|Sketch of a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) skull from the Geier Collections |
and Research Center (the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History)
|...the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) skull I sketched. |
I loved seeing all the bird skeletons, bones, and skulls.
|An American Coot (Fulica americana) skull from the Geier Collections and Research Center|
|I chose this mounted Pipit as my first bird to sketch...and what a sweetie! I drew him quickly, pretending I was sketching the bird in the wild (a very cooperative bird who sat very close...).|
|Matty sketched a Baltimore Oriole. He took his time and did a great job! |
(He's an artist, he just doesn't know it yet!)
|Cute little Pipit!|
Sketching mounted birds is a great way to practice drawing birds from "life." Translating a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional image on paper takes a little practice.
|Lots of racks of mounted specimens...|
|...lots of drawers of bird skins. The collection is amazing with between 20-30,000 bird specimens.|
|The ornithology collection has new and old specimens dating back to the mid 1880s.|
|A Wooly Mammoth family grazes in the front lawn of the Geier Collections and Research Center. I remember these gargantuan bonded bronze sculptures when they stood in front of the Eden Park/Mt. Adam's location of the Natural History Museum. As a kid I loved seeing them because they set the stage for what was to come! I was glad to see them again. |
(The artist who created these beautiful sculptures is Norman Neal Deaton, click here for info on him.)
Sketching in the field...museum!
If you love to paint and draw birds, head to your local natural history museum and take advantage of the wonderful collections available to you. Being able to hold these specimens and view them up close gives you a greater understanding of a bird's structure. You can count the primaries and secondaries on the wing...see the underwing coverts...see all the bones and joints in the toes...study the unique S curve in a bird's neck or the bone structure in the wing and legs, or anything else you can think of. The knowledge you take home will help you draw birds better, and your appreciation of their amazing adaptations and abilities will grow.
If you're in Cincinnati, the Geier Collections and Research Center is located at 760 West Fifth Street.
Click here to read more about it.
Sketching on the boardwalk!
Another way to get up close with an extraordinary variety and number of birds is to visit the boardwalk at Magee Marsh (near Toledo, OH) in May where you can witness the amazing phenomena of spring migration. The trees along the boardwalk literally drip with neotropical migrants as they rest and fuel up for the last leg of their journey across Lake Erie to their nesting grounds up north. Head up to the Biggest Week in American Birding, May 6 - 15 where you can walk the boardwalk and meet lots of other birders too.
Click here for the Biggest Week in American Birding workshop information.
Click here for festival registration information.