Posted by: bluelanternstudio | May 30, 2010

drawing birds

On Friday I had the great pleasure to sit in the lab at the Beaty Museum while three, sometimes four, students and volunteers were preparing bird specimens (which, not to put too fine a point on it, consisted of gutting, washing, and stuffing the birds back into form). I say pleasure because the conversation ranged from interesting encounters with wildlife to mini tutorials on how to get the eyeballs jiggled into the right spot. Not too many places these days where you can sit back and absorb those kinds of tips, all the while drawing some of the earth’s most beautiful creatures.

I only had a few hours, so  choosing what to draw was a process of elimination. Given my interest in animals local to the west coast of Canada, I chose a Cinnamon Teal and then an owl. I discovered too late that the owl I fell for had seen better times. I thought it was cleverly mounted to be looking down and to the side as though it was tracking the movements of a mouse. In fact, its head was hanging almost completely detached from its body.  So if the angles don’t quite look right in the drawing, that’s why!

Here is the Cinnamon Teal:

And here’s the poor owl:

For those of you who’ve been following my drawings, you’ll notice the colour of these two. I’ve been watching You Tube videos of artists drawing in their sketchbooks and have been inspired by many artists’ use of watercolours. So I dug out a little travelling watercolour set that I bought cheap years ago to make a thank you card for some friends while on the road, and decided to try my hand at drawing straight with ink and colour (no pencil sketches). Took some warm ups, but I like the immediacy of the finished drawings. More to come!

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