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Old Saturday 29th August 2009, 14:14   #226
solitaryVSong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Ellis View Post
Thank you all for your comments on the Sketches and Stag paintings. I'm always trying when I paint to think about making things slightly different for the viewer creating a different feel to an animal or bird that has been portrayed in a certain way for a long time.
This does not always work and sometimes sticking close to convention is often the best way with some things . However nothing would ever move on or change if we did this all the time. I am not saying my work is revolutionary or anything like that but its nice to approach things from a different standpoint at least.
Well said Andy. I was thinking something similar as I leafed through a book of bird paintings over the last few days. Many I liked and admired but I knew that I'd be unhappy if I did my own work just like them(not that I could!). There is just this desire to do things a bit differently, to make things fresh. Yet on the other hand after all the experimentation you often end up finding that there's a very good reason to sticking close to convention! So what keeps art exciting, at least for me, is wandering around between the two.
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Old Monday 31st August 2009, 19:05   #227
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As ever your fieldwork is astounding.

Stags are perfect as they are, your painting style is traditional at its core so the variation on conventions like the centred stag with full rack on view, (Ohh er missus!), is absolutely the right thing to do IMHO.

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Old Tuesday 15th September 2009, 23:23   #228
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Mr Green

Hi everyone , Ive been spending a few days down by the river Yealm which
is about 10 minuets away from me after a tip off from my good friend Rod who
is lucky enough to live on its banks in an exquisite house. His view of the river is
to die for. Anyway He tipped me the wink that our old friend Mr Green was back!
Who is Mr Green I hear you ask?? well He is an Osprey that stops off
without fail every year at this spot traveling to or from Africa.

He Graces the river for a week or so in April and then again in September.
Rod and Another of my good friends have documented his comings and goings for
quite a few years now and although I do not always see him every year
myself , we have all become quite fond of him. This year he was joined by
another Immature Female who stayed for a few days then moved on. Mr Green
stayed and is still present as I type. Although he should be moving on any
day now.

I sketched him on two days last week although he was taking stand on the
other side of the river on both occasions and remained fairly inactive.This
did not matter to me as just seeing him was enough.

I didn't get the detail in the sketches that I would have liked because of the
extreme distance he was away from me. I've included two photo's to
illustrate this. Anyway hope you enjoy, I certainly did drawing him
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2009, 23:26   #229
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Here are the other sketches
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Old Tuesday 15th September 2009, 23:45   #230
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Another explosion of brilliance Andy - your connection with the bird is so evident (where are his kids?). There's a stonking balancing-act pic in there and one or two stunning frontals that catch his character perfectly. Superb work - I hope there's something mega keeping you away from the forum!
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2009, 00:01   #231
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Hi Tim, yes there is always to much studio work to do and not enough field work
for me!! About to do battle with a Caracal lynx painting . Its for a show hopefully
that will travel to the UAE. I am doing some of the regions wildlife/cultural references and
portraits. I was planning a show over here but have put it on ice for the moment.

Talking with my friend whilst watching Mr Green , we came to the conclusion that the
female that stopped of for a few days with him may have been a sibling as they flew
and hunted in very close proximity to one another although we do not know for sure.
we do not know where he nests either? Although we know where his natal site was.
Another interesting thing I never knew was that the males leave well after the adult
female as she leaves him to continue feeding the young fledged ospreys! Talk about
a good Dad!
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2009, 00:33   #232
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Andy, thank you so much for the posts, as I am starting to study this bird, I will have access to one who is captive, can't be released back.

I often see them out sketching at Bodega Bay in No. Calif, and at local park, usually they are specks, but sometimes at the Bay I get a closer look. I'm putting a couple here hoping you can help me understand why these look different than the ones I've seen in books, its wings are so much darker
I'm pretty sure it's osprey but being new I could use back up verification.

will follow your sketches closely, hope you post the caracal too, a cat I love, a Brit team caught some totally spectacular shots of one in Africa, facing off hyenas to protect her kits, its on a DVD I have called Chasing Big Cats, from the PBS Nature program.

