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Old Tuesday 12th June 2007, 04:20   #26
jomo
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I've been chasing Dickcissel reports around the province for a couple of years now, so I was quite happy to finally pin down one of these handsome birds on my way up north on Friday (at the exact same location I'd searched for him last year, a day too late!). While relaxing bayside this weekend, we were frequently visited by a rather tame female Mallard and her brood of six looking for handouts. After some bread, the family clambered up on shore beside me and cuddled up together for an afternoon nap. I pride myself on being a bit of a tomboy, but baby ducks involuntarily bring out my girly side.

After a rather bad job interview this afternoon, I needed some cheering up, so I went out looking for easy subjects. Last week I'd caught wind of a tern colony not far from LaSalle Marina (one of my favourite winter hangouts), so down to Burlington it was.
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Old Tuesday 12th June 2007, 04:25   #27
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Don't think the attachments made it ...
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Old Tuesday 12th June 2007, 16:14   #28
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These are quite simply lovely, very reminiscent of Ennion. There is great intimacy with the ducklings. Great stuff.
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 00:09   #29
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I just love these combined sheets of fieldwork - really top class stuff. I hadn't made the Ennion connection before, Nick - but you're spot on (and that must be a compliment coming from two folk who based Uni dissertations on the great man!). The design of the pages, strength, yet subtlety of the drawings and that dab of colour highlight - truly masterful. Great stuff. (When are ya getting the website finished!!!?)
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 08:05   #30
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Absolutely terrific, again! I must agree with Nick and Tim about the Ennion connection, I can also see a touch of the Ried-Henrys. Whatever! They are fabulous drawings.

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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 08:24   #31
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Given the talents on this thread perhaps some guidance could be given to others, esp in respect to field sketches.

Whlst I do have some talent with a pencil, I always tend to start any sketch with the usual 2 ovals - 1 for the head and 1 for the body - and then add the extra details. However I do find this lends itself to quite 2-dimensinal images though - and usually side on. And open beaks, correct eye alignment/size are always real challenges to me.

Does anyone have any other tips on field sketching, starting points, angles etc etc?
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 09:37   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timwootton View Post
(and that must be a compliment coming from two folk who based Uni dissertations on the great man!).
Uni dissertations on the doctor?? Now that is interesting..maybe you could help me in my quest for a personal holy grail...whereabouts of the original of the feeding Spotted Redshank painting which forms the centre spread in Living Birds of Eric Ennion. It being by miles the finest bird painting done by anyone anywhere ever, I have long been curious as to its whereabouts (or for that mater the whereabouts of a copy of the poster/print which was made from it). There is a finders fee on offer..

All I know is that it was first done as poster for the RSPB (late 60s or early 70s?) and I believe they had the original at Sandy.
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 11:05   #33
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Hi Ed - if RSPB at Sandy don't have it (and I know they have a huge amount of original Ennion and Tunnicliffes down there - remember Charlie did all the 'Birds' covers starting from the mid 50s for about 28 years or so . .. .) - I remember seeing some of the Doctor's work framed and on the office walls, but maybe they've been relocated to a more suitable site. I think Rob Hulme would know, if you can get a hold of him.
The diving shanks are sublime, though, aren't they - and the one (which Busby notes in his commentary) trailing a toe across the water surface. Superb.
So Jomo, you can see how good your stuff looks!
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 11:53   #34
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amazing stuff Jomo, there is so much movement.

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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 12:40   #35
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[quote=ed keeble;914723] feeding Spotted Redshank painting which forms the centre spread in Living Birds of Eric Ennion. It being by miles the finest bird painting done by anyone anywhere everQUOTE]


agree wholeheartedly
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 15:37   #36
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Its just lovely work Jomo.

Its all super, the coloured paper adds to it too.

Do the world a favour and get out there more often...
..its about as nice a rendition of a days birding as you could ever hope to see and that carries itself off the pages.
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 15:59   #37
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I'll take any comparison to Dr. Ennion as a compliment of the highest order!

Allen, I think some postures are easier to 'make work' than others. Of course, most birds rarely stay still, so this doesn't help things! I usually watch for angles that accentuate the underlying structure, such as a turn of the head that shows the 'pinch' of the skull where the eyes sit (makes for less guesswork when trying to fill in the details around what little I've captured). Markings can also help in determining where to position things (check out some of Barry Van Dusen's field work -- the guy's a master at suggesting shape and form just by the simple deformation of markings due to the angle and posture of the bird).

