Sunday, June 12, 2011

Artist Unleashed

I’ve always been an artist at heart. I don’t spend nearly enough time creating artwork as much as I should or that I’d like, but there’s very much a creative side in me. Taking photographs is one outlet that I have, and it’s usually quick and something I can do while I am birding.

Glossy Ibis

Many experts say that sketching birds in the field is a great way to learn and take notes, but I find that very difficult to do when birds are buzzing past you. Birds that are often still, like duck and the wading birds we often find in South Florida are not as difficult to sit and sketch, and Nick and I have tried it a couple of times. Here are some of my first sketches of a Glossy Ibis and a Blue-Winged Teal. 

Blue-Winged Teal

But recently I decided that I wanted to express my love of birds in more detail and in color. I love to paint, but that’s pretty time-consuming for me. I decided I would have a go at drawing birds with colored pencils. I had some nice, basic art pencils and went for it. My first subject would be a Prairie Warbler. I used my pictures that I’ve taken previously as my models. With my simple pack of 12 colored pencils, I thought I did pretty well considering the Prairie Warbler didn’t have too many colors. 

Prairie Warbler

It felt so nice to finally draw again and in color that I decided to beef up my artillery and get a larger pack of good quality colored pencils. I splurged (but using a 50% off coupon....YES!) and bought a pack of 36 pencils which allowed me to have more variation in colors. 

Cape May Warbler Sketch 1

Cape May Warbler Sketch 2

Next on my list would be a Cape May Warbler. I must say that I think I did a better job with this one. And, I found that I did actually learn more about the bird’s features by drawing it, such as the potbelly and the slightly decurved bill. I am so glad that I have found myself drawing again. I can knock out a drawing of a warbler in about an hour or two, and I get to express my artistic side while learning about birds – it’s a win-win!

Completed Cape May Warbler Drawing


  1. What a beautiful drawing of the Cape May Warbler. You really captured the look of bird in drawing.


  2. It is beautiful! Love love love to everyone celebrating the beauty of nature with their art.
    I know all about that "birds are buzzing past you" I can't do it either. I always thought that all artists could do it except me. But it turns out hardly anyone sits in nature and makes their best work there. Most take it home and redo it all.

  3. So glad to meet fellow bird doesn't matter if you sketch in the field or at home. Either way it is just so enjoyable to be drawing, painting, photographing birds. So nice to meet others who are loving their bird art. :-)


  4. Oh my goodness, Maureen! I had no idea that you were an artist. These are great, and it sounds like so much fun!

  5. These are really great! I wish I could draw/sketch like this!