why they are called "black" oystercatchers when they are really brown? There are more oc that live in a group in the nice calm bay where they have a much easier life than these two. My 3rd trip out I heard their call for the first time WoW! really loud, drowned out the surf noise and just about everything else.

The one in the shot is one of a pair that have built a second nest on this rock mightily exposed IMHO to the wind and ravens, who I suspect did in the first nest
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Old Thursday 25th June 2009, 03:32   #30
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After today I'm going to take a break, have a nasty case of bronchitis that is making life unproductive at the moment, maybe that's why I'm not quite happy
with these. A little something is missing the mark but I don't know what it is...maybe you all can see it.

Field sketch, pastel( wanted to do something tight), watercolor,(oh ugh this one really got away from me, I found out if you keep painting heavy over and over, it just ends up a mess and very dull) oil, pretty ho hum here, he needs a back ground, I always see them by rocks..
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Old Thursday 25th June 2009, 08:25   #31
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Lovely set of drawings and paintings Colleen. Last one especially is a great piece full of lively tension.

Hope you feel better soon.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2009, 08:32   #32
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I thought your post seemed familiar! 100 birds, WetCanvas.

Good luck with the project.

Mike
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 04:23   #33
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Thanks Mike and Deborah, I'm backing off on these sets for a while, going to start studying flight, using stilts as my models.....

I just read the notes of the bird art show I've been invited to in Sept. and found one of the activities is the artists sharing sketch books...good thing I did the 100 project or I wouldn't have a sketch book! and thank god for Tim's work showing me how it could be done and all the artists here who do such beautiful work....I always threw my sketches away, but bird work is so different, each moment is something special that may not come again.
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 11:04   #34
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beautiful handling of 'black' here - very glad to hear that you no longer throw your sketches away - they're often more important than the finished piece!
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Old Friday 26th June 2009, 12:24   #35
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I agree with Nick, lovely work here
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 07:18   #36
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The central oik portrait has a 'Chingness' about it, perhaps the colour? Nice work, keep it up.

I joined wc just so I could follow your 100 birds thread!

Mike
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 20:24   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody View Post
The central oik portrait has a 'Chingness' about it, perhaps the colour?. I joined wc just so I could follow your 100 birds thread!

Mike
Mike you did that? well then you know how hard I worked, Tim has put some good things there for beginning bird artists, so it may be a good resource for some new artists like me.

Re the central one, sorry I put in the wrong order that one is pastel, and is more in the style of my current work, which the birds are in the midst of changing for me!
Nick, have been enjoying your site.....Thanks Arthur.....


BTW I am posting that info on the new products, a watercolor canvas that does not need glass and a watercolor stick from a well respected US paint maker Daniel Smith. coming up soon.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2009, 21:35   #38
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new product and trial of watercolor canvas

Fredricks has made a watercolor canvas for some time, it can be stretched on bars, or made into panels, or bought that way, or in a pad , here is a good link to explain it. www.taramaterials.com/assets/pdf/TipsTechniques.pdf
If you use the pad like I did, you must staple it down, not tape as I did, or it will cockle up. I had a hard time, but then I'm new to watercolor, but from the sample I painted you can see something, two pros, no glass needed for framing, can do big pieces. I did not find the subtle colors, I wanted worked as well as something more bold. I think paper is much better, but some of the acrylic painter may like it, I will try it again when I have a more contrasty piece .

On this not very good piece, I also used a new product I got at a vendor show yesterday. Daniel Smith Watercolor sticks below are some photos, here's a link http://www.danielsmith.com/Item--i-G-284-670

I really like these, they can look like crayon, crayon and wash, ink, or picked up on a wet brush they look exactly like regular water color. I also used them directly into other watercolor in my pan ( this is my travel set up) by cutting in half I have a set at home and one to travel) to alter or change mixtures, I just scribbled it into the puddle of mix. They would be great for a really light set up, just stick a few into your pocket with a brush and a 3oz bottle of water, and everything would be in one pocket. I bought them on sale so I got a good deal. Basically they are just the pigment and gum arabic, by having the sticks in my travel box I have a wider range of color, so I could include some less standard colors I like, like olive green, in the pans, the basics are covered with the sticks. Being so concentrated they are a good value.
DS product info

My experiments
from left down and then to the right side
dry stick , with wet brush over.
wet brush over stick then applied
applied to wet paper
applied to damp paper
dipped stick in water then applied
mixing ultra blue, and hansa yellow( below the mix)

my travel pan

the actual size of stick (4")

the watercolor canvas painting, the grainy sand part is the bt sienna stick dragged over the canvas, then brushed with water
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Old Monday 29th June 2009, 08:15   #39
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went to visit the egret trees today, and got this shot, I think I know all the parts of the wing but would very much appreciate it if one of the experts here would take this shot and label the parts for me to check. I believe I can even see the bones in it, esp the elbow joint of the humerous and the lower radius and ulna, maybe the darker part is the muscle area. It was late afternoon so the sun was really shining through kinda like an xray....thanks so much....Colleen
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2009, 05:52   #40
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For several days I've made page after page of drawings of the egrets( my next bird) and they are as you say over there rubbish....in fact the first ones weren't even that good

why am I having so much trouble? is being white harder? got any suggestions for help?

