Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fieldsketching Chats

Yellow-breasted Chat at Higbee Beach. Field Sketch by Ken Januski.

As I've mentioned more than once one of my great ambitions is to be able to portray warblers in the field, from life that is, not from photos. I was thinking I'd title this post 'Chats and Cuckoos' and begin by saying what a dud spring it has been for warblers, both here and in Cape May. But then I realized that, at least for the time being, a Yellow-breasted Chat, IS a warbler.

So I'm happy to say that all the sketches on this page were done from life, with the Yellow-breasted Chat, right in front of me, singing his unique song, where the silences are as important as the notes. It's always a thrill to hear and see them. All of these sketches were done through a scope since the bird was really too far away to sketch from binocular views.

In the sketch above I added watercolor when I got home, back in the studio. The two below were colored in the field, using Caran d'Ache Neocolor II water-soluble crayons and a water brush. I did touch them up a small bit back at home when I returned.

None are great but they do have, at least for me, the excitement of seeing the bird in the wild. And that is what I find necessary in order to do anything more developed, as either a print or a painting. I'm sure that either a print or a watercolor will come from these. I do particularly like the fact that in most instances I've captured each bird as he sang.

Yellow-breasted Chat at Cape May Point State Park. Field Sketch by Ken Januski.

Yellow-breasted Chat at Higbee Dike. Field Sketch by Ken Januski.

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