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Sewing Repub

Those Tanagers

16 Sep 2009

It is no surprise that I am a bird geek. I love 'em. Birder's World magazine is my drug of choice. I get a new issue and closet myself in quietude until I have turned every page and looked for the best bird photo, checked out my must-read articles and sneaked a peek at birding tour advertisements.

Drawing from photographs is so much easier than from life when it comes to birds. They have a way of flitting and moving about that is not conducive to getting them on the page! This drawing was inspired by a photo taken by Glenn Bartley.

So anyway, my latest issue is here and I have been pouring over it. It turns out Tanagers have been reclassified and now reside in the Cardinal family. This Tanager is a Western Tanager and I am lucky enough to have seen this bird in person back in Flagstaff. Well, maybe not this exact bird. 
((I hope the above link works; it may be that you need a subscription to the site, I hope not--It would be fun if you could do a side by side comparison to the photo-to see where I have deviated from the original))

My scanner is too narrow to show the entire piece in a single image, I gradated the background and the bird is perched in the middle right of the page. I didn't get the eyes quite right, mine are rounder than the photo and I could stand to make my darks darker. But I love the spirit of what I was able to catch in the painting. I used transparent watercolor on the ground and the bird and opaque watercolor on the branch.

If any of you have read my most recent journaling article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors, you might want to know that I used paper frisket to first resist out the bird, and paint the background. I then removed the Frisket and painted the bird.

I may continue to work this page... I sorta think line drawings from the botanical garden would compliment the bird quite nicely. Time to pen shop... I need new pens (devil grin).


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