Friday, April 23, 2010

Picture Perfect Spring Day

It's not often that Picture Perfect Days come along and I'm not noticing them on my way into work. But today was one. I had the day to myself and spent four hours at Morris Arboretum drawing birds as seen through my scope. The only unusual bird today was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and he was gone too quickly to sketch.

But sometimes it can be a pleasure to just really look at, and sketch, very common birds like American Robins, Canada Geese, Mallards, and Tree Swallows. Also shown here are a headless Northern Flicker, a House Finch with a mangled head and an unidentified turtle. With a scope, and birds that sit still for a bit, there's a world to see and portray.

I used pen and ink here, a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen. Sometimes I find that I'm less tentative if I use something permanent like ink. No need to worry about mistakes and erasing. I just have to live with what I put down. It always surprises me how much fun it is to work this way.

I hope to continue a full schedule of field sketching. Hopefully by the peak of migration I'll finally be able to capture some of those splendid migrants, especially the wood warblers, live!


Alan Pulley said...

I agree that the pen & ink sketching is more spontaneous; like you said just live with what I put down. Great sketches!

Ken Januski said...

Thanks Alan,

I keep forgetting just how much fun it is to work with pen and ink. You'd think it would stop you in your tracks and add hesitance to your every move. Instead it's just sort of liberating!