Great Blue Heron

A few years ago I found a great blue heron skeleton revealed under melting snow in a ditch near my house.  I don’t know how it met its end, but the bird was almost completely decomposed and I decided to take the skull. As a specimen, it’s fascinating; as reference for painting, it’s quite useful. The colored pencil study here is life sized, based on the 9-inch skull.

Great Blue Heron GBH_Skull

I’ve also been doing gesture drawings of herons as a precursor to doing a larger painting. Since the ground here in New York is covered in snow and herons are long gone for the winter, I’ve resorted to the next best option: watching and sketching from nest cam videos. These videos offer a rare view of herons courting, mating, and raising their young. Come spring, you can watch them live, but for now check out the links below if you want a glimpse of these majestic birds.

Great Blue Heron- gesture sketches

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Heron Highlights 2012
Behind the Scenes- Nest Cam

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4 thoughts on “Great Blue Heron

  1. Can you see me smiling from here? Just watched the heroncam you included on your post! How awesome. I see some heron sketching in my future, thanks to you!!! Your work is terrific. I so enjoy reading your posts and seeing the great work you do! Definitely going to try my hand at this. We have a heron who lives on Moose Pond and we see him frequently in the summertime when he is fishing and have taken pix of him and drawn him a couple of times. But of course he is never standing still. Love that you can pause the cam to enable drawing ease. Thanks for this post!!! PS We are covered with snow too in Maine.

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