Friday, November 4, 2011

Squirrels and other Animals


I don't usually post images elsewhere prior to posting them here on the blog, once I have done that I will then post the image around the various groups I am a member of (WetCanvas or Flickr). I made an exception with the above squirrel drawing. It was supposed to be the lead in drawing for last Tuesday's post, but I hadn't gotten around to drawing it yet. Oops, so Tuesday night I finally sat myself down and just drew it in one of my sketchbooks. Since I rather liked it I didn't want to wait to show it off, so my apologies if you have seen this image elsewhere.

The image is from a photo I made on my porch sometime this spring/summer. I do so much line work when I am using pen and ink that I wanted with this pencil drawing to keep lines to a minimum using only tone and shading to suggest them. So I used lots of short pencil strokes and layers to do the body and esp. the tail. I think I did a fairly good job, at least to me the tail actually looks fluffy, and there isn't a solid line between the tail and its back just different values to show they aren't attached. I did use lines around the ears. The far ear esp. was almost the same tone as the wooden boards and I didn't want it to get lost in the image.

I want my drawings to be realistic but not the hyper photo realistic that some artists go for. It can be a fine line, and I hope I am learning how to accomplish that.

Below are a couple more Nature Journal pages.


I am trying to get out and about while we still have fairly good weather. This past weekend has reminded us that winter is coming quickly. A time when it will be more difficult to get out and also when there is less to see in the natural world. Insects are dead or hibernating and so are many animals. Trees won't have leaves and there won't be any blooming flowers. I am already wondering what I will find for my subjects, but I will take it as it comes. Have a feeling I am going to start drawing even more birds and trees and maybe even just bark.

The pages above are from my visit to Blue Hills Reservation last Sunday afternoon after our snow storm. The Blue Hill area didn't receive much snow and most of it had melted by the time I arrived. Though I did make some pictures with snow in them. The above drawings are of two birds at one of the bird feeders, I am taking some license here usually only one bird is at the feeder at a time, though this scene would be possible. The birds are a chickadee (front hole) and a titmouse (rear hole) This particular type of feeder has no perches so the birds actually grab hold of the feeder holes. Means they don't stay very long and only small birds can use the feeders.

The bottom drawing is of a doe. The Trailside Museum has two does on exhibit. This week they were up and about so I made a few photos, this drawing is from one of them. I am leaving out the chain link fence of their enclosure, but otherwise hopefully have managed a fairly good drawing of the doe.

I can remember when the Museum used to have one stag to go with the does and they would have at least one fawn in the spring for the visitors to ooh and ah over. Such breeding is no longer considered acceptable practice so these does live a solitary existence.

The pages below are from my Monday visit to Daniel Webster.


I arrived fairly early at the sanctuary Monday (well early for me) and spent some time on the far side of the bird feeder area making photographs. Usually that area is over grown with grasses but because of Farm day a week or so ago it is still mowed fairly short. I still wasn't quite close enough for me to make good photos of the birds with my camera but I did capture the squirrel in the bottom drawing sitting on the fence post and surveying the feeder area. I made it look fat, but then I think it was, the squirrels are quick to collect seeds the birds drop, and one or two of them have figured out how to gain access to the feeders despite squirrel guards.

The top drawing is of the tree stump in the Pond. The water level Monday was the highest I have seen. The stump has actually changed its position so the level may have been even higher over the weekend. I keep drawing this stump because it is a good indicator of just how high or low the water level is. This week there were no turtles sunning themselves on this stump, though I did see three at the other end of the pond when I visited that blind. Usually this is a favorite spot for them, I have seen as many as six turtles at one time sunning themselves.

The middle drawing is of a section of a Green Brier vine. Most of the leaves had gone except for the single small one out at the tip. This particular bit of vine also had a small cluster of black berries still remaining. Winter food for some bird or animal I am sure.

Below are a couple of photographs from my visits.


The above flower was still blooming in the wild flower garden at Trailside. The white in the background is snow.


Not sure of the name of this river that runs through Daniel Webster, it creates an Ox bow on the land and the Sanctuary has a couple of bridges so a visitor can cross the river and walk through a stand of mostly red maples. This photo was made from one of the bridges. Not much color left here, the trees are almost bare, ready for winter and the next snow storm.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.