Drawing Native Birds of Mississippi Saturday, March 21, 2015 Louise Campbell Center for the Arts West Point, MS $65 No experience necessary - this class is open to all levels of art experience. See and enjoy Mississippi's migratory birds in a whole new way as, with step-by-step guidance, you learn to use traditional illustration techniques to create a realistic drawing. Start with a series of fun sketching exercises, then complete a finished bird drawing using layered charcoal and colored pencil. All art supplies are included so that everyone can expect consistent results. Each student will be provided with a supply of drawing paper, 2B pencil and kneaded eraser, tinted pastel paper, black charcoal pencil, white pastel pencil and a set of illustrated tutorial pages to keep. Please bring a sack lunch. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, call Kathy Dyess at 662-494-5678.
A two-day workshop with Val Webb
Friday, January 9 from 1 to 5pm
If you have followed my studio blog for a few years, you may remember the monthly printable hand-drawn and lettered Illustrated Garden calendars. They looked like this:
I loved drawing them. I loved sending them out to you. Then my illustration work increased and my online art courses blossomed, and I had to reluctantly put them aside. But you never forgot them… For nearly two years, emails have continued to arrive asking for the calendars to return.
“Please bring them back. My office is in a high-rise in New York City, but I can look at your calendar and feel connected to nature.”
“I loved these calendars! I used them to keep records of planting and harvest at a community garden.”
“Your calendar makes me smile.”
With such encouragement, how can I not draw new calendars for 2015? Sometimes, you just have to leap.
The 2015 Illustrated Garden calendar includes an 8 1/2 x 11 page for each month and will be emailed to you in printable pdf form on New Year’s Day, every inch hand-drawn and lettered in ink, watercolor and colored pencil. Besides lots of garden and bird lore, it marks the full moons, dates of the Solstice and Equinox, along with major holidays and some not-so-major but highly interesting ones.
The cost is $12. You may mail a check* (Val Webb, P.O. Box 2212, Fairhope, AL 36533) or click the button below to order through PayPal:
Remember this fellow, who had just been started in an earlier post? I thought you might like to see him completed. I love using this watercolor technique: first painting the entire paper with the background color, then using clean water and a dry brush to lift away the lighter areas. Once that’s done, the detailed work begins with a #4 round brush and some rich browns. Highlights in white gouache are added in a final step.
He’s becoming a regular, arriving after the bossy cardinal couple and before the mourning doves. Red-bellied woodpeckers are year-round residents here, and apparently they have a hearty appetite for seeds. “My” woodpecker is a male, easily recognized by his red cowl. Females display a red patch only on the backs of their necks. (Despite their name, you can watch these birds for hours and never catch a glimpse of their red-tinged belly feathers. But the bold black-and-white bars on their wings and their bright caps make it easy to identify them anyway. Bon apetit, Mr. Woodpecker.)
Just started a burrowing owl in watercolor. I always paint the eyes first — I think they are my favorite part of the process. Burrowing owls are the nonconformists of the owl family: often active during the day, they can sprint on their long legs when necessary. They nest and roost underground, inhabiting burrows abandoned by rabbits or prairie dogs. Their diet, too, is different from the typical owl menu. In addition to insects, frogs and mice, the little burrowing owl also dines on fruits and seeds. A particular favorite treat is the prickly pear cactus.
I always include chickens in my online courses on drawing and painting birds. There are so many things that make a hen fun to draw — scaly toes, fierce beady eyes, all those feathers — and everyone has a basic understanding of chicken anatomy. This lovely girl was a demo for the current session of Birds in Watercolor and Beyond.
I know, I know… ink and gouache resist was supposed to come several weeks later in my course schedule for “Birds in Watercolor and Beyond.” But I just couldn’t wait to share it. My all-time favorite painting technique, its inky outlines and sudden transformation (as the result of spraying it with a garden hose, the best part of the whole process) remind me of my years spent carving colorful raku tiles. There’s more information on the process in an older post.