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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 20:41   #51
nickderry
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the coot saw you! the mallard's in a world of her own though, beautifully observed as usual.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 21:02   #52
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Back from my Scotland trip and I did get outside with my sketch book and paints. My efforts in the field drawing birds were pretty poor and it was horrendously difficult. However after looking at them in the flesh for so long I now have a pretty good idea in my head what several species look like which wouldnt have happened if I had only taken photos. It was very rewarding. It must get easier with practise and also if you acquire more of an understanding of the birds structure. Also I do have a poor visual memory - not just for moving things either! I need to have things infront of me, preferably staying still to do a reasonable job. Can your visual memory be developed I wonder or are some people just better than others? Anyway I am going to post a few of my 'least worst' jottings and then post some stuff I worked on with the help of an image on screen. May get the image sizing wrong at first - bear with me!
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 21:16   #53
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Hope you had a good time, great to see the results, good to see you concentrating on the strong shapes created by the herons, I hope you continue sketching birds as there are somegreat observations in these, yes it does get easier with time, and a visual memory is something that I don't possess and don't think can be developed, but it doesn't stop the creative process.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 22:18   #54
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Thanks Nick. I shall now inflict some more on you and sneak in a couple of landscapes done 'en plein air' which I do rarely and really enjoyed even in the wind and in the company of many insects.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 22:27   #55
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These are a couple of sketches I did with the help of a still image although I did do some 'jottings'. Never seen a grasshopper warbler before. It was amazing - it sat on a rock trembling and emitting that strange insect like noise. It was so small and looked so fragile. Its so hard to believe they travel so far and that any survive.
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Hope to find time to work up some sketches.

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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 22:42   #56
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Wendy - In my opinion these are a total success. With regard to looking and 'visual memory' - what I can say is that (as you allude to) the more you look, the more you see (and possibly, understand). You may, in time, devise a shorthand for certain tricky things like birds wings in flight - and for me this comes with looking and then doing fast drawings BUT then i go to a sketchbook and try to work out the anatomy on the page. A paper cut-out also helps as you can move it round in space.
But back to your drawings -I'll start with the obvious which are your landscapes. You are clearly at home with the subject and the medium and these are professionally executed - look great. Besides the heron drawings which Nick rightly commends, my absolute favourites are the 2nd page of wheatear drawings - the bird is captured just spot-on.
Your colour sketch of the grasshopper warbler is truly delightful and would disappear off the gallery wall in an instant - love it.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 23:05   #57
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they're fast little things aren't they those wheatears, you got straight down to the important points on them and with very few lines you've conjured up all their character, your landscapes, in a word fantastic, but we already knew this! I really love that grasshopper warbler, I don't know if it's deliberate but the composition really evokes the song, the strength and angularity around the bird's head makes its reeling belt out, and then 'dribbles' around down the grass stems. I may be talking nonsense again (no drink tonight!) but that's the feeling I get with this pic.
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Old Wednesday 16th May 2007, 23:24   #58
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Great description Nick - I get what you mean (well most of it - I didn't understand the reference to "no drink tonight" - what's it mean?)
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 03:03   #59
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Friday is my day. After a week of cleaning this tiny little house, getting it ready to sell, I am taking at least the morning off.
Hopefully I will find some good locations and birds to go along with them.

Everyone so far is doing wonderful work. It's really great seeing the differences in depiction of birds. It's like handwriting or signatures to be exact.

I have the itch and only have a day to wait!

Wish me success!
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 08:15   #60
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I've not been able to get out as much as I would like (I suppose all day every day is a bit much to ask!) But I've had some opportunity:

Woody
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 08:19   #61
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And...

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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 08:32   #62
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Wendy, I agree with what others have said except that the wheatear is my favourite. It feels right to me having been watching some very smart males over the weekend. You've caught that upright stance perfectly. Love the landscapes too, I'm planning some en plein air myself in the summer.

Elizabeth, good luck with the sketching! I'm looking forward to seeing birds described in those effortless, flowing lines of yours already.

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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 09:24   #63
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Thanks all for your encouragement. It is really great to participate and to see everyones work. I shall certainly continue and hope to do some sketching on Skomer island this or next weekend sailing permitting. For those who dont know Skomer it is a small island off the Pembrokeshire coast here in Wales - Just over an hour from me. Really worth a special visit especially spring and summer because it has hundreds of puffins as well as many other breeding sea birds
including shearwaters which I saw up in Scotland by the way.