Thanks Colleen
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2009, 03:17   #233
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Great Ospreys Andy, as usual. You're not half bad at this bird of prey stuff.... Like your photos too - just like mine, it is an Osprey, honest!!

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Old Wednesday 16th September 2009, 03:45   #234
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Beautiful drawings Andy! Who knows how you could see much and draw it at that distance.

One of my first blog entries a few years ago was about all the blue birds I'd seen that day at my local creek, the Wissahickon: Great-blue Heron, Black-throated Blue Warbler and Blue-Headed Vireo. But the other star of that day was an osprey. We always seem one or more at this small creek in late October early November. I don't know if it's the same bird or not but for now I'm going to assume it is and call him Mr. Blue.

This creek is never more that 20 yards across and in a fairly deep ravine, to me an unusual spot for an osprey. But because of its canyon-like geology the osprey call is clear and full when he is there. It resonates up and down the creek. So there's no missing him. Hopefully I'll get some good looks in 6-8 weeks. If I can get anything that even resembles your drawings I'll be very happy indeed!
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2009, 11:01   #235
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an absolute treat - even at a distance, you got to see plenty of it, usually when I see opsreys they look like miserable sacks with a little white blob on the top - which is definitely far from the amazing birds they are. Great stuff.
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Old Wednesday 16th September 2009, 13:27   #236
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What great sketches- it would be easier to take if there was the odd wrong 'un sprinkled amongst the beauties. But there never is!

As for that question about the juvenile Ospreys- I'm pretty sure they migrate separately from their parents as do HBs etc. Adults heading straight for the most sensible crossing point on a learned route, juveniles following instinct with some having a SW bias due to their Scandinavian ancestry, ending up heading out into the Atlantic.

Nice recent study on autumn Short-toed Eagles in Italy showing the same- adults tracking all the way round via France and Spain on a learned route to Africa, juveniles heading straight south for a warm reception in Sicily and Malta and Libya if they make it.
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Old Thursday 17th September 2009, 00:43   #237
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Tremendous stuff as usual, rarely see them perched here in Stockholm, never at close range, must be the same lot Nick is getting in France!
Love the lines, strong and fluid. Great to see you back on the forum...
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Old Friday 18th September 2009, 18:51   #238
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Seeing these is such an inspriation, and a challenge to make me work even more and attempt more closely observed work.

Having had the privlege of peering into a LJ sketchbook fresh from his drawing while in the US, I can say he too uses that kind of shading, tho his lines are more sketchy and round, what I noticed also as he worked out various parts of an Am. eider, he focused on parts and not always the whole bird. His drawings were very large, part of a duck covering a whole page of his custom made large sketchbook and slopping over a bit onto the other page( course his hands are very large too) and he had a real knack of making various ranges of value with the line and the shading.

Every artist is different, Barry Van Dusen had a hard line and outline more like these, almost like an engraving and drew smaller than LJ. Then there is the Busby line, almost nervous and electric, grainy and broken as it goes over a textured surface.

So what I get is to try all the best styles I see and find the one that I'm most at home in. I suspect it will be more Busby like, can't imagine I'd ever have the confidence and certainty these sketches show, but I really love looking at them, a sheer pleasure! Post some more, I'd never get tired of them.
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Old Saturday 19th September 2009, 22:39   #239
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I've only ever seen osprey once; A distant(ish) fly-by at Elmley. I can't imagine how good it would be to know of a regular spot for them. Fantastic fieldwork that really shows off your knowledge of the birds of prey.

Mike
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Old Saturday 19th September 2009, 23:10   #240
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Get yourself down to my neck of the woods Mike - Thorney Island has 1 or 2 (sometimes up to 4) every autumn and are as regular as clockwork from mid-Aug onwards!
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