Thanks

I'm working on flight too and not getting anywhere, but I'll keep trying...

sketchbook pages the best of the lot there is one Bl crowned night heron juve in there.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2009, 09:31   #41
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They're getting harder for two reasons;
1 - your knowledge and understanding of the birds is increasing and your drawing is taking a little time to catch up with what you know - and
2 - your own self-criticism and expectation levels are very high.
Not every drawing in every sketchbok will be a 'good' one so don't berate yourself for ones that don't work quite so well. Sketchbooks aren't about making beautiful drawings - they're your personal life contact with your suject; a place to contemplate, explore and discover.
FWIW - these drawings are quite lovely, anyway. Keep on.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2009, 10:53   #42
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not quite an answer to your request on the egret wing (but then I might not be what you had in mind by "one of the experts" either!)

but this is a rather handy source of reference for things structural:

http://www.skullsite.com/skeletons/i...etons.htm~tree

we did have a thread on here devoted to feet once, but not one on wings as yet

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....ight=foot+bath
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2009, 11:54   #43
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Where are the rubbish drawings? I must have missed them.
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Old Tuesday 30th June 2009, 18:02   #44
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Mike, the rubbish drawings are in the trash...these are the best ones, the others were indistinguishable from random marks of a 3 year old.

Ed compared to me just about everyone here is an expert, at least as far as bird knowledge goes...maybe I should start a thread on wings, if there isn't one, looks like I'm going to be doing the research anyway.

Tim HA, you're one to say sketchbooks are not about "making beautiful drawings" when yours are amazing examples of just that!
Really I wasn't perplexed over that so much as I can't find lines to explain the forms as I've been able to do with the other birds....Maybe it's because that neck is just so strange, and can take so many forms when folded up, and with the bins I can't really see how it happens....Since they are getting better slowly I'll just keep drawing

I'd love to see some egret sketchbook drawings from others here, I think it will help me to do my own...

Every time I start a new bird, it's like starting all over again.
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Old Wednesday 1st July 2009, 18:03   #45
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I think the part most confusing to me is the neck, so I've done a lot of studies k, a few from the field, mostly from my photos, part of this I think is because I'm looking up from such a steep angle , the ground to the tree about 35' up, that I'm seeing from underneath and drawing mostly as tho it's a side angle.

I did see there is a difference in how the neck flexes, stiffer at the bottom, and makes a bump frequently in one place. I have a new idea for a painting started in my mind, so later today I'll post a study.

Even tho the drawings are ok, I can still feel in my hand I don't have it yet. a certain lack of confidence in the mark shows.
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2009, 01:52   #46
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You must never, ever decide that what you draw is rubbish - the response you draw is THE most important thing in this game - even if you feel it doesn't quite sum up what you saw, it is still the most honest and spontaneous response made to the living bird, and whether or not it conveys all you want to show in the bird, somewhere in the drawing is just a dash of the living essence of what you're trying to draw.

But then saying thatn we all set the bar higher than what we'll ever achieve - better to scrape it than not to jump at all though.

These neck studies are phenomenal by the way!!
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2009, 06:40   #47
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the response you draw is THE most important thing in this game - even if you feel it doesn't quite sum up what you saw, it is still the most honest and spontaneous response made to the living bird,
Nick, thank you so much for saying this to me, it changes everything and I think it's true.

That said, I'm not sure the sketch is as important as some invisible something that happens inside the creative self when the sketch is done, and the marks are just the bare tracks left over. Still we all love beautiful sketches don't we!

Yesterday at the tree, I began to wonder what the birds would look like in moonlight, I've done several moonlight paintings of animals I did long studies of, horses and cheetah. I've also spent many hours observing the moonlight, with the help of a nice white and black horse who used to live in the pasture next to my cottage. I have not by any means figured it out. I've also read a few passages from other artists about how they do it. One of them paints the animal in daylight colors and just puts a indigo glaze over it.

I haven't done a wip here, so thought this might make a good one. I got this stunning view of one of the last adults in breeding plumage yesterday it was at the tip top of the tree against a blue sky...knocked me over....So I put the photo in photoshop and messed around, I do a lot of prelim work this way any more, lets me do a lot trials quickly to see, sort of virtual thumbnails.

Here is the watercolor study I did for the neck, and the pastel about 1/2 way done. Lower dark blue is the color of the paper I'm using... I think the neck studies really helped me work out that twisting tube, which I'm getting with warm and cool values. Have no idea how I'm going to get the veils of breeding plumes, I have a few. One of them was a gift yesterday as I was thinking about this work one nice fresh one came floating down....do you think it was a hint?
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2009, 06:43   #48
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sorry the pastel didn't get attached somehow


9x12 on colorfix paper. soft pastels and pastel pencils
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Old Thursday 2nd July 2009, 08:40   #49
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Don't undersell yourself Colleen, those egret necks are real tricky and you're getting them nailed by observation and graft, excellent stuff. The watercolour just wants a frame and I can see the pastel is going to be a beauty too.

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Old Friday 3rd July 2009, 07:07   #50
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Quote:
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those egret necks are real tricky
Mike
you cant even imagine how tricky, take a look at this child...who suddenly became headless not sure an adult could do it,but the kid did...you can just see the bill tip so try to imagine where his head is....It was just past sunset and getting cooler, but really this did me in completely, laughed so hard...

It's getting close to full moon I hope to go see the tree by moonlight.
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