Draw a Bird Day – Going Eraser-less!

Happy day after Draw a Bird Day!

Flocks and flocks of Bohemian Waxwings visited Edmonton this winter and I took many, many photos of them feasting on berries and flying in and out of trees and bushes. A few photos turned out well, with interesting poses and enough detail to be drawing-worthy. I was super excited to do some quick, fun sketches, but I soon realized this wasn’t going to happen since each line I drew was being erased and redrawn at least once. And I was getting frustrated. Maybe my sketching would flow better if I stopped erasing. One line, one chance. What would that look like?

I grabbed a non-erasable pen and a little stack of printer paper and started drawing some heads. Not bad! That fun feeling started to take over and I grabbed some markers to make the bold and colourful face patterns happen. After a few faces, I was ready to ink a whole waxwing!

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20 Comments

  1. Great captures, Myr. I loved to watch Bohemian Waxwings when we lived in Anchorage. They are rare in Colorado, but luckily, we get Cedar Waxwings here. All waxwings are velvety wonders.

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    1. Like you we in Calif. only get the Cedar which is pretty great, but I would love to see both. 🙂

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    2. Thanks, Tanja! 🙂 That’s cool that you got to see Bohemian Waxwings in Anchorage! I guess you saw them in the summer? I see Cedar Waxwings here in the summer but never in huge flocks like the Bohemians. Sorry for taking a super long time to respond.

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      1. Nice to hear back from you, Myriam. We lived in Anchorage so many years ago, I had to think about this for a moment. I actually think that we saw them in winter, believe that some of them stayed there year-round. Flocks descended on trees bearing dried berries, to gorge themselves, and they were not quiet. Quite the lovely spectacle. 😊

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  2. Wonderful sketches Myriam.

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    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment, Sharon! 🙂

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  3. Wow, wow, wow!!! I can’t draw this well without much agony, erasing, tearing up, and starting over a thousand times, so gave up and asked for a light table for Christmas. He-Man gave me one, and I used it to trace out my scene or subject a couple of time and LOVE it! What a time saver! Now I can do what I love most make images with my camera and transfer the ones I want to easily to watercolor paper and paint to my hearts delight.

    I was so terrified the first time my first sketching/drawing teacher had us draw without lifting the PEN! A PEN!! Not a pencil a PEN! Doug Wright. The BEST art teacher I ever had. He’s in Heaven now painting with the Masters I’m sure. He’s missed here I can tell you.

    I need to get my studio together so I can paint again. I’ve been dreading the work that will take and putting it off. My paints and brushes keep calling me though. One day soon I will heed that call and be a mad woman getting my new studio/work room space together. Right now it’s only set up for still life photography. My heart really lies there. Truth. 🙂
    You’re always be the better artist because you stuck with it, and got it right trying, and trying without an eraser! I confess I’m a wee bit envious, but do admire your skill and am cheering you on for the wonderful outcome!
    I think they’re print worthy. I do like printed studies so I’m a bit bias. 🙂

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    1. Hi Deborah :-). Sorry for taking a super, super long time to response. I went into a bit of a hermit-mode. Thanks for your enthusiasm about the drawings. Sometimes putting marks on a blank page feels really scary. I try to convince myself not to worry about the outcome and to do it for the fun and adventure.

      Your light table sounds like a great idea. I sometimes use a window to trace if I want to reproduce something exactly. It is faster than using a grid or measuring proportions with a ruler.

      Will you be painting again soon? I miss your bird paintings. It sounds like you have a lot of other cool things going on. Congratulations on your coming 2nd grandchild!!! And your mustang photography trips sound amazing!!!

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  4. A bold move, and wonderful results!

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Melissa! 🙂 Sorry for disappearing for months… my blog was making me feel anxious, among other things. I did read “Big Magic” a while back. Thanks for the recommendation. I appreciated Elizabeth Gilbert’s humorous descriptions of her approaches to creativity, and the interesting mix of practicality and magical thinking.

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      1. You’re welcome. It is good to see you back. I understand about the blog making you anxious. I often think of quitting, although I would genuinely miss the people I encounter here.

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        1. I’m so glad you are still blogging. It is always uplifting to see your posts. There are some sweet and beautiful blogs and people on WordPress. 🙂

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          1. Thanks Myriam! There are indeed, and you are one of them.

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  5. Just beautiful, Myr! Even though I don’t get around to reading blogs much these days, it’s always a joy to see your art and how you’ve continued to hone your skills when I do get to pop over and look. Hope you are keeping well, my friend!

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    1. Hi Teresa :-). Thanks for your friendly words <3. Sorry for taking for-ever to respond. I'm so excited that you will be writing a children's book!!! Congratulations!

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  6. Hi. I got your 1-2-3- test blog in my email because I subscribe. But the link went to “Page not found.” Even though at the top it had your usual page links (About, birds, photography, etc).
    Just wanted you to know.

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    1. Hi Marian. Sorry for taking so long to respond. And sorry you got an e-mail for a post that only existed briefly (I was testing something for a friend who had an issue with her wordpress site). I appreciate your kind gesture in letting me know about my “wonky blog post”. 🙂

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  7. Great to hear of your artistic process, Myriam, and I enjoyed seeing your sketches unfold. Waxwings are such a joy to watch, one of our most beautiful North American songbirds.

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    1. Thanks for your friendly comment, Jet :-). I enjoyed your post on hawk migration and was happy to read that you and Athena are going back home!

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