Earlier this summer a local Minneapolis couple who keep chickens invited Metro Sketchers over to their home—they have 6 chickens! Sketchers filled the yard on fold out and lawn chairs while the chickens weaved in and about nibbling on cracked corn sprinkled on the grass.
One chicken decided that my wash water (which didn’t have any paint in it yet) was at just her height for easy to reach drinking water. She sat at my ankles and took long drinks, looking up between gulps to check me out. I think we were both smitten. I couldn’t shoo her away. I probably lost a good 20 minutes of sketch time until I put a bit of board over my water and watched her retreat in bewilderment. She was quickly cheered by all the cracked corn.
In the 2 hours and 10 minutes that I actually worked (there was a period of time at the end of the session when I simply talked with everyone who came up to me and gave up trying to finish more sketches) I got 12 loose pages done. The first 7 pages were never scanned because this was when my scanner wasn’t scanning in focus. At some point you just have to move on.
But I’ve put a couple of the image together for you to flip through them.
I worked on Stonehenge Kraft Brown paper for my warm ups (none scanned) and tried working with color pencil and then gouache on top of that. It was fun. I then moved on to Strathmore 400 Series Toned Mixed Media Paper in the gray. I began on sketch 8 with a red color pencil, but didn’t like it on the gray paper so I skipped right to the brush pen and then worked only in brush pen and gouache for the rest of the day.
All of the chickens had lost their head plumage so the proportions do look rather off. This is just a clear indication of how small birds are when the feathers aren’t in play.
This is always such a great way to warm up for the Minnesota State Fair. If you’re in the Twin Cities when Metro Sketchers does this event next time you need to come along.
I’m testing out a new gallery plug-in today and in preview it doesn’t seem to be working quite like I had hoped. In theory you should see one image below and click on it and then you’ll be in a gallery with captions and you can move from one image to the next by hitting on the side arrows. We’ll give it a go…like so much in life this is a work in progress. If you click on the gallery and end up with a black background go to the top right and click on the right x and it should come up as a white background and down below you should see an info button and some other buttons, even a comment button. In theory. None of my captions are showing up, but play around and see if it works for you.