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Old Wednesday 29th January 2014, 09:31   #1
ihewman
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Tips and tricks

Just want to know what are the secrets to sketching birds. Thanks.

Brandon (aka ihewman)
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Old Wednesday 29th January 2014, 19:30   #2
birdboybowley
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Hey Brandon
The best (only?) advice is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!
Get to know your subjects and then practice more! The more you do the better you'll get; the better you know how a bird basically works the better your sketches will be.
Don't be afraid to use a video for practicing as you can rewind and repeat many times to get used to the speed needed to sketch some birds in the field. Or if you're somewhere and short on time, by videoing a bird for c5mins you can sketch away happily for ages afterwards and get lots of material.
But above all, LOOK and study your subjects diligently and draw what you see - not what you think is there!
Just go out and enjoy it - Oz has some fab birds indeed!
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Old Tuesday 4th February 2014, 17:45   #3
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agree with BBB...try it
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Old Wednesday 23rd April 2014, 15:39   #4
Jackie Garner
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No secrets, but a few ideas that might help are:
  1. Choose just one species per sketching session, preferably going somewhere you can see lots of the same species. That way you won't get confused by the different proportions of many different species all at once.
  2. Start by looking closely and seeing how much you can notice about the bird. Ask yourself questions such as: How long is the beak compared to the head? Is the eye in the middle of the head or nearer the top or front? Is the body very upright or more horizontal? Is the leg joint in the middle of the leg or higher or lower? The more you notice, the more convincing your drawing will be.
  3. Make small studies of just one part of the bird at a time, such as the eye, the beak, the head, the legs... That way you'll build up knowledge of the bird before drawing the whole thing.
  4. Once the bird has moved, stop drawing and start a new sketch. You can make corrections or add to any of your sketches later when/if the bird returns to an earlier pose.
Above all though, as others have said, keep practising. The more you draw birds from life, the easier it gets. Oh, and post your drawings on the Wildlife Art section of Bird Forum, where you'll get plenty of advice and encouragement. Good luck!
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