I’ve only done this once I think, where I made a black background to help make the white head of the eagle stand out…
Recently I saw this person’s drawings that are done with white “ink” on black paper. I found it to be different and really liked their drawings. 😉
Here are a couple of drawings from yesterday and one from today.
Yesterday was 2 takes on the same source image Cooper’s hawk.
I like the first one better. The closely placed eyes are true to the little bird’s place in the raptor pecking order…
The second one didn’t quite work out line weight and “feel”-wise.
This one I like, it’s pretty dark and matches the coloring of the source image well.
Both source images were taken in Cape May during the fall migration.
I’ve started a slightly new way (to me) of learning to draw a new bird. I’m doing small versions right next to each other. This makes it easier to iterate and compare each version. It also means I can draw each one quicker because they’re smaller 😉.
Here’s the source image.
These are the two side by side versions, the one on the right is my second try.
Trying to figure out the size and placement of features.
And then getting it better. I think I really improved. There so much feather and hair detail around the eye and beak that’s easy to miss or overlook.
One thing I want to get better at is capturing the essence in fewer lines/strokes.
Another take on a head on eagle portrait.
This angle was hard but it’s begun to get easier with repetition.
Here’s another take on an eagle, with the eyes more proportional and further apart.
The other drawings had more of a hawk look, with the eyes closer.
And here’s another one, this one I actually drew with a tilt in the image itself. The above was just photographed with the tilt. I think the below wound up less symmetrical as a result.
When I do these I tend to start with the left eye, ie the right side of the drawing, and then when I try to draw the right eye (left side of the drawing) I’m covering up what I already drew with my hand! It’s weird, I don’t know why I do it that way. I’m going to try the other way. What I do however is make a faint sketch to outline the placement of eyes and beak, but even so it has some out a little off…
Reddish Egret at Fort De Soto, Florida.
These birds are my favorites – they hunt in an animated way, and have such beautiful feathers. I especially like their head features, and the way they fan out.
I’ve seen these guys on the east coast at Merritt Island NWR. All the other ones I’ve seen are on the gulf side, at places including Ft Myers Beach, Fort De Soto, Tiger Tail Beach, Fred Howard Park and Ding Darling NWR. At Ding Darling I saw a white morph reddish. And once I saw a juvenile reddish egret at Merritt Island.
Since they’re so rare (~400 pairs in Florida per this) it seems special to get to see one.
The reddish egret (Egretta rufescens) is North America’s rarest heron with maybe 400 nesting pairs left in Florida. The estimated global population believed to be fewer than 7,000, with 2,000 pairs in the United States. (credit tbo.com)
Visiting Cape May is always fun. In the Fall the birds migrate through by the thousands.
The flock of Black Skimmers are along the beach near the Arcade or west of there often.
A storm passing at sunset made for a dramatic image.
This tiny little turtle was crossing the path at The Nature Conservancy’s Meadows – I was struck buy his tiny form, and potential big future ahead – if he could survive the challenges and overcome all the obstacles.
Another creature with challenges ahead was this young Osprey. It was hunting for and catching small fish in the patch of ocean behind the meadows / east of the State Park.
This image was pleasing to me – it shows the power of the ocean, the unity of the skimmer flock, their joint fate.
The hawk banding demos are good times to see the birds up close and some times get a good image. This was taken on a Saturday at 11:30am at The Meadows where they do a demo / talk. There are also demos at the State Park next to the hawk watch platform, on Saturday and Sunday at 10am (roughly September and October).
See more image in my Flickr set – Cape May NJ.