Saturday, June 30, 2012

Painting and drawing Bay-breasted Warblers at Magee Marsh...

I always look forward to seeing Bay-breasted Warblers as they migrate through our area in May. Their beautiful chestnut-colored flanks and black mask are striking, and they are not quite as hyper as other warblers as they move through the branches gleaning insects, so I usually get wonderful views of them. Problem is they are few and far between around my house, so when I headed up to Magee Marsh this May for The Biggest Week in American Birding warbler festival, I had my fingers crossed that a few would head my way...

A Bay-breasted Warbler (Dendroica castenea) perched in a tree just above me along the boardwalk at Magee Marsh. 

...field sketches of the Bay-breasted Warblers I saw while at Magee Marsh in Toledo, Ohio.

...more field sketches of Bay-breasted Warblers from the boardwalk.

Last Sunday I went back through my sketchbook looking for a few sketches to paint. I liked a few of the Bay-breasted Warbler drawings, so I grabbed my watercolors and headed outside on the deck. Matty had mentioned earlier that he liked the two sketches of the bird looking up, so I made sure I painted them. It was gorgeous outside--warm but not too hot (not like today and yesterday's 101 degrees F), and two Cedar Waxwings were overhead in the mulberry trees trilling and buzzing and chirruping in their special way. Listening to the birds while painting was nice. I even heard a Bobwhite (which is incredibly rare for our neighborhood. I haven't heard one since 1992!! 1992!!! The Bobwhite called out his name six separate times before moving on. I even called Rick out to listen. It was so awesome to hear the Bobwhite's call. Growing up, I heard it all the time.). In all, I did three quick watercolors of a Bay-breasted Warbler...

Painting 229. Bay-breasted Warbler above me...
(watercolor, hot-pressed paper -- this is Matty's favorite painting)

Painting 228. Bay-breasted Warbler watercolor sketch...
(watercolor, cold-pressed paper)

Painting 227. Bay-breasted Warbler, side view...
(watercolor, cold-pressed paper)

Click here to learn more about The Biggest Week in American Birding. You will be amazed at all the warblers you'll see!

I did these paintings for my monthly contribution to the Birding is Fun! blog, so you'll find a similar post there.

19 comments:

Sue said...

All wonderful, but I like #228 the best. Even your field sketches are top-notch. I envy your talent.

KaHolly said...

Oh, how I envy your talent. I'll just have to be satisfied with seeing and hearing, and smiling from the inside out. Which is exactly what I do when I read your posts!!

TexWisGirl said...

i'm just amazed at how effortlessly you can sketch and paint your subjects. truly impressive. you have such a wonderful gift and use it often.

Carol Mattingly said...

Kelly I love these drawings of the Bay Breasted Warbler. I've never seen this little guy but would love to some day. Stay cool chick, it' hot outside. Carol

Montanagirl said...

You have a wonderful talent, and I'm so glad you share it with us! Superb sketches and paintings, Kelly.

Ken Januski said...

Hi Kelly,

When I was there two years ago I was the only person I could find field sketching until one day I ran into someone from Ohio also sketching. What a surprise it would have been if we'd gone there this year and found you sketching. I keep thinking that it will catch on one day.

Of all the beautiful warblers I think that the Bay-breasted is probably my favorite with the possible exception of the Cape May. The combination of colors is just unbelievable.

I did a couple of sketches of them while I was there but none as complete as yours. Congratulations on taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity.

Noelle said...

Wow! You are very talented! Nice page.
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Janice K said...

Your paintings are wonderful. Such a beautiful bird!

Banjo52 said...

He's a dude, but I've never even heard of this guy. How many thousand warblers are there???

Frank said...

Super sketches and paintings of a species I have never seen.

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful photo, drawings and paintings. You are very talented.

Elaine said...

Lovely! I love your sketches and paintings, especially #228.

Julie Hargreaves said...

The Bay Breasted Warbler is such a beautiful little bird

Roy said...

A superb series Kelly, you have certainly captured the eye in that last one.

Tammie Lee said...

photos sketches and paintings
all so wonderful to see!

Kat Griffin said...

Kelly, you are such a wonderful artist ! and you know all this stuff a bout nature and creatures. I think it is so wonderful !

Hope you and your family are doing OK in this awful heat and humidity
We just got our power and our AC back after three days with out

-KAT-

Kelly said...

...thanks everyone, for the kind words. It's fun sketching these little birds, and I like turning the field sketches into paintings.

Carol...oh my gosh, it's warm. 99 and 100 every day is strange. We're getting used to it. Luckily we did not lose our electricity in the wind storm...trees, yes, but the electricity hung in there!

Ken...no one else was sketching when I was there, and I was on the boardwalk 4 days in a row! It would have been cool to run into you sketching!

Kat...we survived the winds, but two trees went down, and half of the weeping willow and portions of the Ash Tree went down too. Scottie's Tree service came yesterday and cut everything up and hauled it off. So sad....we lost a beautiful wild cherry tree and a pear.

Mary said...

Wonderful artwork! I love seeing your paintings and drawings. You are so talented.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

This post was a real treasure I loved your paintings of the warbler.

Guy