Saturday, July 24, 2010
No End of Field Sketches
I'm very happy with the two watercolors I showed in the last post as well as two others done at the same time but not yet posted. They're indicative of what I'd like to accomplish in my bird paintings.
So why they keep showing these field sketches? I think it's obvious from them that I'm someone who probably has more of a background as an artist than as someone who has drawn many birds from life. This is largely true. But as I've said many times I both believe in the importance of field sketching and enjoy it, even though I may whine from time to time.
So I keep at it. There are people, many of whom can be found at links at right, who are thoroughly adept at field sketching. I'm not but I keep at it. So I show these both to show my improvement (I hope) and to serve as an example for others. I don't think field sketching is much appreciated in America, at least nowhere near as much as in Britain and I suspect much of Europe. How often have you seen people sketching when you've seen a large number of birders congregated? Very few if any I'd bet.
So that's the excuse for these. The sketches above are from my backyard: Carolina Chickadees, Northern Cardinals and House Finches predominate.
The page above portrays more yard bids on the left: Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Carolina Chickadee, Mourning Dove and House Finch. On the right are sketches from Morris Arboretum wetlands. At top is just a hint of a very active Great Crested Flycatcher, gobbling down Cicadas I think. Also a Cedar Waxwing, young Wood Duck and young Tree Swallow.
Above on the top portion, turned sideways, is a Northern Mockingbird. On the bottom a young Wood Duck. I'm not happy with the Wood Duck. About the only thing right about it is the inflated chest. But I show it as an example of how a field sketch, perhaps coupled with photos taken at the same time can lead to a painting. That's what you see below. I'm not happy with it either. But the scene struck me: the lone Wood Duck with chest thoroughly puffed out, dominating the small log in the water. By making the field sketch I helped to burn the experience in my memory. I suspect another painting is on the way.