Category Archives: Cross Training
Lately I’ve been painting birds, trying to do them loosely but not very successfully. I get too involved in trying to make them look like what they are.
This spring, a pair of Baltimore Orioles visited my Hummingbird feeder, bypassing the Oriole feeder that was also out. (The Hummingbirds use both feeders.) I put out some oranges and the female was very assertive in not giving up her place to the male.
I saw a large flock of Tree Swallows down at Grassy Bay just before the bugs got really bad. They flew too fast for me to get a picture of them flying but several of them rested on some reeds and I was able to get a photograph to paint.
The black flies are out but if I keep walking I don’t get bitten, much. Fortunately, Thursday morning, on my early morning walk, I only encountered clouds of non-biting midges. I stopped to sketch this tree with my pen and added watercolour when I returned home.
It looks like many of the branches may be dead as there are no leaves on them. Or maybe this tree is just a little slow.
I find black animals a challenge to paint. I took a photo of this Red-winged Blackbird a week or so ago.
I used Daniel Smith’s Goethite (Brown Ochre) for the initial wash of the bird as well as in the background. I’ve had this paint in my palette for awhile but haven’t really used it. It’s more black than brown, but I love the granulation. This version is pretty close to the photograph.
The snow is beginning to go. There are bare spots in the woods and on my driveway. The forecast for today is calling for 15 – 20 cm of snow so winter hasn’t given up just yet.
I try to paint a snow scene at least once a year. This is my second attempt at this one. It’s from a photo I took a few weeks ago.
The Iguassu Falls Bird Park in Brazil is located beside the National Park containing the falls. I photographed these two macaws when I visited some years ago.
I chose to paint this photograph because of the angles the birds made with their bodies, tails and wings. In my photograph the birds looked grey and black even with adjustments to the brightness. The little bit of turquoise that I could see on one of the bird’s head as well as the yellow eye and mustache enabled me to identify them as Hyacinth Macaws. Further investigations on the internet showed their true colours.
I recently bought Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson after watching Teoh Yi Chie’s review of it on his YouTube channel. I ordered the book through Teoh’s affiliate link on Amazon and have started doing the exercises in it.
In the first exercise I was supposed to draw my feet in a pair of shoes with laces but I didn’t have any handy so I put on a pair with individual toes.
In the next exercise – draw my hand with my fingers directly facing me.
Followed by a green pepper (twice) and my eyes.
This last exercise took me the longest. I find shading with pencil difficult. (Because I hardly ever do it.) I first drew the wine bottle as a blind contour. I did it quickly and used my left hand to mark the paper where things should line up.
I used an HB pencil but I would have preferred a softer one so I could have got some darker shading.