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Old Sunday 29th August 2010, 12:42   #251
solitaryVSong
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What I love about your approach is that you seem to be utterly fearless and you tackle awkward and tricky poses with the same vigour as the easier ones. More power to your elbow is what I say!

Mike
Have to agree with Mike. It's great to stay you sticking with poses, difficult though they may be.
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Old Friday 3rd September 2010, 17:17   #252
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lovely sketching Russ...
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Old Saturday 4th September 2010, 17:48   #253
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Thanks for the encouarging words Nick, Mike, Arth, Ken and Phil. Also, welcome to BF JTMB - I need to check your stuff out, mate.

You're right about the tuftie bill too, Nick. I think Ennion did say something along the lines that 'looking' is not something to be done half-arsed, or somethiong along that line!

Jonsson called part of his Gotland trilogy 'En dag i maj' (one day in May) so here's part one of my take on a rather productive day in August: 'Won day oop at resers in Oregust'

Three greenshank studies. I hope you like greenshanks as I've scrawled on many a page in the last few weeks trying to capture this bird. Resting and snoozing - not very difficult; feeding and probing around - oh dear! I try to get the whole shape down in seconds without ending up with a mounted specimen with stuck-on wire legs!
Ringed Plover looking a bit, er, constipated or trying to part with something! I did have my 'eye in' at the time so perhaps it really was in need of a dose of exlax!

Cheers
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Old Saturday 4th September 2010, 17:59   #254
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Sketches - big ones, too - of male Common Scoter. What a stonker! Simply the best views of one I've ever had. Upland reservoirs do occasionally pull in these fine birds and this one was swimming around like one of the local mallards.
I'll now get technical and ak if one wanted to produce a line drawing of this, would it be possible to block in the 'blackest' areas with hatching, or is something 'wet' always better with concolourous birds? The bill 'knob' was the yolkiest yellow I've seen in a long while, but not quite like Yellow-rumped fly or citrine wag!

Cheers

Russ
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Old Saturday 4th September 2010, 18:10   #255
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I particularly like the Greenshanks Russ. It seems like you're getting more comfortable with the way that you add tone and texture as well as background. So the entire drawing is looking much more like a finished piece now, rather than a very well drawn outline with feathers and background being not quite as important. That seems to have changed and everything I think is fitting together really well. Time to congratulate yourself!

I also like the scoters though I'm not sure of your technical question so won't try to undertand it. You made great use of your opportunity here!
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Old Saturday 4th September 2010, 18:19   #256
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I also like the scoters though I'm not sure of your technical question so won't try to undertand it. You made great use of your opportunity here!
On your question- I reckon for a beast like a drake scoter in his pomp.. some truly black zones are the way to go- more Ennion than Tunnicliffe in approach

fine cross hatching- to me at least - tends to imply a softer, tinted dark
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Old Sunday 5th September 2010, 00:48   #257
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I missed these!

Crikey! You are a sketcher's sketcher! I adore every single one of these!
You are such a fine talent Russ! Pure, honest, and remarkable every time...

As to the Scoter question?

Male CS is a conundrum. They seem not to reflect back light at all. I recently tried to paint one from old sketches and could come up with nothing but solid black. I was disappointed with this. But realised that that is how they really are. No light escapes them! Except on the bill! And a rakish glint in the eye!

Ed's advice is a great way to build up form and contours. But you must solve this yourself. It is cutting-edge Scoter Art Science we have here. Experiment!

Cannot like all these enough!
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Old Friday 10th September 2010, 06:41   #258
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fab Russ, my advice....use a nice soft graphite pencils 4b and start building up tone or cross hatch with that until it's nearly filled in.
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Old Friday 10th September 2010, 13:46   #259
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Wonderful sketches, Russ! Particularly nice movement on the second Greenshank sketch.
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Old Sunday 12th September 2010, 16:02   #260
ARTHUR BISHOP
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Great sketches Russ
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Old Sunday 12th September 2010, 19:39   #261
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Many thanks for the 'technical advice' guys.
Sketches of juv. Grey Herons at one of my patches. Autumn offfers the best viewing, as water levels are inevitably really low and they spend the first few of hours after dawn just loafing around, which makes 'em very inviting to draw when time's rather limited. I used to really over-work these (an eternal problem) or really struggle with head/bill profile, even with relatively inactive birds. I've put these on as another 'bench mark' for myself and hopefully others who are striving to improve. I'll revisit this species again in a few months or so.

