Sketchbook Entry! Cherries and a Bird (Carolina Wren)

I launched back into the current round of sketchbook exchange in January with this spread. Winter can seem to be a difficult time of year to find drawing inspiration, but not if you look closely. There is much to see in the trees and on the ground, from twigs and branches to half-eaten walnuts and dried wildflower heads.

Personally, I love the craggy details found on winter twigs and branches. During a morning walk through my neighborhood, I saw a small tree that still had some cherries attached. They were starting to shrivel in the cold and had an interesting set of shapes and shadows. I chose graphite pencil for rendering as I wanted to emphasize the light and form on the shapes.

Cherries and branch on left; Carolina wren on right (mislabeled until it was correctly identified!)

For the second page of the spread, I was stumped. Having spent a good deal of of time watching the bird feeder out back, I decided to take the plunge and try a bird sketch. There have been a variety of backyard species visiting us, including cardinals, sparrows, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and more.

One day, I saw this beautiful, chestnut-colored bird that I was convinced was a female nuthatch. However, with the help of some friends online, we quickly clarified that this was actually a Carolina Wren. Gorgeous and I learned something, to boot!

I rendered the bird in ink and colored pencil. I just love the body position – such an attentive and quick species! The feathers were not quite as precise, but I think I represented the pattern decently, especially for a first drawing. I really enjoyed drawing the bird and look forward to working on more!

Have you tackled a subject for the first time recently? Tell me about it!



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