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Field sketching and illustration

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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 00:52   #1
ABCY 1
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Field sketching and illustration

Hi all. After spending over 20 years illustrating Australian birds for identification (Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, Australian Bird Guide) I am now trying to find my way back to painting birds in their habitats and relying more on field sketching as well as photo references. My background is as a field biologist and I'm largely self-taught as an artist, though I was lucky to have W. T (Bill) Cooper as a mentor.
I'm interested to see how many Birdforum artists still use field sketching in their practice even in these days of digital photography; like most illustrators i use photo references a lot but still value that special connection that comes with seeing your subject in the field. If you are a practicing bird artist I'd be interested to hear how you work.

To get the ball rolling I've attached some of my artwork and welcome any feedback:
first is a plate from the recent Australian Bird Guide (Fieldwrens and Heathwrens)
next is an old field sketch of a Scarlet-rumped Trogon, recently worked up in watercolour with access to photo references
last is a picture of a bird in its habitat, a Back and yellow Broadbill I saw in Sabah, again based on field sketches and photo references

Cheers, Peter
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Name:	Heathwrens and Fieldwrens crop.jpg
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Name:	Scarlet-rumped Trogon field sketch_edited-1.jpg
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Name:	Scarlet-rumped Trogon watercolour_edited-1.jpg
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ID:	727872  Click image for larger version

Name:	B&Y Broadbill copy.jpg
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ID:	727873  
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 01:47   #2
KC Foggin
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Beautiful pieces of artwork! The Broadbill image is my favorite
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 03:37   #3
RafaelMatias
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I love all of them, many thanks for sharing!!
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 20:00   #4
ABCY 1
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KC, Rafael, thanks for your kind words. Do you have any thoughts on the value of field sketching vs photography for bird art and illustration?
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 20:16   #5
KC Foggin
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Sorry, I can't help you out on that ABCY 1
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Old Friday 22nd May 2020, 20:59   #6
mark richards
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Beautiful set of work, thanks for showing.
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Old Saturday 23rd May 2020, 06:54   #7
ABCY 1
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Thanks Mark. I’ve had a look at your website, some nice artwork - loved the Merlin. Do you have access to falconers’ birds? A very long time ago I used to train raptors, and l’m a big fan of David Reid-Henry’s raptor portraits
Cheers, Peter
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