Birds and Light

September 12, 2022

Crows and ravens have the most amazing colors in their plumage. They are so fun to sketch.

This is in a Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook.

This sketch is a quick one I made while watching some nature show, practicing quick color layering and  hoping that I would be going to the Minnesota State Fair this year to see the chickens and pigeons up close and personal. 

I’ll have to wait until next year. I think I’ll have to go check out some of the nature centers that have taxidermy to practice from.

Hope you’re finding the sketching models you need and want.  

    • Ann Bodkhe
    • September 12, 2022

    Hi Roz, Don’t languish over the winter wishing you could draw birds. I bet there is a bird rehabilitation place near you. In the Twin Cities, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville treats injured birds. Enjoy!

    1. Reply

      No worries Ann, no languishing here. I’m just pointing out when one avenue dries up there are others to be found. As I mentioned in the post, I’ll visit places with taxidermy and keep getting an up-close bird fix for detail that way for now, as I always say. It would have been so nice to see the chickens at the Fair again, up close and personal, but I can live with the reality that it wasn’t possible this year. It will be even more fun for me when it is possible again.

      I tried years ago to go to the Wildlife Rehab Center (it’s actually not too far from me), but they were not encouraging in either my solo visits or in accommodating the groups of students I wanted to bring from my drawing classes at Como and MCBA. They had a set “access” agenda that wasn’t going to work for what I needed. I can totally understand that. I know other artists have been granted different access, but it’s never been made clear to me how they got that to happen, except, “my daughter works there” types of responses.

      Happily there are numerous small Nature Centers that have taxidermy that will make studies possible, and who welcome individuals for just that purpose. (Because of my eyes I’m not teaching in-person classes so that option with classes isn’t something I have to look into.)

      Eventually I’m hoping to get back to Como Zoo as well, to sketch, but because of other issues I’m not going there at present.

      I hope you are finding all the models you need for your art.

    • Sharon+Nolfi
    • September 12, 2022

    How were you able to capture the colors just from watching TV? Lots of lovely hues in there!

    1. Reply

      I’ve painted so may crows and ravens and black chickens from life in a variety of lighting conditions. I know what colors I’ve used in the past for underpainting better than I know the eye color of some of my close relatives! So it’s pretty easy to pick a color and play with it and see what it will do on this paper. I’m glad you enjoyed my choices.

    • Tina Koyama
    • September 12, 2022

    Oh, no — I’m sorry to hear you weren’t able to get to the Fair! I really missed it, too. 🙁

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