|5/6/18 male flicker (photo reference)|
got around to finishing a project I’d been thinking about for months. Back in
January a pair of feisty flickers began trying to use our feeder, which is
designed for much smaller birds. Although they managed to get some seeds, it
was not without odd contortions and acrobatics. They’re too large to stand on
the perches, so they would cling to the side of the feeder instead and bend
over to peck the seeds. They were comical and entertaining, and their
persistence gave me a chance to sketch them several times.
the course of several days in January and February, each time I saw the same
male flicker I continue adding more and more detail to the same sketch.
Greg was shooting photos of most of our avian diners, including the flicker,
which gave me an idea. I thought it would be fun to do as many sketches as
possible from life first and then eventually do a more finished drawing from a
photo. As you know from my frequent complaints while I was taking classes in colored and graphite pencil drawing
last year, I’m not a fan of drawing from photos. I do, however, understand the value of learning by using this method,
and I know I have benefitted from working this way. Since I had done several
sketches from life first, I felt that drawing from a photo would teach me more
about the bird without taking away the freshness of life drawing. So that’s
what I did: I used one of Greg’s photos of the same flicker I’d sketched as my
|1/7 and 1/28/18 (in progress; from life)|
|1/29/18 (in progress; from life)|
|2/2/18 (from life)|
the experience was as I’d hoped. Of course, I enjoyed sketching from life much
more; I’m so much more engaged when my model is endlessly moving and, well, alive. But drawing from the photo taught
me more about the flicker’s proportions, form and details, and my understanding
will probably inform my sketches the next time I see it.
|3/15/18 (from life)|
|2/2/18 (from life)|
last few weeks as the temperatures have warmed, we’ve seen fewer and fewer
birds at our feeders as the grub gets tastier and more available from natural
sources. We’ve enjoyed endless entertainment all winter and spring, but it’s
time to take the feeders down until autumn. I’ll look forward to giving the
flickers a shot again – from life, of course. Heck, we might even buy a feeder
that will accommodate them better!
|Male flicker (Photos by Greg Mullin)|
What a great set of flicker sketches. I'm with you about sketching from photos; I just can't get my brain engaged with photos. So much harder than drawing from the real thing.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I really miss the birds. . . already looking forward to fall when we put the feeders back up.Delete
Good post and sketches.ReplyDelete
Hmm. Seasonal feeders. I never thought of that.