After my rather poor observation of the birds in my telephone wire sketch, I decide to have a good look at some real ones. I sat looking out on the garden, and tried to get down the outlines of what I saw very quickly in pencil. I was probably sketching for about 15 minutes, and in that time I had plenty of views of blackbirds and starlings, some collared doves and wood-pigeons, and even a kestrel and a swan. I don’t know where all the smallest birds were, but it wasn’t a bad haul for a few minutes’ investment.
The hardest thing doing the initial pencil sketches was to capture the whole of the bird in flight; I kept getting distracted by wing shapes and forgetting to check out just how the head and tail looked at the same moment. I had to fight a strong temptation to go to the Internet to find static photos of birds in flight.
Once I had a good number of outlines I used my blue/black ink with two small brushes (one clean, one for ink) to drop some ink into wet bird-shapes. I’m very taken with this process, it’s incredibly interesting to see what will emerge. I think I’m getting a little more skilled at guessing what might happen, but I can never be sure!
The end result is a page of various ‘birdlike’ shapes; it’s been an entertaining and useful exercise.