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Old Wednesday 10th March 2010, 03:45   #26
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having spent the last few weeks drawing Brants, the necks look great to me and so do the other shapes, great work
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Old Friday 12th March 2010, 10:29   #27
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feel bad for not having commented earlier! Where does the time go? The geese are an absolute joy, they have curves everywhere where geese should have them, and they trundle across the page beautifully, gorgeous. The gulls have some striking poses too, maybe one to redo as a colour piece? Would make a strong composition.
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Old Friday 12th March 2010, 19:00   #28
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Thanks for the comments - I shall continue to endeavour. Looking forward to getting out at the wknd. What kind of days will they be? Very occasionally my pencil flows effortlessly and confidently across the paper; most days it's like 'The Magnificient Men In Their Flying Machines'

Russ
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Old Saturday 13th March 2010, 02:30   #29
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I believe that film was a colour one?

Love the sketches.

Look forward to the "spoiled" photo-copies with experimental colour! ( No pressure!)

Happy sketching!
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Old Sunday 14th March 2010, 18:56   #30
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Can't say which one one Phil; it just reminded me of something an artist (perhaps now very old!) said: 'it may take half a life time to fly with the birds', which seems pretty apt!
A few hours spent sketching wigeon today. I love em' and I was pleased with my efforts which are a fair improvement on some I did this time last year. Using harder leads (B and HB) seems to suit me better, but after I few warm-up sheets I observed more and tried to be more analytical - my, big word!, which seems to help. I still very much need to 'get my eye in' though.
I photographed these sketches on Arthur Bishop's advice aand I think they'll reproduce better when I work out how to down-load em'.
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Old Sunday 14th March 2010, 18:59   #31
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Another three of my better efforts.

Cheers

Russ
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Old Sunday 14th March 2010, 20:50   #32
nickderry
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superb stuff Russ, you've got these to a T, with their spiky rear ends, generous heads and smiley beaks. I have real trouble drawing this species.
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Old Sunday 14th March 2010, 22:26   #33
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These are great sketches russ
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Old Monday 15th March 2010, 03:06   #34
phil baber
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Russ,

These are beautiful studies...

Am so glad you've got a thread!

I, for one, will dip into it regularly.

Your style reminds me of Eric Ennion, and John Busby.
It is the outline work. I like, very much!

I love it, and may respond again on page 27, if that's okay?

Wigeon? What better duck to spend a few hours with?

Keep on doing sterling stuff!

Regards,

Phil
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Old Monday 15th March 2010, 08:43   #35
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Splendid work Russ and you have every reason to be chuffed with these - among the most impossible birds to get right (it's that forehead patch of pure cream that throws me - every time). These are superb and drawn very economically - great stuff.
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Old Monday 15th March 2010, 10:36   #36
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Too much here for me to comment on individually, I can't believe that the thread's got to two pages and I've not joined in yet!

You really shouldn't be putting yourself down Russ, there's some really great stuff going on here.

As for wigeon, I wish I could catch them as well as you have but, like Nick, I have endless trouble with them. (Although I find it tough to believe that Nick has trouble with any bird frankly!)

Anyway, keep on sketching and sharing.

Mike
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Old Monday 15th March 2010, 19:49   #37
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These comments are very much appreciated, but rather humbling. I don't know how much past experience of a species plays a part when sketching them. Last year at Pugney's I must have stood in the cold for over three hours trying to capture the grazing poses ( yes I did ponder whether I was feeling ok!), and every sketch I did I started by trying to get the angle of the forehead right in relation to the chin (which I now realise is almost streight when side-on) and the curve of the hind neck. Again, in Oct I did the same thing, this time from the relative comfort of a hide but still struggled. I reckon I made several hundred attempts at grazing wigeon last year, then. Something must have stuck!
I'm awaiting your wigeon portraits now, Tim.
Phil, note the darker, smudgy effects? That's me trying out wet media - my finger end and tongue! gotta start somewhere, mate!

I'm off to Morroco on Thurs for eight days or so and I hope to get in a bit of sketching - not wigeon though!

Cheers

Russ
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Old Monday 15th March 2010, 23:39   #38
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Morroco? But that's south of Grenoside, isn't it??
Have a great trip.
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Old Tuesday 16th March 2010, 02:18   #39
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Glad you're using the old "Spit and Polish!"

As I said, anything that comes to hand!

Have a fantastic time in North Africa. I believe Cricket Warbler is achievable.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2128/...e83ebf5a22.jpg

Check out the info on these birds, and when you find them, you'll probably need some colour to show us how beautiful they are.

