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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 16:26   #1
buzzard12
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A thread for all who draw, paint or sculpt birds. Or in fact a thread for those who just enjoy art! All are welcome...

Have a feeling this thread will run a long time and inspire a few to pick up a pencil while out birding..

An old field painting here from two years ago....

Common Terns at Sandemar Reserve.
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Old Sunday 3rd June 2007, 16:47   #2
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Excellent title - simple, concise and does what it says on the tin!
Brilliant opening image, too - I wish you'd post more of your 'colour work' - it's always inspiring and enlightening stuff. Well done, Alan.
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 10:03   #3
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I have painted just about all my life but sadly have no talent for painting birds. I love bright loose colours and bird paintings never seem to lend themselves to that. I also seem to lack the patience for all those feathers etc. I had a go when I was in my teens and the photo attached is the only example that I can find of something i did. Recently I have been inspired by the paintings I have seen here and wanted to give it a go but sadly I think I lack the talent. My photography has always given me results so much faster but I think maybe that is a cop out. What do you guys think?
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 11:12   #4
nickderry
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At last, we get to see one of your bird paintings! So now I know that you can do it! Let's address some of those points.

1) Lack of talent - you have got to be joking, you are very talented. You may confuse finding a way of incorporating birds as subject matter into your methods as a lack of talent, because the results won't at first be what you want. You'll find your way, lose your way, change direction and get frustrated but also you'll learn new things, see new things, surprise yourself, shock yourself etc etc. My advice is paint, worry later!

2) Photography is a cop out. No, I don't agree. Photography is a valid form of art, and your photos are beautiful. Painting birds wouldn't mean that photos are now obsolete, you would simply be adding another string to your bow.

3) Lack of patience. I don't think you need patience especially, often it's useful, but rarely necessary. I hardly have any patience for painting, I have an image in my head, and I want it on the paper straight away. Find shortcuts, birds feathers are rarely convincing if treated individually, they form masses and patterns.

I'm going to stop before I end up writing a novel, but I hope that somewhere in all this text there are a few helpful tips and a great big push of encouragement. Seriously, have a go at birds, if you're not pleased with it at first, don't give up. You have nothing to prove to anyone and I honestly think you're going to surprise yourself, be true to bright, loose colours and tonal range (!) and paint.
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 14:01   #5
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Ok. Here we go from the weekend...

I was up and out before the sun was properly up and the world was covered in fog thick enough to knit with. There are plenty of hares on the RSPB Elmley reserve although I'm yet to witness anything more than a brief tussle which could hardly be counted as a boxing bout. Mostly the hares just sit about waiting for me to get the sketchpad out. That's the point at which they run off!

Lapwings are great subjects and when I saw this one I knew what she was up to. Sure enough, after a short while, four fluffy little chicks appeared from under her skirts and they moved off through the grass.
There was an unusually co-operative pheasant by the track, he allowed quite a close approach so the scope wasn't needed for these preening sketches.

Finally is a sketch of some extraordinary yellow wagtail behavior. A female was perched quite normally on a gatepost, seemingly without anything particular to do. About a metre and a half away was a male perched on one of the gate rails. He was crouched with his legs and feet tucked under him in this very 'pointy' posture. He was completely 'locked' in position, intently staring, I presume, at the female. I've seen birds like redshank crouch low to the ground in a similar posture as a bird of prey passes overhead but I've never seen wags do it and, anyway, there was no airbourne threat to be seen. I assume it was part of a courtship ritual but it was fascinating whatever the reason. There's always something new isn't there...

Woody
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 14:55   #6
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LOL Nick, thanks for that! Very kind of you. Just recently I have dabbled with painting birds but I guess inspiration is proving difficult. You have seen how I paint ordinarily (though you havent seen any of my acrylic work) and I honestly cant see which way to go. Your recent painting style has very much mirrored mine though so it does give me hope that I can produce something worthwhile. I have the paints, I have the loud music. Maybe all I am lacking is the vodka
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Old Monday 4th June 2007, 16:28   #7
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Vodka is good in small quantities, otherwise I end up falling asleep and dribbling on the paper!

Woody, that lapwing is excellent, I too was waiting for the chicks to come out from underneath her, superbly observed. The hare is wonderful, the whole scene is portrayed with so few lines.

Must get my a*se into gear and post my sketches from yesterday!
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 11:11   #8
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here are my latest scribblings from Sunday, a walk along the canal by Roche lez Beaupré. Highlights being a singing melodious warbler, several nightingales, including a few feeding on the ground next to some bushes with a garden warbler and a red-backed shrike.
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 11:13   #9
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and the rest....
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 13:47   #10
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I check out for just a few days and you all move on me!

Excellent thread title and idea.

