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Nambroth's Art Academy Classroom: Drawing birds & their anatomy

Discussion in 'Games, Jokes, and Fun!' started by Nambroth, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Hello everyone! I've never done an online class before so please bear with me as I stumble through this.

    In order to participate in this classroom, you need to sign up here, please!

    Current students signed up for this class:

    the duck whisperer


    What is this class about?
    I am here to talk about and teach bird anatomy basics and how it translates into art. In representational art (art that is meant to look like a specific thing) observation and knowledge of your subject matter can have a huge impact on the final product. While I will do my best not to get 'stuffy', there is a lot of neat science behind birds and the better we understand them the better we can draw them!
    Birds are complex animals and while people generally lump them all together, did you know that there are over 10,000 known living species of bird? That is approximately twice the amount of known mammal species! Birds inhabit nearly every ecosystem across the globe (the exception being deep sea), including Antarctica. So birds are much more diverse than we usually give them credit for.
    Most birds are social animals, and so have formed complex means of communication; everything from their song to expressive colors, expressive body language, and of course their gorgeous feathers!

    What does all of this have to do with art? Our observations about birds can make or break a piece of bird art! Fortunately, most people on this forum have birds in their lives. Chickens, ducks, quail, guineas, house birds such as parrots or finches... even outside birds at the feeder. Most of you have probably had at least some experience with a bird! I am honored to work with you as my students!

    How this classroom is run:
    I do not expect everyone to have the same level of drawing skill, and that is okay. I will grade as fairly as possible, and will consider your level of art knowledge, training, and ability when grading. This means I will grade a professional harder than someone that is just starting! Please do not feel intimidated. By being here it shows that you are wanting to learn and that says much more about you than your skill does. It means you want to improve and that is excellent!

    The grading chart per 44wolves rules is as such :
    •A- 90-100
    •B- 80-89
    •C- 60-71
    •D- 51-59
    •F- 50 and below

    Welcome! I hope you enjoy, have fun, and are able to use any knowledge you gain here to better enjoy drawing birds. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011

  2. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010
    I think I might sign up for this one...
  3. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Songster

    Jan 1, 2011
    I'm glad you've started yours. Maybe I should write a more-than-three-sentence intro. I can't wait until you assign your first assignment.
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop

    So, for our first exercise, I am going to ask you to do something that is rather hard. Don't worry, it won't always be this hard! But it is an important skill to have. I would like you to do a few life drawings of birds, from life! I think most of us at least have a chicken or a wild pigeon around, but it's okay if you don't have birds (yet, bwahaha!). If you do not have the opportunity to watch a bird from life, please select an online video-- I recommend live video feeds of birds (check this one out of eagles! http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles and owls: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bonnie-and-clyde-owlcam Cockatoos: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/backyardgalahcam2 etc... ) Please resist the urge to pause!

    What is a life drawing? A life drawing is a drawing done from life quite simply-- from a living subject, and it is probably moving around and being quite a pest to draw! These are gestural drawings and are not detailed. They show movement and behavior, instead of intricate details. Draw what your eye sees, not what you think your eye sees. You might think "These feathers go here" and that is okay, but only draw it if you actually see it! This is hard to explain. Here are a few examples of life sketches of animals: http://jonathanpomroy.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/house-martins-nest-building/ http://drawingthemotmot.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/sketch-therapy-what-i-drew-at-the-zoo/ http://coastalgeorgiabirding-lydia.blogspot.com/2008/11/gesture-drawings-sunset.html http://judsonjournal.blogspot.com/2009/04/sketching-birds-from-life.html -- notice that these are not detailed and are actually pretty messy! They convey the animal moving around and help show what our brains see and record. This is more important than drawing careful details such as individual feathers at this time! [​IMG]

    Here are a few sketches I did while watching my parrots at home preen their feathers. They were moving slowly and staying in one spot. If they were active, I would not have had time to sketch in their feathers! They would have only been suggested.

    Assignment Specs:

    Sketching Birds from Life

    - You must sketch your birds either from life or from a video. No still images!
    - Minimum of two sketches per page (as few as two, as many as you want other than that).
    - You may submit as few as one page(s) or as many as five page(s).
    - No limit to the number of birds you use as long as it follows the above rules.
    - You may use any drawing or painting medium that you like!
    - You may use color or black and white, or a combo.
    - Work quickly, to get the gesture, movements, poses of the bird(s) down. Details and neatness do not count. Shapes and expression do. Read above!
    - Don't be intimidated! You are not making a finished drawing and it doesn't have to look 'good'.
    - Try drawing mostly shapes, and don't use an eraser.
    - It's helpful to draw birds at rest, preening, napping, sunbathing, etc... when they are moving more slowly.
    - Any notes you write on your pages are okay. Feel free to include your observations. This is not required, though.
    - While I will be grading these, there is no way to completely fail on this assignment unless you don't do it.
    - Due by Monday, June 20th please.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  5. NixNoodleNumbat

    NixNoodleNumbat Songster

    Jan 1, 2011
    Awesome first assignment!
  6. equinehugger3

    equinehugger3 Crowing

    Apr 14, 2010
    [​IMG] I'll do the first assignment now! I'm so excited for your class:) I might not be able to submit it for a couple hours, because I'm driving somewhere... [​IMG] [​IMG] I'll get it in by tonight, though! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  7. equinehugger3

    equinehugger3 Crowing

    Apr 14, 2010
    Okay, here goes. I drew the birds and added the color from the videos. I am still learning how to do realistic color, so please don't look at that too much... [​IMG] I know I need to work on detail.


    I may retry it... [​IMG] And, also, sorry about the bad photo quality.

    EW. My color looks way worse on here... It's not that "first-grade" looking in real life... D:
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

  8. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Those are beautiful! [​IMG]
  9. Chickenfur

    Chickenfur Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    On Earth :)
    can I join? I signed up on the other thread.
  10. the duck whisperer

    the duck whisperer Songster

    Feb 22, 2011
    i'll join i signed up on the other post

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