Saturday, March 8, 2014

"Two-second" bird sketches...

Nothing says spring like the love song of the Mourning Dove, so I was very happy to hear a male singing on our deck today. I had my sketchbook nearby, so I grabbed it and did a few "two-second" bird sketches to record the spring-is-finally-here event.  These little scribble sketches are fun to do, and as the name implies, take only seconds to complete. Tiny, non-detailed field sketches help you get the "feel" of a bird and capture behavior and movement. When you're out in the field, two-second sketches are a great way to record what you're seeing.

tiny thumbnail sketches that take only seconds to draw help capture a bird's personality.
Small "two-second" bird sketches of the mourning doves on our deck. Each little sketch takes between 2 and 10 seconds. I call them "two second" sketches so I keep moving fast and am not tempted to stop and throw in detail.

This May I'm going to teach a class on basic field sketching techniques for beginners at the Biggest Week in American Birding warbler festival. Fun!!! We'll learn several ways to draw and write about birds (including the two-second bird sketches, as well as ways to draw detailed bird renderings with accurate field marks). We'll also work on techniques for drawing  flowers, leaves, and even landscapes. If you're not an artist, don't worry. The goal of field sketching is not to create finished pieces of art, it's to learn how to get better at observing nature...and develop a deeper appreciation of nature. 


A sweet male mourning dove sang his love song on our deck. Spring is finally here!
...keep singing those spring love songs Mr. Mourning Dove.
I'll keep sketching you!


Spring Migration 
at the Biggest Week in American Birding!

While I'm at the festival, I'll be blogging too. Hope to see you there!
For more information on the field sketching 
and nature journaling class and bus tour, click here!

Check out the new BSBO Swamp Shop! 
All proceeds go to the Black Swamp Bird Observatory:



Pencil sketches by Kelly Riccetti
Spring Migration at Magee Marsh is so much fun. I'm looking forward to walking the boardwalk and seeing all the warblers!!

15 comments:

Elaine said...

Lovely photo of the Mourning Dove, and delightful sketches! I know it would take me much longer than two seconds to get sketches anywhere near what you did. Now if I just lived closer I could take your class.....

TexWisGirl said...

just so sweet.

Montanagirl said...

Nice sketching, Kelly. Love your photo of the Dove. The Collared Doves have taken over everything around here, so I rarely get to see a Mourning Dove anymore.

Sue said...

I couldn't sketch something that good even if I worked on it all day. They're lovely--even in your scribbles you manage to capture them well!

Kelly said...

Sue and Elaine...you would be surprised at what you can sketch with a few of the tricks I have learned over the years. Observation and drawing tricks are all you need to record what you see in the wild! :-D

pabrannon said...

I am signed up for your Biggest Birding Week session. Can't wait. I have done Nature Journaling programs with middle school students, but sketching is where I fall short. Looking forward to picking up some pointers and improving my stick figure birds.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

Lovely sketches.

Guy

Kelly said...

...thanks Tex, Mona and Guy!

....and PA Brannon....yeah! I'm looking forward to meeting you. It's going to be so much fun. I'd love to hear about your nature journaling programs you taught.

Roy Norris said...

In two seconds, thats brilliant Kelly.

Kelly said...

Roy....thanks...each little bird took between 2 and 10 seconds. I say "two second" to mean fast and without detail.

hikerhigh said...

I too am impressed by your speed drawing. Wow. Surely the Magee thing is still a few weeks away? But what a good thing to look forward to, unless it's too crowded to be enjoyable. If we go, it won't be on the main weekend.

hikerhigh said...

P.S. That hiker high was Banjo52, temporarily on a different computer.

Tammie Lee said...

gosh, i would take your class, i would love to learn to draw birds. I guess i better just do some two minute sketches....
practice is what it takes. yours are wonderful to see and hold a feeling of the bird too~

Sublime Birdy said...

Beautiful post! I love the sketches and that dove is just adorable. I think you are spot on about sketching quickly that way you do not have time to put too much thought into it and it frees you up to just create a piece of art as well as teaches you how to "see". I would love to take your class if only I were closer.

Kelly said...

Banjo...I'll be at Magee the week of May 12. I can't wait for those spring warblers!

Tammie...you draw great birds! ...and you're right, all it takes is practice and observation to learn to draw birds.

Sublime...I agree with you. It really is tempting to try to get detailed on these little sketches, but it is also frustrating when getting detailed because birds move nonstop. Just capturing the feel or impression of the bird is best in this case. You can get detailed back in the studio! :-)

...of course, when trying to ID birds, details are necessary, but sometimes, you just want the feel of the bird.