Red Crowned Crane

2010.5.16 Red Crowned Crane

 

I like cranes for many of the same reasons I enjoy Egrets and Herons – the same basic shape, grace of movement, and drama of feathers. However, the crane is indigenous to Eurasia, not the Americas. So I don’t have the same personal experience. I know them only from images and stories.

Barn Owl

2010.5.4.Barn.Owl

I also love owls. They have such personality. Sadly, this is not one of my best owls in this series. But he’s still an attractive fellow. I love that he’s sitting on a bone, too.

Snowy Owl Chick

2010.4.26.Snowy.Owl.Chick

Of the whole year of birds, this is definitely one of my favorites. And it has been hard to choose favorites. But with this bird, I was able to capture such a intensity of expression and texture, that the end result surprised me.  I love to be surprised by art, especially my own,

This is one of the few birds that I probably won’t sell, but will keep.

Bald Eagle head only

2010.3.21.Bald.Eagle.2

 

I drew both bald eagles on the same day, penance for a skipped day.

Like the other one, I tried to choose a source photo that wasn’t a calm, composed bird sitting regally on a branch – nothing like the birds we see topping our flag-poles, or on our money. I wanted a bird with the kind of fire and rage that might have inspired the original bird-as-emblem-pickers to chose this one over the many other gorgeous birds in this nation. He’s coming to get you, so watch yourself!

Bald Eagle in flight

2010.3.21.Bald.Eagle.1

I had been avoiding drawing a bald eagle, because it is THE bird that symbolizes America, and I didn’t want it to look stiff. I wanted to draw a bird that looked like a bird, not an icon. So, when National Geographic did a spread on eagles, I found a few images that were really dramatic and had great movement. I love the upward sweep of the right wing, whip-like.

I did this bird and another bald eagle in the same night.