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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 01:59   #1
phil baber
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Untitled...Unfinished...

Been commenting on the wonderful Art Forum for some time.

But I haven't shown anything of my own. Which is a bit ridiculous.

Tim, Colleen, and Liam? Guess I'd better bare my soul then?

I've been involved in art/illustration all my life. But birds taught me how to draw. From an early age I wanted to draw birds. But I ended up becoming a cartoonist. Now I return to wanting to draw and paint birds. Although I have had a bit published relating to this.

One thing I do love is sketching a bird and annotating those sketches, so I will always know it. In these days of camera-led birding, these skills are being lost.

Tim's wonderful Arctic Skuas in the BBC Wildlife comp re-inspired me. And Liam's capture of a Collared Dove in mid-display made me realise something.

"Paint what you see, not what you know." (A Lars Jonsson quote...)

There is something in this. And I see it in so many great artists here.

Then RussB comes back from his far-east tour with those Ibisbills?

He has drawn them as he has got to know them. And the results are honest and heart-warming.

I don't want this thread to be an expose of my work. Rather I would like to encourage input from everyone. Experienced or not. Because right now I'm scared of showing my stuff to the world. And, am sure many others are too.

Sometimes fear will kill a budding artist, and stop their progression to where they ought to be.

Let this thread then be me showing how I am overcoming my fear, as an encouragement to all...

I'll start with a page from my notes. From May '94.

I'd been to a job interview in the Graphics Dept at WWT Slimbridge, Glos, UK. A very nice girl offered to give me a lift home. But, as we were leaving, we were invited back to see a Temminck's Stint. My first ever.

This attachment will give something away about me. I hope to post more random stuff to give you a bigger picture of what I do.

In the meantime, check the links below...

I hope this thread turns out okay, and also that you'll all have some joy in visiting it.

But, most of all? I hope friendships will be forged, and help and advice will be available to all who need it!

With very best wishes,

Happy Birding!

phil
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 02:12   #2
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Here are another example of sketches...

From Devon, England in '95...
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 02:35   #3
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Oh, and just to show I really do paint?

Here's an untitled, unfinished acrilyic canvas detail I am currently working on....
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 04:31   #4
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welcome home Phil, so good to have you show your talents....the drawings are delightful, and full of insight.
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 08:30   #5
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Don't be scared Phil...!

That cirl bunting sketch page is excellent/endearing and evocative...[and 'evocative'...not just of the 'subject'...which i like]...

ps...actually...[while i'm woffling]....the memories of my twitching youth comes back to me as i look at sketchbook pages like this....Nancy's at Cley....etc...[the log book was full of such great renderings]....

Hope you post more...
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 11:01   #6
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Good on yer Phil!

That's an impressive amount of note taking and detail noting! Great drawings to boot. Loads of info to use if you're taking them further.

And it looks like you've a nice soft approach to painting too.

'Tis good to have another art thread open up, lots more to enjoy!

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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 13:07   #7
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Thanks all. I appreciate your comments. I realise that a big part of starting this is to get me churning stuff out again. Until then, I'll post some more pieces from the past. Life clock ticking away!
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 15:29   #8
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Thanks all. I appreciate your comments. I realise that a big part of starting this is to get me churning stuff out again. Until then, I'll post some more pieces from the past. Life clock ticking away!
Well done old bean- mantra on here should be if you've done it, post it.
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 16:16   #9
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hey phil, fantastic to see you starting on here! The first two are the best set of field sketches and annotations combined I have ever seen! You ever find many rarities, cos with stuff like this any normal comittee would accept them in a second! Better eveidence than many photographs, I think! The Eider is also a wonderful piece of art, You have a pyschic affinity with those acrylics I believe, do you simply manouevere them into the perfect possible way using the power of your mind? The Eider is perfect, and the background is simply incredible. Good for you for putting plenty of effort into that, it is as much about composition as the bird itself!

And don't worry about being absolutely terrified, I've been into drawing since I was about 10, but until the last two months never showed it to anyone bar family! Then I found this wonderful forum, spent a few weeks building up my courage, and finally started showing my work to all the world-class artists on here, including yourself! If this is gong to be about helping other newbies to the forum, would you like me to put on some of my old watercolours/drawing from a few years ago to show how they have changed? Or if you don't want some rather terrible beginners art on this thread I may put them on my own?

