Good Find 2

Surrounded by greenery even in January, what a treat to find this nest, perfectly sheltered in the crotch of a young white pine. A small grove of new trees has grown up in the unkempt neighboring field—a good find for birds looking for hidden places to raise their young. I like to think of new life hatching last summer when the field was golden and the sun was warmer than it is today.

Tips and Techniques– Try sketching while standing up. I drew this nest in pen while standing in the field and painted it later at home. Standing encourages the use of your entire arm, rather than just the hand and wrist, which helps to keep your sketches loose. Sketching in the cold also encourages you to work quickly and not fuss too much.

17 Comments on “Good Find 2

  1. So lovely and fresh. I like the lay out of the calligraphy with the sketch/painting.

  2. Lovely sketch Jean. And thank you for the tips, I might try this. I like sketching when I’m out and about and could paint them later when I get home…

  3. I’ve never sketched when it’s cold. But your tips make sense. Now can I brave it? Beautiful sketch! I have a weakness for birds nest. I have a collection scattered about my home in different displays. Maybe I’ll sketch one of them.

  4. It IS such fun to find nests in the off season, and it leads one to imagine and wonder. I like the way you handled the pine needles, just quick whisks of green going this way and that. Standing in the field, in the cold, sketching with a pen. 🙂 Nice! Your advice to keep the whole arm moving reminded me of trying to photograph palm fronds on a windy day. Frustrated, I just gave up and moved the camera, then my whole body, kind of echoing the wind’s movement. I ended up with a few really cool images. It never quite worked again, but you never know, do you?

  5. Inspiring as always. I’ve never tried standing & sketching. I’ll have to give it a go. Did you take a picture of the nest, or make any color notes, or just “wing” it at home, or what? (Pun intended.)

    • I did take a photo of the nest, especially because I wanted a reference for the strong shadows. Sometimes I do “wing it”– which can free me up with color, rather than feel I have to be true to the source color. Do try standing and drawing sometime!

    • I do see birds occasionally reuse a nest– much depends on what shape the nest is in and whether they were successful in that spot the previous year, and whether adults survived the winter or migration.

  6. When you sketch in nature, do you also take a photo to take home to review?

    Gwen Gordon – email: – call:  530-272-4841 – text:  530-913-9161

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