Category Archives: How-to

Sketch of the Day: Fruit and Flowers, Copenhagen

I get so many good comments here, and this one in particular has generated an answer that might be useful to others: Body Art says: Hi Debby, I love your sketch. Would you mind explaining your process? I would appreciate … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Drawing, travel, Sketching, How-to, Food, architecture, Flowers, Denmark, Copenhagen, urban sketching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Motmot Holiday Gift Bag is a Bookcase

A few last minute gift ideas for you or the lucky bird artists in your life: The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, by John Muir Laws, Heyday Press, covers so much ground so comprehensively that the next time I teach … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Artists, bird art, bird-drawing technique, birding, birds, Drawing, field sketching, How-to, Illustration, natural history, Nature, Shopping!, Sketching, teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Orchids and Flycatchers, revisited

Drawing from videos: very useful if you don’t have live birds in your studio. While painting a pair of rusty-margined flycatchers, I was troubled by a weird head position in the field sketch. What looked okay in the drawing looked … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Art, bird art, bird-drawing technique, birding, birds, field sketching, How-to, natural history, Nature, oil painting, painting, Panama, Pastel, rainforest, Sounds & Movies, Stupid Critter Tricks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

100,000 Ways to Start a Painting

Actually, it’s probably somewhere in the billions. Anyone with a pencil or brush can devise a new method. I like to experiment. Here’s my newest: take an original field sketch and make a thumbnail rough on another piece of paper. … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Art, Art materials, Artists, bird art, bird-drawing technique, birds, Computer graphics, Drawing, field sketching, How-to, natural history, Nature, painting, Panama, plein air, rainforest, Science, Sketching, tropics, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Another Bird Drawing Method That Works- Blind Contours

I’ve always used more than one method for drawings birds. My usual fallback is the mental snapshot freeze-frame: I snag the bird in my mind’s eye, plop it on the page and draw it before it dissolves. Scope drawing is … Continue reading

Posted in Art, bird art, bird-drawing technique, birds, Drawing, field sketching, figure drawing, How-to, Nature, nature journaling, Panama, plein air, rainforest, Sketching, tropics, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Cat and Mouse: Catch the Gesture in Figure Drawing

At 4 am Mike shakes me awake: “Something’s wrong with the cat”.  A banshee wail comes from the living room. I call her name as though summoning a spirit. Her shape speeds past me in the dark and dives into … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Art, Artists, Drawing, How-to, Sketching, Stupid Critter Tricks | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

When Big is better (or just really nice for a change)

It pays to have a good business sense if you want to survive as an artist. A lot of us are working on smaller, more affordable paintings to tide us over until the next major art boom. That said, I … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Artists, bird art, birds, Drawing, field sketching, How-to, Nature, painting, Panama, plein air, rainforest | 2 Comments