Of course, having said all that, I'm also too frequently guilty of flat side-view birds. They're easy! But I'll admit that they're never the sketches that I'm most pleased with.
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Old Wednesday 13th June 2007, 17:09   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post
Whlst I do have some talent with a pencil, I always tend to start any sketch with the usual 2 ovals - 1 for the head and 1 for the body - and then add the extra details. However I do find this lends itself to quite 2-dimensinal images though - and usually side on. And open beaks, correct eye alignment/size are always real challenges to me.

Does anyone have any other tips on field sketching, starting points, angles etc etc?
I know what you mean about the 2 ovals. So what I try and do- and more importantly what I see in sketches by others that I admire on here and elsewhere- is to make sure that the first few lines are what you see and not based on a template, mental or otherwise. Then once you have some interesting lines on the page, you can use the 2 ovals etc. to check whether what you have done is basically sane, maybe pull in the wild initial lines a bit, but not lose them...

Take the outline of a wader. For belly-to-undertail, you can draw a gentle curve based on an oval or some other mental template and it will look basically fine. But a bit disappointing. So the trick if you can do it is not to start there- if in reality you see ball of fluff (puffed up stint) or a keeled wedge (a Terek sand..), draw that line from chin to tail first and worry about wrapping it round an oval later.

I'm not suggesting it is easy or that I have mastered it- but that's my tip of the day: put in a couple of strong lines first thing, so that everything doesn't turn out too normal. (Probably also Pete Doherty's motto.)
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 18:16   #39
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Father's Day Mini-Break!!!

Was allowed a three hour respite from the kids today - decided to re-visit a few birds I have encountered during my 'day job' and enjoy them at a slightly more leisurely pace - birds include; oystercatcher, summer sanderlings, ringed plover, arctic terns, ads., juvs. and chicks and bits of a common gull.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 18:17   #40
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. . . and this accommodating ringed plover . . .

. . . behaved itself for fifteen minutes or so . . .
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 19:58   #41
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Lovely stuff Tim
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 21:20   #42
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Those terns are making me green with envy, perfect shape. The accommodating plover has a Jonsson feel to it - a compliment on a par with an Ennion reference. Oh and I love that head on sanderling, great angle.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 21:53   #43
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God, I must get back into sketching again. I seem to have fazed from it at the moment - not enough hours in the day for one thing. I've not done anything for months.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 22:13   #44
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Lovely sketching Tim. The Terns have it for me though.
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Old Sunday 17th June 2007, 22:50   #45
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Definitely the Terns and the 2nd Plover for me.
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Old Monday 18th June 2007, 10:15   #46
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Love all of 'em Tim, but the terns are simply 'above and beyond'. You're all raising the bar here.

I was allowed to stop out a bit longer on fathers' day too. I've slipped in one from last week, the little owls in the nest box were just about to fledge, in fact one brave explorer came out, perched on a branch, then quickly pushed his way back in again past his two curious siblings. He then sat in the entrance looking pleased with himself, who could resist?

The most remarkable thing about sunday was an encounter with a snipe who obviously hadn't read the standard field manual for snipe which clearly states that a snipe should remain difficult to see at all times. This guy just sat by the road and allowed me to approach (in the car) to within three or four metres. After my usual 'Draw it quick before it buggers off!' approach, I realised that he wasn't going to vanish so I slowed myself down and got a half decent portrait done. This snipe has been a regular in the same area for a few weeks now but he's not always been so easy to see! Perhaps he knew it was fathers' day so gave me a treat.

A trip out to the first hide meant I was able to watch avocets noisily defending their chicks from all comers - they seem to dislike redshanks particularly. The warm sunshine (at last) was being enjoyed by good numbers of blackwits and redshanks and I had time to get the watercolours out.

On the way back I spotted one of the little owl youngsters from the box, this time sitting on a fairly prominent fencepost watching the swallows as they buzzed around him.

Then finally I watched a male marsh harrier plummet into the long grass and when he came back up he was clutching what I think was a lapwing chick- marsh harrier chicks have to eat too.

All in all a great few hours in the sun doing one of the things I love best, what a way to spend fathers' day.

Woody
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Old Monday 18th June 2007, 10:17   #47
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And the others:
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Old Monday 18th June 2007, 13:14   #48
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There are some truly stunning drawings here Woody - the snipe series is particularly successful, with the middle drawing on the center two sheets being absolutely top class (the portrait is georgeous, too). Of the others I love the harrier (obviously!) - excellent group!
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Old Monday 18th June 2007, 16:42   #49
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Woody these are lovely the centre page of snipe are spot on.
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Old Monday 18th June 2007, 22:46   #50
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Great display of field work in this thread!

Anybody up for a couple of finished paintings? They're in the gallery too...
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