The Inside Scoop

Monitoring birdhouses gives you a rare glimpse into the often hidden world of nesting birds. It allows an up-close look at nest materials, delicate eggs, and birds at work.  I have just two boxes on my property; bluebirds occupy one and tree swallows have taken up the other. In the week ahead, the bluebird eggs will hatch and, hopefully, the swallows will begin laying eggs; and I will have a chance to watch it all unfold.nestbox2019

Tips and Techniques– I experimented this week with using watercolor loaded into a dip pen to write the text. Watercolor doesn’t perform as well as ink, but it certainly works, and it opens up a whole host of color options. If you want to try it, use a brush to create a pool of the color you want and then brush the watercolor onto the nib. You’ll have to reload frequently. Try starting with one color and then altering it with another to create color variation in the letters.

Find information on Nest Box Monitoring at NestWatch.

16 Comments on “The Inside Scoop

  1. Beautiful, as usual. I can see the points where you had to reload the pen. But you’re right: the color opportunities are worth it. And thank you very much for the link to Nest Watch.

  2. no matter what the day is like, your posts are so lovely…like love medicine…I think of you daily while my adorable wren tail up, wonderful song, flies around with something in the beak.. nest building?.. cant find it… so appreciative of your drawings…

    • Sounds like nest building to me! See if you can follow where it goes. House wrens use tree cavities or nest boxes and Carolina wrens will often hide their nests in hanging flower baskets. Thanks for your kind words!

    • Oh, you definitely should get one and try it out. They are not expensive and there is so much you can do with them. I like the Speedball Signature Calligraphy set with the gold nib. That nib is smooth and holds a lot of ink. Manuscript Leonardt also makes sets with multiple nibs. I like the variety, but some of them are a bit fussy. Poke around and see what your local art store has. A holder and nib will not break the bank.

    • Yes, experimenting is good– except when it’s not. And then I retreat to my comfort zone until I’m ready to stretch out again. I liked the way the watercolors performed in the dip pen, but I would like a finer line for the smaller text and need to try a different nib to see if I can get it without the paint splotching.

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