You have plenty of art, birdy and not, on your website anyway, from which even before now we could all discern you had a great talent for this pursuit of ours!

Hope to see some more recent work, plus plenty more golden oldies (golden orioles too while you're at it!) and this thread looks like one which will take off and be extremely well received!!
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 19:55   #10
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And here I am thinking Phil's like one of these F1 fans (nothing wrong in this, mind) - loves watching but has no desire to jump in the cockpit!

Fantastic annotated drawings with lovely colour, and the notes scream: proper birder from the pete Grant, Mullarney, Jonsson school. I love 'em. Let's have some more my man.

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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 23:23   #11
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A long-awaited and much-anticipated debut on the art-forum thread, mate - fab to have you 'keepn' it real!' - already, so early in your career you were showing not only elegant lines and expert colour-sense, but an amazing awarness of what the written/illustrated/printed page should look like. Beautifully executed drawings and 'Kels'-qual handcopy; these wonderfully proportioned sheets are a joy to the eye (even at this hour) - really looking forward to seeing more of the same (or even different).
Marvellous!
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 23:37   #12
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I particularly like the '95 sketches. Now to see some newer ones!
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 01:18   #13
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Thanks to you all!

I didn't expect this much response!
Which is why I'm asking in this post...How do you do multiple quoting?
Because it's gonna be hard at this rate to answer multiple stuff!

In the meantime Liam? Was it Golden Oldies, or Orioles you wanted?
Because I've got both!

Also, the bigger pieces are taken on a 2 MP phone camera (as I've only got an A4 scanner.) So the quality is not that great. If anyone wants to see a particular piece better, I will scan it in in sections, or just the detail needed.

More to follow....
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 01:29   #14
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And here I am thinking Phil's like one of these F1 fans (nothing wrong in this, mind) - loves watching but has no desire to jump in the cockpit!

Fantastic annotated drawings with lovely colour, and the notes scream: proper birder from the pete Grant, Mullarney, Jonsson school. I love 'em. Let's have some more my man.

Russ
I can't even drive but I watch Top Gear for the laughs!
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 02:14   #15
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hey phil, fantastic to see you starting on here! The first two are the best set of field sketches and annotations combined I have ever seen! You ever find many rarities, cos with stuff like this any normal comittee would accept them in a second! Better eveidence than many photographs, I think! The Eider is also a wonderful piece of art, You have a pyschic affinity with those acrylics I believe, do you simply manouevere them into the perfect possible way using the power of your mind? The Eider is perfect, and the background is simply incredible. Good for you for putting plenty of effort into that, it is as much about composition as the bird itself!

And don't worry about being absolutely terrified, I've been into drawing since I was about 10, but until the last two months never showed it to anyone bar family! Then I found this wonderful forum, spent a few weeks building up my courage, and finally started showing my work to all the world-class artists on here, including yourself! If this is gong to be about helping other newbies to the forum, would you like me to put on some of my old watercolours/drawing from a few years ago to show how they have changed? Or if you don't want some rather terrible beginners art on this thread I may put them on my own?

You have plenty of art, birdy and not, on your website anyway, from which even before now we could all discern you had a great talent for this pursuit of ours!

Hope to see some more recent work, plus plenty more golden oldies (golden orioles too while you're at it!) and this thread looks like one which will take off and be extremely well received!!
That was Britain's second MAINLAND Myrtle Warbler. A 20 minute walk from where I lived at the time. In a public park, in Bristol, England! Tried to include the notebook sketches. But it wouldn't fit.

Gropper! Of course. Post anything you want here! But FARM your thread carefully. You may want to contain your own history in your "daydreams". So keeping it historical?

What I meant was, if any budding artists are scared to post? Then do it here. And, I'm sure, encouragement, and advice will follow from others!

Oh! And I 'fess up. Liam sent me a PM about starting a thread.

That's why this thread is here!


So thanks my young friend!


I'll say thanks with another attachment...

PS If anyone wants more info on the circumstances behind the pieces? I will divulge all here.
The Golden Orioles were a family group chasing each other around the tree-tops at Jeziuro Koronowskie, North of Bydgoszcz in Poland. Amazing! The Orioles are my afterword license. The trees are from a photo of the scene. I like trees! Without them there'd be few perching places. And very little to obfuscate a rare warbler!
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 02:18   #16
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Well done old bean- mantra on here should be if you've done it, post it.
Thanks Ed.