If you can afford to go there, you can afford to buy a set of Caran D'Ache water colour pencils to take with you. They go well with saliva!

Have a productive time!

Jealous? Well, a bit!

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Old Tuesday 16th March 2010, 02:29   #40
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You probably have done the research, but a few links to help you on your way....

http://www.go-south.org/

http://www.africanbirdclub.org/count...occo/news.html

http://www.birdforum.net/showthread....hlight=morocco

All art comes from the heart.

There is never any pressure. Sketch and record what pleases only YOU.

In that way the joy will shine back to others, and be understood!

Have fun!
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Old Wednesday 17th March 2010, 19:38   #41
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Thanks for the Morroco links, Phil. I'll check these out. We've got a fair bit bit of gen but I believe Cricket Warbler is way darn sarth, so we'll have to see. Thick-billed Lark, Bald Ibis and Phaeroh Eagle Owl are my most desired birds - If I can get 'em down on paper it would be doubly fantastic. I'm gonna be distracted by he Audoin's Gulls, though!

You've got me thinking about that one, Tim!

Catch you soon guys

Russ
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Old Saturday 3rd April 2010, 08:46   #42
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Still in 'larid mode' from Morroco. The short time I spent sketching Audouin's gulls certainly made an impact. Anyone for a sketching trip to Southern Spain or Oman?
Ad Lesser black-back and preening Bhg's down at Old Moor RSPB.
I find trying to capture the facial expression and shape of the head and bill on the big gulls, especially when they're facing you, a wonderful challenge. When I think of big gulls I think of Jonsson, David Quinn and Martin Elliot ( I should really stop name-dropping!) and then I think hmmm, these really are a difficult group. As Nick says, one line slightly out and the whole thing can quickly resemble a totally different species!

Any larophiles present?

Russ
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Old Saturday 3rd April 2010, 09:19   #43
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Those BHG's are just perfect, they're a real b*gger to get right and you've done it here. Great stuff.

Mike
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Old Monday 5th April 2010, 21:06   #44
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Buzzard's got me going all 'gully' with his splendid rendition of a glauc, and inspired me to stick another larid on. Here's a 2nd W/2nd S Great black-back sketched yesterday.

Russ
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 20:01   #45
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Great crested grebe (GCG) is one of my favourite subjects and also a 'bread and butter' species - they're a breeder on my patch most years and I spend a lot of time in the summer sketching them. All angles, loose feathers and infinite postures - a real challenging subject in summer dress. I'd love to capture two in display mode, with heads shaking, ear tufts spread and necks reaching to the sky. These are my first 'benchmark' efforts this summer but anyone know how I can give them crests instead of antlers?

Russ
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 20:05   #46
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great stuff, don't see anything wrong with them having antlers - they often look like that anyway!
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Old Saturday 10th April 2010, 23:39   #47
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our grebes are uncrested so can't help, but these look great to me....
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Old Monday 12th April 2010, 21:37   #48
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Thanks Nick and Colleen. I look at these now and think they're over-done. Nick's comments on the Morroco thread have got me pondering! Some of the best field work I've seen, this forum included, has examples of birds kept to just a few essential lines. I'm trying to be more disciplined in keeping things basic. Here's a curlew sketched yesterday; a bird probing with it's neck turned almost 90 degrees, which I'd like to use for a pen ilustration. No body streaks as I didn't have time to mark them in, so further studies will be needed. I've purposefully tried to keep things basic as possible here. Watch this space for something different!

Russ
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 21:53   #49
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Well, here goes: my first foray into wet media. Bhg 'tarted up' with Derwent Graphitone 4B and a small round brush. Aye, some of the darker shadowed light are in the wrong place/ over-done (where's the guy with the cattle prod!) and the cutting edge of the bill's too obvious but I found the 4B and regular dips into clean water fairly easy to control with light strokes, which I think is what you're supposed to do. I do like bold contrasty patterns, though so brushing the tip of the pencil seems to give a nice solid dark tone - like in the primaries. I was surprised how good it seems for subtle tones like the webbed feet, too. All in all I think I could enjoy using these and make them work for me before trying colour. They seem good for gulls, anyway!

Preening lapwing and Reed bunt done on the patch today. I've highlighted the lapp's eye and eye stripes as I wanted to put them in the proper position for an illustration. I think it's more or less in the right position, it this is out then everything seems out. Once again, thanks for the encouargement to try different things.

Russ
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Old Sunday 18th April 2010, 22:04   #50
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some excellent work here, glad you're enjoying experimenting too, at the end of the day, it's all to be enjoyed. Love the stance on the BH Gull.
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