Lines on a Page

Recently I have been keeping a field journal with sketches and notes of the local flora and fauna. Let me just say this now, field sketching birds is incredibly hard. I have a new-found respect for the skill required. Having spent the past year trying different mediums I thought might be portable and useful outdoors, I settled on pencil, pen, and watercolor pencil.

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It is definitely apparent that a spotting scope would be invaluable while observing and sketching, but that’s just not in the cards right now. Instead, I came across a book that seem to do the trick; Susan Leigh Tomlinson’s book How to keep a Naturalist’s Notebook was quite informative. After giving the book a good read, I decided to practice sketching some of the birds from my photographs. I read that learning to sketch basic body forms and feather topography allows for faster sketch times in the field allowing for more attention to body position and other details (A great fact, but still hard to manage).

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After spending some evenings going through the motions, I was able to get out and try in the field again. It was challenging, but fun! Studying birds and other wildlife in this way has given me more tools to ID in the field, and another offshoot of an already very rewarding hobby!

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B.A.L.

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(All images included in this and other entries on this site were taken by and belong to me)

All Images © 2013 Brian Lang

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