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Sparrow

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I haven’t felt much like sketching or painting until the past few days. We discovered a new park, and I snapped a photo of what I think is an American Tree Sparrow. My photo was a little blurry, but I had enough detail to finish this drawing.

This is in colored pencil—Pablo and Derwent drawing—on a background of Neocolor II. I used Pastelmat in a yellow orange color.

Kingfisher from The Virtual Instructor

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I followed along to a tutorial by the virtual instructor, Matt Fussell, to draw this Kingfisher in colored pencil. I think it was the first time I totally focused on creating a finished-looking colored pencil portrait, and I’m really pleased with it.

As always, I struggle with perspective. My bird has a few issues, but I won’t dwell.

I used Strathmore 500 Bristol and a variety of colored pencils, mostly Caran d’ache and Derwent. He used Prismacolor, and the few I have are nearly gone. The course is called Three Little Birds, and there’s also a Bluejay and a hummingbird.

Claybord Ponies

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Like the bunnies I drew last week, I spent all my art time this week working on another Ampersand Claybord. This time, ponies!

I’m fascinated with Claybord and how both the Golden High Flow Acrylics and the Derwent Drawing Pencils work on the surface. What seems far too vivid and strong with the acrylic paint at first, mellows into a rich and earthy palette once I add the Derwent pencils. Adding the scratching gives it an old-fashioned look, something I didn’t even know I wanted.

I start with a rough sketch on paper, sample it again on mineral paper and add in some scratching to see how it works, create a background in the Claybord panel (6″x6″) with acrylics, and then lightly draw in the subject, swapping back and forth between pencils and scratching until it feels done. I didn’t plan any background with this one but let it develop from the colors, lights and darks. I had no idea these two little ones would be in a meadow when I started out.

Curious Squirrel

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This cutie was studying my neighbors when I snapped its picture. I used a second reference photo of a field of weeds for the background.

Golden High Flow Acrylics can be used much like watercolor, so there’s a comfortable familiarity for me. They’re great for glazing. I love the glow that appears when a layer of Nickel Azo Gold is brushed over pretty much any other color. I’m struggling with detail, though. I either overdo it with a bold color or wash everything out with too much white. For this one, I ended up using some colored pencil for the finer lines.

I used a watercolor canvas board for this tiny 5″x7″ painting. Next, I’ll try these acrylics on paper.