January 8, 2014

Life drawing birds.

I flipped open my sketchbooks in the Paper app and found these drawings. It's bone-chilling freeze-your-face-off January outside so naturally my mind drifted easily back to summer when the sparrows were hanging out in the garden.

I liked to watch them in the trees and grapevines near the pergola.

Birds are always moving, so they're hard to capture. I suppose that's the point if you are a bird.

I wait until a sparrow hits a pose I like, and I let it imprint in my minds eye, holding it there for a few seconds while I lay down the drawing.

I guess I'm not so much drawing what I see, as drawing what I've just seen.

Sometimes I don't even look down at my drawing, even if the bird has flown away. I'm still staring at the picture in my head.

When I'm happy with the silhouette, I add the details. It's important not to spend too much time or it loses its spontaneous quality.

You'd be surprised at how few lines make a bird.

So I'm watching the sparrows.

But I think they're watching me too.