Barnacle Goose

Stately bird on a pink background. I’m not sure if the roundness of his body translated with the ink. But I like the openness of the background.

I am pondering if I should roll out another length of rag paper and abuse it with watercolors to make backgrounds for more birds… BUT I have all this nice white cardstock that I rescued from the recycling bins at work (with the rebranding, we are changing all our paperstock, and huge boxes were up for being tossed. A bunch of us artist types grabbed the nice invites and divvied them up). So I really don’t need more paper!

Belted Kingfisher

Dive-bombing bird. I am pleased with the stripey pattern on the tail section, and the overall outline is nice, too. I am less sure about how it fit into this odd paper/background image choice. I was trying to use some of the more complicated chunks of torn paper… squares with big printed images on them are tough. Do you acknowledge the image and tie it in, treat it like a background element, or do you try incorporating it into the body of the bird, thereby partially hiding it from view? I have tried all three, with mixed success. I’m not sure about this one.

Toco Toucan Chicks

This drawing is a bit of an experiment. It’s the first time this year that I drew unfeathered chicks (rather than a juvenile or adult). It’s also the first time that I drew more than one bird in a composition.  It seems like I’ve been drawing “portraits” of individual birds.

I was drawn to this image because the chicks form such a nice little celtic knot of naked bird-y pinkness. I love the way their necks are intertwined over one another in their sleep. Also, the outline is an almost perfect triangle (which, according to my art history learning, is the most stable of all compositions).

It also tickles me that these guys are toco toucans, the same bird as that obnoxious Toucan Sam in all the Froot Loops commercials. And yes, it is spelled “froot,” lest anyone get the notion that there is actual FRUIT contained in those tiny sugar bombs. So I’m very happy that these toco toucans look absolutely nothing like the Kellogs spokesbird. yay.

Juvenile Ruby Throated Hummingbird

So, I was saying that color scares me. And this is the perfect example. I chose to draw a hummingbird – a RUBY-THROATED, no less. And what do I do? I chose a close up of a juvenile’s head. A juvenile who is too young to have developed that famous ruby throat. He is still a hum drum grey, with only a few tiny flashes of yellow-green to show off. But oh, those tiny flashes took me forever! I agonized on how to get that shiny shiny glow of those eight little feathers. Unfortunately, the scan doesn’t quite capture how successful this effort turned out. You’ll just have to come visit me (or my show, if these ever get shown anywhere?)

One thing that tickles me about this drawing: I did such a super close up on the hummingbird, that the drawing of just his head is far larger than the actual bird! I see these in my front yard all the time, and they are so tiny and quick. Zooom!

Clay Colored Robin

When I saw the words “clay-colored” I was expecting a very plain bird. And mostly, it is rather plain looking by all accounts. But even with a plain coat, I was entranced by that copper-colored eye. And the more I looked, the more color I found: green and orange flashes in the bill.

Color is dangerous for me, because I don’t really understand it. My crap art school education at UC Berkeley taught me nothing of color theory, and I’ve worn only black for nearly two of my three decades. Color is scary. But the more I look for it, the more I find it in these wonderful little birds.