Happy sketching! Dryslwyn
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 11:13   #64
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Woody, lots of stuff to be inspiring your next painting I see, my absolute ABSOLUTE favourite is the last one, the quickly scribbled yellow wag on a fencepost, there's so little pencil, and so much of the bird's character. The colour on the avocet's nest is brilliantly rendered. Looking forward to seeing what paintings develop from these, personally I'd like to see a painting of these so-called 'ugly little fluffballs'. :-)
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 13:15   #65
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my absolute ABSOLUTE favourite is the last one, the quickly scribbled yellow wag on a fencepost, there's so little pencil, and so much of the bird's character.
Glad you said that Nick - It's my favourite too.
I think the redshank on the fence may turn into a painting but I've got so many ideas at the moment that my head's spinning as it is!

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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 13:25   #66
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I've got so many ideas at the moment that my head's spinning as it is!

Woody
Tell me about it, I'm still trying to get through all the pics I was going to do from last month's camping trip, and now there just seems to be more to do. Maybe I should get off the internet and into the dining room!

The redshank will make an excellent pic!
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 13:40   #67
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Woody, I have to agree with Nick on that last sketch. That's the one man!

So, being inspired, I might try to find time to go through some relatively new photos I have and do some sketches from that today. Are we allowing that?

I forgot to mention to Wendy that I love watching you work, so to speak. I think what everyone has said about it all is pretty spot on. I can't decide if I prefer the wheateater over the grasshopper warbler; both are so well executed with the minimal amount of detail as possible...I hope that makes sense, I seem to be at a lose for the right word right now.

Anyway, cheers to everyone!
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 14:14   #68
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Redshank and Yellowwag are elegantly drawn - and brimming with character. I'm drawn (no pun) to the avocet as well - simply because it's beautiful!
Elizabeth - I think you ought to get t he house cleared first! and in my opinion, a good drawing is a good drawing, regardless of derivation. As Nick so eloquently put it earlier in the thread - visual memory or not - the creative process is what counts. I for one, don't field sketch to make documentay images - I do it to feel part of the natural world and it then begins to reveal itself to me, little by little - this is when the drawings work. If, by working from your photographs, you can transport yourself back to the time and place where you observed the subject, perhaps you can also 'reconstitute' the whole ambience of being in the field. I was just going to add - be careful not just to copy the photos - and then I remembered who I was aiming the comment at. Interpretation is what you're all about!
Just been back to your sketches Woody - and I missed the coot - which is tip top. What's a fluffy lump (sheep's wool - or something more sinister?)

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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 18:16   #69
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Some lovely sketches coming in , this one is for Woody.I know he likes his Barn Owls. This one was so busy hunting it did't bother about me coming up to about twenty feet away twice head on .It was magic.
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 18:25   #70
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First page, bottom bird is the one for me, that is truly excellent. Wish it would stop raining here so I could get out scribbling, not much fun getting soggy sketchbooks.
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 18:39   #71
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First page, bottom bird is the one for me, that is truly excellent. Wish it would stop raining here so I could get out scribbling, not much fun getting soggy sketchbooks.
I agree to both points!

After a slow start this is taking off. A lot of excellent sketches, gives me something to work to. Thanks to everyone who's posted, can't wait to see what else is to come.
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 21:24   #72
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Well there you go that was my holiday, apart from the bit where I was dragged around the shops in the rain.
Dont know where to start Paul. great field sketches. Really like the stone curlew amd the spoonbill drawings, full of life and display a keen eye for posture. The Eider drawings are favourites, really good solid field sketching, keep up the great work...
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 21:28   #73
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These are a couple of sketches I did with the help of a still image although I did do some 'jottings'. Never seen a grasshopper warbler before. It was amazing - it sat on a rock trembling and emitting that strange insect like noise. It was so small and looked so fragile. Its so hard to believe they travel so far and that any survive.
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Hope to find time to work up some sketches.

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These are wonderful, particularily the Grasshopper Warbler, a great little painting that oozes character. The earlier landscapes are most accomplished as mentioned, however this little painting is a triumph. a pleasure to view it and thank you for posting and indeed, taking part...
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Old Thursday 17th May 2007, 21:33   #74
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I have the itch and only have a day to wait!

Wish me success![/quote]


The itch was scratched so well!! The Yellow Wagtail calling is a stunning little field skech. Like the Common Tern a lot to on the fence, the colour Avocet is tremendous too. So much great stuff on the thread now its hard to keep up...
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Old Friday 18th May 2007, 08:15   #75
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Some lovely sketches coming in , this one is for Woody.I know he likes his Barn Owls. This one was so busy hunting it did't bother about me coming up to about twenty feet away twice head on .It was magic.
Lovely Arthur, I agree with the others that bottom sketch is spot on. You're quite right, I can't get enough barn owls! I love it when they fly straight at you. My 'local' barn owl seems more cautious this year, I wonder whether the brood is not so big this year so he's not hunting quite so intensively as last year. Can't wait for my holiday in Norfolk in august, I'm hoping to spend a bit more time in the company of your barnies!

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