Saturday, May 19, 2012

Challenges and a Nature Journal Page

Above is another pen and ink challenge drawing done from one of the WetCanvas Pen and Ink forum's May photos. I took some liberties with the photo, leaving out a couple of flowers, and simplifying background designs in a couple of areas. This is stipple only work, which is why I didn't have it finished last week. Doesn't look like I will manage four photos this month, not at the rate I am going anyway. Just felt this photo needed this technique. Actually I am quite pleased with how it came out. Oh, for the purists out there I didn't use any pencil for the layout, only for the lines to create the border edges.

I am getting behind with the Every Day in May challenges and only have the one above to show. Part of my problem is the subject of the challenges, I need to get out and either draw plein air or make some photos so I can get caught up.

The subject above is a hot dog bun, New England style, which is what I prefer for my hot dogs. Not quite sure why, I don't think there is any less bread, but I can toast the sides and so heat the bun up, maybe that is the reason.

Above is a Nature Journal spread. This one is from my visit to Daniel Webster on Monday. Top drawing is the tree stump in the pond. Water levels were higher than they have been in weeks, which I wanted to document. I even saw standing water in some of the wooded areas, this is a good thing, we have had a very dry spring so the rain has been needed. There was nothing much to be seen on the pond, didn't see the wood ducks, didn't see the Canada Geese with young. There were Sandpipers feeding but with their coloring they are so hard to make out against the islands and the water. Also they were too far away for me to even try and make photographs. Oh I did see Phoebes and Tree Swallows. A Tree Swallow has a nest in one of the nest boxes next to the South Blind. While at the north blind I did see a frog in the pond and heard many more, so the frogs are awake and active.

The second drawing above shows 2 Cat birds sitting in a tree in one of the Red Maple groves. I think they have just arrived back at the sanctuary since I don't recall seeing them last week.

Above is the photograph I used as reference for my drawing. Catbirds are all over grey with slightly darker caps on their heads. Their call can sound almost like a cats meow, which is slightly funny to hear, and the reason why they are called Catbirds.

Above is a butterfly I was able to photograph on Monday, it is a Common Ringlet. I had to ask the experts at the butterfly web site I visit because I couldn't find it on my own. Not sure what it was after on the grass, maybe moisture or maybe it was just advertising for the opposite sex, whatever it stayed put long enough for me to make several good photos.

My last photograph for today is of some buttercups. For some reason buttercups are extremely tricky to photograph so that you can see details of the flower. I think it is because they are shinny and somewhat reflective. I don't want to think about how many times I have made photos of them only to discover the flower is just a reflective blur in my photos. These were in shade which helps. I love their sunny yellow color, they certainly brighten a green field this time of year.

That is it for today. Tomorrow I attend an Art Festival at the Community College I attended for a couple of years. Should have some photos for my next update. In the meantime comments are always welcome.