Cheers

Russ
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Old Monday 13th September 2010, 02:45   #262
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As usual.

Brilliant!
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Old Monday 13th September 2010, 17:58   #263
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I've never drawn one of these to my satisfaction, good to hear if I keep working I'll get there like you did on these.
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Old Saturday 18th September 2010, 09:44   #264
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Herons are a surprisingly tough bird to sketch aren't they! In Hyde park there are some remarkably tolerant birds that will stay put even if you are within a couple of yards of them, you are inspiring me to get down there witha sketchpad!

Mike
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Old Saturday 18th September 2010, 12:26   #265
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Very lively Russ! They have that quality of being very well observed, something I think Phil has been saying from the very beginning about your sketches. As Mike says they do make you want to get out and sketch some herons.
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 07:26   #266
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some brilliant work with some brilliant birds, the young heron is particularly good and the greenshanks are just making me green with envy that I've seen just one distant one all autumn - you've captured the elegance of them to a tee.
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 19:48   #267
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Thanks guys.
Greenshank is a good bird on my patch, so I make no excuses for posting lots sketches of 'em. Resting bird and then one of dozens I made trying to catch the bird in mid-probe. Because of the very loose style I have to adopt with moving birds this is almost A4 size. I find the neck bulge and the angle of the head in relation to the body, not to mention the legs, all absolute pigs sketch right, but I don't think this one does capture something of the bird's character.

Pie waggy on barbed wire, juv Whinchat on the quintessential stone wall and snoozing BHG - an ever available bird and pose!

Cheers
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 19:57   #268
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 20:08   #269
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no excuses needed for greenshanks, never tire of them, and I could never tire of the rest either - more wonderful genuine sketching.
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 21:05   #270
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more wonderful genuine sketching.
happy to agree with this.
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Old Monday 20th September 2010, 21:17   #271
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Great sketches! Any species is a good species in my book - plus here in the states we love seeing the 'everyday' birds on your side of the pond.
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Old Sunday 26th September 2010, 17:47   #272
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Cheers, guys.
A selection of sketches from a recent spell up at my local reservoirs. Like Lars' work they're big and bold and, er, well that's about it, really. I'm certainly envious of you guys who can nail four or five poses on one sheet! Like I've said before, I hope there's never a fall in the demand for sketchbooks!
It the only way I can really work but I'm trying to be more subtle with the pencil and use weight of line and more shading to show some form; there's a long way to go!
Bhg (plus aborted attempt), preening Greenshank, Cormorant in the difficult 'face-on' posture and a noisy honker. Give this to Lars, let him wax lyrical about the face pattern and let him loose with the watercolours and it could sell for hundreds!
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Old Sunday 26th September 2010, 18:02   #273
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A few more.
Attempts at wheatears: oh, what lovely eyes and rotund bodies they have. The fact they pose for more than a nano-second also appeals. Looking at these now, they still look a bit 'flat' , but it's a good job I don't believe it when I read that 'learning to draw is just like learning to ride a bicycle' - I wish!
Ruff's a spectacularly scarce bird in my neck o' the woods, so I went out of my way to sketch this juv. I've tried to depict it wading through belly-deep water. I'm now beginning to understand that complex plumage patterns need to be suggested - please tell me I'm right, guys!

Cheers

Russ
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Old Sunday 26th September 2010, 18:07   #274
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delightful set Russ. I love the honker, and you inspire me to try bigger, hope you get inspired to try color, how about just ONE color to start a pale watercolor brown brushed over the sketch?
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Old Sunday 26th September 2010, 23:03   #275
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beautiful sketches Russ.

friendly greetings Gaby
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