I did this one. I post it.
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 02:37   #17
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A long-awaited and much-anticipated debut on the art-forum thread, mate - fab to have you 'keepn' it real!' - already, so early in your career you were showing not only elegant lines and expert colour-sense, but an amazing awarness of what the written/illustrated/printed page should look like. Beautifully executed drawings and 'Kels'-qual handcopy; these wonderfully proportioned sheets are a joy to the eye (even at this hour) - really looking forward to seeing more of the same (or even different).
Marvellous!
Tim,

Unfortunately, my career started much earlier!

The 90s was a time of learning to draw from life. Now I'm much more skillfill at "cutting corners!"

My first published "line-drawing" was in "Bristol Ornithology" at age 14. A Little Gull.

1975!

I was "runner-up" in BBC Wildlife "Cartoonist of the Year" in 93 I think? Something about some adulterous Frogs?

So, I do have history!

Keep up the good work!

Here's a piece I did for "New Moon" in BBC Wildlife in Jan '99. Before it all went bad, and I ended up living on a boat fof a number of years!

There's a story attached to this also...

Oh! And the notebook sketches, which the final piece was sourced from...

Hard Times!
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 02:43   #18
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I particularly like the '95 sketches. Now to see some newer ones!
Oh God!

Now I have to do some work Ken!

I knew there'd be a drawback to all this!

Adore your stuff my friend! Sheer magic!

PS This one's for you!
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 04:08   #19
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you do have and amazing knack for design on the page, and how it all fits together, nothing haphazard about it...and drawing so sure and informative.
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 04:17   #20
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you do have and amazing knack for design on the page, and how it all fits together, nothing haphazard about it...and drawing so sure and informative.
Colleen,

I could NEVER be a CROW!

Leave the Cormorants as they are!

Much great respect!

phil
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 08:39   #21
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Well.....i woke up this morning feeling quite 'rough' and out of sorts....but your illustrations have just given me a real 'boost'....

Bloody marvelous....!

Love the orioles...[a lot]...and the shrike n dartford warbler page...those color combination's are superb...

The expression on that stone curlews face in lower left of page made me laugh...he looks well p----d off..... Excellent stuff....!

As Tim said...you've got an amazing awareness of how a written/illustrated page should look like...tis an artform in itself....and so pleasing to the eye as such pages show 'the passion' of birders...[and talent]...!

All in all...brill....
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 08:56   #22
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Frabjous observations, so much detail in them. I love the little short strokes you use to build up the colours. Great stuff! I'm sure you've got a rich mine of goodies to share.

And living on a boat sounds great to me!

Mike
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 23:04   #23
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Teeming with life Phil.! As others have said you have a great knack for combining text and images into a captivating and rich whole. And as username says they show 'the passion of birders.' Exactly right.
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Old Thursday 27th May 2010, 00:03   #24
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"The expression on that stone curlews face in lower left of page made me laugh...he looks well p----d off..... "

Was only drawing what I saw! Yet somehow they do look overall happy when you see them. Returned to Martin Down last Summer, but they had not nested in that particular area. Thanks for the complis Username.

"Frabjous observations, so much detail in them. I love the little short strokes you use to build up the colours."

Frabjous is a BIG compliment Mike! The "strokes" were done using water-colour pencil to build up texture on top of gouache. Am a big supporter of "mixed-media." Using whatever's to hand to get the effect desired.

"...great knack for combining text and images..."

Ken, that comes from many years drawing strip-cartoons for comics and magazines! It seems to be a "transferable skill." These were done to capture the feeling of the experience for my own purposes. So I could revisit the experience. They were never done for public show. And no punchlines or cheap gags!

An example of this "strip cartoon stuff" is attached. But other egs are on the link to my "website"...
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Old Thursday 27th May 2010, 00:19   #25
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Just to get it back on the "bird-track"?
A scan left over.
Do not like the big image. But the Pec Sand sketch in the right corner summed up the bird perfectly for me.
As we know, sometimes one has to do a lot to get one good one. One that captures the essence of that particular bird!
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