Bird Feet

Bird foot studies in pencil by Serena Fenton
Bird foot studies in pencil

Another from my class series in obsessive bird drawing.  This time – how to draw bird feet.  Learned many things:

  • The number of toes per foot are not constant from species to species
  • The scales on the feet, particularly those of raptors, help to hold the prey
  • There skin on the bottom and the top of the feet is markedly different
  • The toe that goes out in back can work similarly to a thumb to provide an opposable grasp

Having access to the stuffed birds is fantastic.  They are a loan from the NC Museum of Sciences.  The best reference though come from John Muir Laws in his many tutorials in drawing birds

New Found Humility

For the past few weeks, I have been taking a bird drawing class at our local botanical Gardens.  I have never taken a botanical class before.  Back when I got my degree in art ed, the focus was on abstract.  Being figurative was regarded as a sure sign of  repressed creativity.  I recall one painting professor who would hold all night painting sessions so that we could learn to ‘paint loose’.  His true preferred painting technique was to throw paint at the canvas.

It has been a huge surprise to find myself in a drawing course where the focus is on being really, really really tight.  Last week we focused on wings and feet.  Below is one of my wings.  We were encouraged to count and number the feather so that we got each one correct and in the right place.  All that I can say is that there are a boatload of feathers just on one wing!

Teal wing, pencil on paper by Serena Fenton
Teal wing, pencil on paper

Lula and Her Stuffie

InkTober – Day 6 is my dog and her favorite stuffed animal.  Since it has rained for ten days now, we have been playing lots of toss the stuffie.

Lula and Her Stuffie - ink drawing by Serena Fenton
Lula and Her Stuffie – ink drawing

Just a short tête-à-tête between bear and bunny.   I think bear might be a distant cousin to the Grayson Highlands bear from last week.

tete-a-tete - pencil sketch by Serena Fenton
tete-a-tete – pencil sketch

Bear in There

This little guy showed up, right when I should have been paying attention to other things – and refused to leave until the drawing was done.

Bear - pencil sketch by Serena Fenton
Bear – pencil sketch

Grayson Highlands Bears

Backpacking in Grayson Highlands we encountered the wild ponies and a family of bears. I couldn’t get photos of the bears, but here is my recollection of their portrait wall.

Grayson Highlands Bears - pencil sketch by Serena Fenton
Grayson Highlands Bears – pencil sketch

Shopping Time

It’s two weeks until Inktober. I’ve got to start thinking in monochrome again! From my sketchbook:

Sketchbook page - pencil by Serena Fenton
Sketchbook page – pencil

 

Character Study

Consistency is paramount for illustrators, so so I keep reading.  So I am working on an all-round understanding of my characters: front, side and back.  Character 1 (Rowena?)

Character study in pencil by Serena Fenton
  Character study in pencil
Character Study - pencil sketch by Serena Fenton
Character Study – pencil sketch by Serena Fenton