Monday, August 6, 2012

Preening and Napping

8/3/12, F-C Pitt Artist's Pen, Hand Book sketchbook
My sketching buddy Nilda and I spent a morning at Woodland Park Zoo last week capturing as many slow-moving animals as we could. A birdwatcher, Nilda told me that most birders resort to sketching through binoculars or even from photos because birds rarely sit and pose for long. As difficult as they are to draw in nature, captive birds are relatively easy to sketch, we found, especially when they are napping or preening.

8/3/12, F-C Pitt Artist's pen, watercolor
8/3/12, F-C Pitt Artist's Pen, Copic Multiliner SP pen, Hand Book sketchbook

As I sketched the preening white-naped crane, I overheard one visitor say to her companion, “Oh, she’s got an easy view of that bird because she can’t see its head – that’s the hard part to draw.” Hmmm – I found the crane’s body to be just as challenging as its head.

8/3/12, F-C Pitt Artist's Pen
8/3/12, F-C Pitt Artist's Pen


  1. Great sketches of the birds. For some reason I don't find that they stay still long enough even when they are preening. I like how you are trying to "zoom" in closer like a photographer. One of my friends actally does use her camera to zoom in and help her decide on what to focus on for her plein air paintings.

  2. Thanks, Joan! And that's a great idea to use an actual camera's viewfinder to "crop." I sometimes make a viewfinder with my hands -- it really does help!


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