Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nature Journal Updates and Stuff

Above is a pencil drawing that I worked on one evening when I wasn't reading but didn't want to draw a subject. Shapes are from nature, plants, flowers and a type of fungus that I came across on one of my walks earlier this summer. Some parts of this I like and think work and other parts I don't think work. Not a lot of time or energy in this so I guess I just consider it a study that might or might not go anywhere. 

These next two images are from my nature Journal. I have been walking and writing in the journal but haven't been keeping up with my drawings. I have photos and since it has been my practice to use the photos as reference I have started to go back to the journal and work on the drawings I have missed.

The page above is from a visit to Daniel Webster. Top image is the tree trunk in the panne showing the dropping water level. The bottom is of a morning dove stitting on one of the branches they have arranged around the panne in front of the blinds so birds have a place to perch. I don't usually see Morning Doves at the pond, but I did on this day and thought it would work for one of my illustrations.

The page above documents a visit to Ellisville Harbor State Park over in Plymouth, MA. I picked the oak leaf from a tree that was growing fairly close to the beach. It is from a species of White Oak, but I couldn't narrow it down any further than that. Shape isn't quite the same as the white oak leaf I drew last year, but then that could simply be cause by where on the tree it was growing.

Bottom drawing is of a crab shell that I saw on the beach. I didn't turn the shell over but I am sure it was empty the crab having been dinner for some shore bird, maybe the Osprey, but more likely a seagull.

Ellisville Harbor had a nesting pair of Osprey this summer who raised 2 young. The young birds while fledged were still around the nest during my visit. The 3rd image on this page is of the Osprey nest stand. I didn't even try to draw the birds.

Actually I didn't see the birds until I was back near the fresh water pond, at that point all 4 birds, parents and fledged young were back either on the nest or near it. I gather that the adults were still feeding their young even though they were able to fly and look for their own food. It does take a while for young raptors to learn how to feed themselves.

I still have a bit of a backlog of figure drawings that I have done but not posted. This drawing is from earlier this month. Scott was back from VT. though away on a vacation for this weeks session. The model in the pose was running the session for us. I am not totally thrilled with this one, but then again it isn't too bad either. I do like the shading and the way form is defined by lights and darks more than by a drawn line.

If I could say I was working toward anything particular with my drawings it would be that, the use of shading instead of line to provide the shapes. Not always possible, as the foot is drawn with line but the upper back is all shading.

Not the best photo, the birds which are Snowy Egrets were a bit too far away from me. Still it was a thrill to see three of them in the same estuary. My arrival is what caused them to take flight. Snowy Egrets are beginning to make a comeback here in MA. but it is not a bird I see all that often. Later I saw 2 Great Blue Herons in the same Estuary just in different locations. The location for the photograph was Ellisville Harbor, and the beach is just beyond the line of dark green you see in the photo.

One last image, I was photographing butterflies this weekend (see flickr site for those photos) and saw this brown grasshopper sitting on a black eyed susan. I just had to take its photo and I think it turned out really well. Insects are such strange creatures, this one with its brown eye doesn't even look alive to me, though of course it was.

That is it for today. Per usual comments are always welcome.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mid August Update

Muggy has been the operative word here in MA this summer. While we haven't experienced the high heat and drought of the mid-west it has been muggy, and warm enough to make it uncomfortable. Since it is now mid August I am sure some cooler weather will be arriving soon enough, I am looking forward to it.

I still haven't been doing a lot of drawing. The mallard duck above is one exception. I call it Duck with Attitude. Actually it was a duck looking for more duck food, but hey, I don't think I need to explain that too much more.

I am not sure if it is male or female, the males in non-breeding plumage look a lot like the females, the color of the bill is supposed to be the indicator but since color can vary it can sometimes be hard to tell. The photograph this is based on was made at the Trailside Nature Center in the Blue Hills Reservation. The ducks are used to being fed so will get quite close. For this photograph I was sitting on the ground.

Thought you might like to see the original photograph.

The only other drawing I have been consistently doing has been my Monday night figure drawing sessions. I am a bit behind posting them so I will post 2 this week in an effort to catch up.

Not much to say about these. The artist whose studio we use has returned so I expect the poses will go back to being more lounging with no backs. What can I say, the sessions have been run by one of the female models while he has been away, and woman aren't as fixated on fronts as men are.

I need to get back to drawing more during the week, both for the blog and for myself, as I am not totally pleased with how the Monday night figure drawings have been coming out.

Though I haven't been drawing I have been busy visiting various nature centers and making lots of photographs. Several of the best butterfly photos I have posted to my flickr account, if you care to look.

Above is a bumble bee on some blooming catnip. Photo was made at Daniel Webster where I have been observing lots of birds this summer, Hummingbirds, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, various Hawks and the Ospreys. It  has been a good summer for birds observation even if it hasn't been all that good for bird photography, the birds tend to be too far away from me.

One last photo for today, this one was made at Oak Knoll in Attleboro, MA. A skipper on some black eyed susans. The color of the skipper butterfly blends with the yellow/orange of the flowers. I just liked the colors, though I probably have some more spectacular butterfly images over on the flickr site. I have been lucky enough to see and photograph some mating butterflies this year, some American Coppers and also more Monarchs, it has been a good year so far for butterflies.

That is it for today.  Per usual comments are always welcome.