Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Field Sketching

Whether you're into painting birds or people, sketching is so very important in your growth as an artist.  I've got lots of sketch books that I've kept while travelling but not many of birds and animals other than those critters that stand still for a very long time, such as flamingo, stilts, etc.  I recently discovered Youtube and have been using it as a resource for sketching birds.  Rather than stop the video,  I sketch the birds while in motion. The beauty of using youtube is that you have a second chance to get it right by replaying the video. These are some of my quick studies done from youtube.  I wouldn't use youtube images for finished paintings that you plan to sell as the images are protected by copyright.

I use a soft pencil - sometimes a ballpoint or fine-line pen and I try hard not to erase.  If I need to smudge or soften a line, I use a kneaded eraser.  As we all know, the more you do something, the better you'll get - so becoming better at field sketching moving birds, is my new goal.

New Zealand White-faced Heron

New Zealand Pied Stilts

New Zealand Pigeon

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I'm Teaching a Watercolor Workshop on Tiritiri Matangi

There are 3 spots open for my watercolor workshop this coming weekend, March 2 and 3rd, near Auckland, New Zealand.

I'm donating my time to teach the workshop to benefit Tiritiri Matangi, a sanctuary for many of New Zealand's native birds.  The predator-free island is just a short ferry ride from Auckland.  We'll spend the first day hiking on the island with several guides, observing birds in their native habitat.  While the guides tell us about the birds, I'll chat about gathering reference (taking notes, sketching and photographing) as preparation for studio paintings.  If time allows, I'll do a quick watercolor demo before heading back to the mainland on the ferry.  The following morning, we meet at a classroom in Birkenhead and will spend the day painting birds.  I'll do a demo in the morning, then you can paint the same bird as me (I'll provide the reference material), or you can bring your own photographs and paint your own bird.  I'll spend time with each of you while you're painting. In the afternoon, I'll do another demo - then you paint until quitting time at 4 pm.

If you are interested contact:  Mary-Ann Rowland at sotmmanager@clear.net.nz.

If you have any questions, email me or give me a call at 09 402-5014.