I have yet to get photos of what I have done, but I will leave you all with this little tidbit...20 minute linocut.

Everyone is doing wonderful work. I am so glad this thread is continuing!

Best
Elizabeth
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 18:45   #11
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Stonking set of field sketches Nick. Melodious Warbler is really well drawm and those Nightingales are terrific. Seing these I have decided I have to get out on Thursday...
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 19:21   #12
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Nick love the sketch's, with sound effects too!
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 19:25   #13
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the sound effects are for the melodious warbler, at first I couldn't see the wing length so I was concentrating on sound (Icterine is almost absent from this region, but the almost is enough to make me check, especially as this is only the second melodious I've seen and I've never seen icterine). Eventually I saw enough to make a positive I.D. Still waiting for an icky now!
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 20:40   #14
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Nick, sorry it wasn't your first icky, it does make one point about making all notes (no pun intended) for an ident.

Not much of a chance for sketching at the weekend but tried a few first concentrating on the outline. Must be something about sketching and birds that they always know when you are around. Each of these were about 1/4 mile away and each flew when I got this far.
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 21:25   #15
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These are good and solid, very successful. Birds are designed to know they're being drawn and instinctively do everything in their power to outwit those with pencils and paper.
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Old Tuesday 5th June 2007, 22:16   #16
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These are good and solid, very successful. Birds are designed to know they're being drawn and instinctively do everything in their power to outwit those with pencils and paper.
Ha ha haha - so effing true (except guillemots asleep - tht's why I love 'em) - I'll comment on the fabulous contributions later on - I don't have th etime to do them justice at the mo . . .
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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 08:49   #17
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Annette, just grab the canvas and paints, pump up the volume, pick a subject that you really know well and splash the paint around! Inspiration is what this thread is all about and the best time to paint is when you're feeling inspired so seize the day! If you're worried about using loose, bright colours, dont be, just look at how great they look in Nick's work, try Jay.J.Johnson, or have a look at some australian wildlife artists, they seem to revel in bright colour. Good luck and get creating, I'm sure we'd all love to see the results.

Nick, terrific field work as always from you. I love the magpies particularly. I can see your composition skills working overtime even in the field sketches, I'm lucky if I can even just get a record down of what I'm seeing!

Paul, it's lovely to see you joining in and producing such good sketches. What I really like about them is that it's taken just a couple of lines and the birds are instantly there, living on the paper. It's funny how birds seem to know just the wrong time to move off, I reckon it's a game they teach the kids; 'Hold on...wait for it!... Wait for it!... There's the pencil...aaannnd... go!!'

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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 10:41   #18
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All your sketches are great. I dont know how you do it. You must have a superb knowledge of bird anatomy to be able to produce such sterling sketches. I have tried a number of times and I am just too slow and I get frustrated and reach for my camera instead lol Would love to achieve the same spontinaity.
Thanks Woody, maybe I will have a go today as I am supposed to be resting my foot and so cant go out. Will have a go with the acrylics first though i think as i can paint over things much easier

ps thanks for the link to jay j ohnson his work is superb and deeply inspiring. A colourist after my own heart !!
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Old Wednesday 6th June 2007, 17:51   #19
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The thread is off and running again.

Annette you can do it just go for it.

Woody, love the Lapwing, spot .on

Nick I like your looseflowing style as always.

Paul, Keep the sketches coming.

I brought the hedgie from the old as it was done in June + another Juv.drawn up in coloured pencil a little avo.
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 16:04   #20
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Avocet juv. is lovely, texture is so well rendered!(cotton wool for the eyes!) Keen eyes Arthur!
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 17:50   #21
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Thankyou Alan. I liked your picture at the beginning of the thread.

This little fellow I nearly trod on this morning, before he was off.

Juv. Ringed Plover
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 19:12   #22
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Hi all,

Finally plucked up the courage to show one of mine. Don't be too hard on me.

Phil.
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 22:48   #23
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Arthur, love the little bundles of fluff, the ringie chick raised a broad smile. What a little character.

Phil, great to have another artist on board. I love the colour and your style of painting, it's a very vibrant piece and it sings summer. If I may suggest, the piece could be improved by making the background recede a bit more by making it paler or colder, also compositionally, there is some redundant space on the left. Of course, this is just my opinion. The vibrancy of the colour is a great success, giving a feel of being slapped in the face by the sun and the heat. Hope you'll post some more soon!
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Old Thursday 7th June 2007, 23:53   #24
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Phil now you have taken the step looking forward to seeing a lot more,

Nick the little ball of fluff made me laugh ,he couldn't run in a straight line.
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Old Monday 11th June 2007, 12:08   #25
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and the rest....
Hi Nick Love the sketches- hope to get back to the great outdoors myself soon.

wendy
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