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Old Friday 3rd July 2009, 08:29   #51
Woody
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They're amazing aren't they! I get loads of little egrets round here and their necks defeat me most of the time.

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Old Friday 3rd July 2009, 23:29   #52
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notwithstanding Nick's recent comment about "there are no rubbish drawings" ...here are my first flight sketches...I fail to see how these are going to result in some coherent drawing of egrets in flight... I think I'll have to try the slide show method of one of the artists here...their wings when full open are SO huge....anyone who has a method of capturing flight HELLLLLP please...
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Old Saturday 4th July 2009, 01:04   #53
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very left of the page - the one taking off with its back to you - there's a successful scribble - just lines and angles, exactly what you need to see first to paint a bird convincingly with poise and balance.
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Old Saturday 4th July 2009, 05:21   #54
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thanks Nick gives me hope,...I'm sure glad I didn't start with egrets, I would have just given up and gone back to mammals....still don't you think I need a bit more, like wings or something:-)
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Old Saturday 4th July 2009, 09:14   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colleenc View Post
thanks Nick gives me hope,...I'm sure glad I didn't start with egrets, I would have just given up and gone back to mammals....still don't you think I need a bit more, like wings or something:-)
If you want to produce something like a picture, an aesthetically pleasing end result, then yes, a bit more would perhaps be a good idea - but this is your sketchbook - the place where you record what you see and learn about birds, and here, you learned what angles were on the bird at this point, I doubt that had you been trying to see too much, you would have been able to record this important detail. The essence of the bird is not in its detail - you can create tension and movement with stick figures, once that's there, detail can be added.
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Old Saturday 4th July 2009, 10:01   #56
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Succinctly put once again Nick.
Colleen - The scribbles all together actually do read very well as they move and lift themselves across the page. I think for a spread of real first-hand observations, this has bundles of energy and a fair bit of insight.
Nothing easy about portraying the living bird - and the least easy is probably convincing flight studies.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 03:02   #57
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OK I see what you mean Nick and Tim, I do see with more observation I can add some detail to it, but don't think I can ever see what the camera freezes, maybe cause these are short flights tree top to tree top....and their wings are a very different shape and in proportion to the body very big, and wide....so I'm doing studies from my shots to work then go back to live work with some shapes to work with.

thanks so much for your comments here
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 07:37   #58
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flight sketches of egrets, from my photos, and a sketch of how they become headless they hunch an fold the neck, turn the head to one side, and pull the wing wrist over the eyes..and stand on one leg.

and the finish of the pastel, didn't quite get the light, but got a convincing neck, I think anyway..

the writing on the sketch, is a recipe for lime shrimp lettuce wraps
not bird observations,
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 09:36   #59
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That top right hand egret sketch is a beaut- especially the twist in the wing so you can see the underside.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 10:02   #60
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yes - you're seeing and sketching plenty of interesting poses here - and the pastel is superb.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 10:29   #61
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That pastel work is really impressive Colleen. Not a medium I've used since a kid and they always broke and got all over the furniture!
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 16:56   #62
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Quote:
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yes - you're seeing and sketching plenty of interesting poses here - and the pastel is superb.
Nick took the words from my mouth! Working from photo's certainly gives you an advantage when next sketching in the field, it gets your hand working in a certain way which becomes like a muscle memory, allowing for easier movement observing the living birds. (I hope that makes sense!)

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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 19:06   #63
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Mike that's exactly what I was hoping for, glad you confrimed it.
Deborah, they still break, and fall and get stepped on, but I'm the Mom now and I don't worry about it :-)
Thank you Nick
Ed, I cut a bit of paper and have twisted it to match the photo so hopefully I'll understand the forms more, but I'd love to have a video of them in flight to really see what's happening, I'm considering it is a flat plane in space affected by the air pressure but have a long way to go yet.
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Old Monday 6th July 2009, 23:42   #64
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back at the tree for a quick look today around noon. I still can't draw much from life but I am seeing more detail esp when both upper and lower side of wing shows at once,ie the "twist" Ed spoke of.
I did manage one drawing I couldn't have done last week

Cattle egrets ( maybe what you call little egrets?) are really abundant now that most of the big guys are gone...here is a shot I loved, they are the punk rockers of the egret tree.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 00:19   #65
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Great photo! This is a snowy egret - very similar to our little egrets, but a different species. Cattle egrets are called the same both sides of the pond.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 01:25   #66
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Thanks Nick, could you explain how to tell the difference....is it the feet? I read my Sibley, but still am confused.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 07:45   #67
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Talking

OK Nick or someone would you see if I have this straight now.

