Draw a bird day – third bird

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It’s a Bearded Reedling! These long-tailed birds live in temperate Europe and Asia. I’ve never seen one in real life. The photograph I used for this drawing is from Matthias at Wild Life, who spotted this bird on the coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Germany. This species is sexually dimorphic. Males have “beards” and females don’t. As their name implies, these birds like to hang out on wetland reeds.

Unofficially, “Draw a Bird Day” is the 8th of every month (officially it is April 8th). My drawing is a touch late. M.R. Emberson at A-Wing and A-Way wrote a post about the official day and Laura at Create Art Everyday got a bunch of people excited about drawing birds once a year or once a a month.

The bird is a little too yellow. I have a little trouble leaving white space so I penciled the white space with a touch of yellow. I need to either learn to accept white space or get a white colour pencil. Shrug.

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26 Comments

  1. wow – what an honour!!! great! I love it… I would really love to be able to draw like that!!

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    1. Thanks! I’m so glad you like it :-). It was fun drawing a little bird I didn’t know and your photograph was a beautiful image to work from. Thanks for sharing many different pictures of the birds; it is interesting to see the males and females from different angles.

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  2. Seriously, this looks amazing! I love your shadows, too. You’re a drawing whiz! If you really enjoy it, I’m glad you’ll be drawing more. It’s a wonderful way to slow down and enjoy the day. This is terrific!

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    1. Thanks Laura :-)! You’re much too kind. I used a grid again to draw this bird since I was too afraid to see what proportions my hand-eye coordination would come up with. One of these days I’ll try to play outside the grid.

      Drawing definitely takes some patience and observation. I spent 2 hours with my two dimensional little bird zooming in and out in my mind from the overall shape to the little details. I definitely got to know him a little better. I also got to know my new colour pencils, a Staedtler 12 pack. They are triangular!

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      1. I really like it! You used to draw in a past life, right? You seem to have lots of natural talent; I bet you’d do just fine without the grid. I’d like to see what happens if you set a five-minute time limit and just see how fast you can get the bird down. I bet something pleasing bubbles up. Or chirps out. lol.

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        1. Oh my, a five minute drawing. That sounds wiiiild. I’ll see if I can shake up my anal retentive nature a bit. I do enjoy the fun and spontaneous quality of your sketches. I’ll give chirping sketches a go :-D!

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  3. I love it! You handle colored pencils very well. I can’t wait to see what you do for the next bird day!

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    1. Thanks Teresa :-)! I don’t know about very well but I think I did ok. I’m definitely keen to try again!

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      1. I was at an illustrators workshop over the weekend and we were talking about how hard it is to blend colored pencils to make sure it looks nice and even, so I do think you did very well!

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        1. Oh. Thanks! I assumed illustrators had special tricks and skills for easy colour pencil blending.

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          1. Have you looked at some of Gary Greene’s books? He has good tips and techniques you can try, but, really, I think you’re doing a really great job as is! Never hurts to learn a few tricks though. πŸ™‚

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            1. I’ve just been dabbling in bird drawing once a month and haven’t spent any time exploring drawing books. But I think it would be fun to look at some books some time in the future. Thanks for the recommendation :-).

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            2. Craftsy.com also has a colored pencil class that looks good. πŸ™‚ I might buy it myself.

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            3. I think I’ll start with a book. I like the time away from my computer screen.

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            4. I don’t blame ya! I vacillate. I like to watch someone demonstrate techniques on video, but I also want to stare at my computer less. It’s a dilemma.

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  4. Gorgeous illustration! I agree with Laura; you’ve got lots of talent and should consider trying to draw without the grid.

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    1. Thanks :-). Maybe I will do more gridless sketches. My first bird was gridless. I had to sketch him a few times. Sometimes it is fun to get a feel for the subject without aiming for exact photographic proportions.

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      1. I really like the drawings! Experimenting can be fun. Of course, the photographs you take of the birds are very good, too!

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        1. Thanks for appreciating my photographs and drawings :-). I’m having fun dabbling in both.

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  5. your art is awesome! You can see Bearded Reedlings at the Bloedel Floral Conservatory now. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you :-). Your bird photography is stunning! I’ve never been to the Bloedel Conservatory. Maybe I will check it out soon.

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      1. do! there are over 200 free-flying birds (many finches, linnies, and parrots, in there now. πŸ™‚

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  6. Beautiful work!

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    1. Thanks Pat :-). I actually saw one in real life on Saturday in a beautiful though not quite natural place (the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver).

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  7. […] one male and one female at the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver, British Columbia. When I drew a male Bearded Reedling last June, photographed by Matthias at Wild Life, Hui at W.H. Sim Photography commented that she had seen […]

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