Great Egrets, big, over here have yellow and orange beaks, with a tip of dark on the end of the upper beak, have dark bluish grey legs and feet, the area of the lore(whatever you call that part from beak to eye) is yellow or blue in breeding season

Snowy Egrets, sort of like Little egret over there, have black beaks, and long black legs with yellow feet, profuse breeding feathers.

Cattle egret, about same size as snowy(?)but have a shorter neck, and reddish brown breeding feathers( I thought it was dirt ) in the roost I can't tell the difference yet, unless the breeding feathers are on.....so what other field marks can I look for, they seem the same size as the snowys, and there are so many young that are small too. They have shorter legs in flight, and a strong yellow orange beak.

Please add or correct this as needed...Thanks so much. I'll send you a nice cold bottle of virtual Dehlinger chard for the help.
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Old Tuesday 7th July 2009, 16:39   #68
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I went to the egret tree in the moonlight last night, however it's position in relation to the moon put it all in shadow, the sodium street lights mess things up, and the birds were all deep in the leaves, so that was a bust, but I did check out the colors in the sky and at early moonrise, just after twilight, my blues are not far off....

One of the little juve bc night herons was flatter than a piece of cardboard, I was worried 2 days ago when I saw him foraging under the tree right in the street. I've had to put sentimentality away when at the trees, so many don't make it. I read 75 % of the young raised this year will not make it to one year old. The crows and ants get fed is one way to see it I guess.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 07:08   #69
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Still trying to make friends with watercolor.
The night herons are the 3rd species in the tree, they squawk like chickens at sunset, a young juve has taken to the bushes by the house as it can't fly up to the tree. So worried he spends time in the street and is trying to find stuff on the ground to eat, but he's too wiley for me to catch...I'm concerned about him but there's nothing I can do

these are the first sketches I tried, the legs aren't right yet...their feet are SO big
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 09:05   #70
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the legs can be looked at later - these are excellent solid shapes you've given the birds. A good trick when deciding where the legs are placed is to imagine where the pelvis is, go up to the knee (which is hidden under the feathers), back down to the ankle, which is what we all think is the backward-facing knee, and then in most cases, try and ignore the feet!
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 14:45   #71
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Still trying to make friends with watercolor.
The night herons are the 3rd species in the tree, they squawk like chickens at sunset, a young juve has taken to the bushes by the house as it can't fly up to the tree. So worried he spends time in the street and is trying to find stuff on the ground to eat, but he's too wiley for me to catch...I'm concerned about him but there's nothing I can do

these are the first sketches I tried, the legs aren't right yet...their feet are SO big
Sometimes watercolor just doesn't seem to want to make friends does it..........

I've been going through the same thing for last couple of years. But the other comments are right: you've gotten a very good start with the overall shapes. I have the same problem of making sure I get the legs where they should be.

But for me watercolor is so rich with possibilities that I struggle along with its occasional unfriendliness. Every once in a while something turns out right and that convinces me to keep going. And of course there are plenty of examples on this forum of just how wonderful it can be. That's a great incentive.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 16:09   #72
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Excellent job with the nigh-herons, Colleen -- there are always some great shapes to be found in the squat-looking birds.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 17:23   #73
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Cor - some folk are never happy!
These herons are really nicely done and for a so-called non-watercolourist the colours and blends are remarkable, The drawings capture the essence of the bird and I suppose that's what we're all about, really. Ok - the legs have gone a tad 'blobby' in places, but that's not to detract from the original drawing which has them in more or less the right places, with exactly the right gesture. You'll soon be making swift and elegant sweeps of the sable, the colour behaving like a sheepdog in its wake.
Another huge leap forward in your pursuit.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 18:21   #74
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Thanks Nick I think for a while I'll just draw in the inner part to see if it helps, I've taken apart the dead juve I found, and let the whole leg dry in the sun so I could see how it looks.

Jo, tho more compact than the egrets, they still have an elegance I slightly missed here, and with that long white head feather always seems like they are dressed for a ball, the colors are so soft and subtle in grey blues, there is still a lot for me to get down in the gap from what I see to what I can do.

Tim...sable? maybe that's part of the problem, I've been using quill type squirrel brushes that have a huge body and tiny tip, but they are very floppy no real spring, and no pressure can be applied to the tip, it has to be drawn from the side or used completely perpendicular to the paper to work.....I 'll see if I can find a different brush.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 18:39   #75
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I think you've picked the hardest group of birds to start out on Colleen ... Herons, egrets ... very hard indeed ... their constant metamorphosis into headless, neckless hunchbacks isn't easy on the sketching eye! You've done very well getting the basic form together on the NH ... the painting will come with practice.
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