Pileated Woodpecker (step 1)

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First pass at a male Pileated Woodpecker in flight. This is how we saw it at Calaveras Big Tree—a large, Crow-like Woodpecker flying through the clearing and angling up toward a landing. Obviously, photographic reference is being used here… I’m trying to avoid the familiar (safe) profile-on-a-trunk shot by doing a flight pose and showing both surfaces of the wing. Much work needs to be done with the primaries…. and everything else. So far from finished.

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Pacific Clubtail…

 

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Venturing into new territory, with my first insect study. This animal, the Pacific Clubtail, is very beautiful in real life, with black and yellow markings and blue-green eyes. I especially enjoy the slope of the “tail” or abdomen. I hope to show one in color soon. For now, this is as bold as I get—a two minute doodle.

 

Belted Kingfisher (step 4)

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This may not a full step forward, but I like where the drawing is at and I need to slow down before I screw it up. Looking at a detail of the head, I’m impressed with how sloppy my work is. I guess all my drawings appear this way when enlarged… Oriole above is a perfect example… I enjoy the looseness of the strokes and the pastel quality of certain pencils, but hopefully the result (when zoomed out) will appear half-way realistic.

Belted Kingfisher (step 3)

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Pale background colors for the Belted Kingfisher have been added, mostly to help me envision the whole bird. It’s starting to look “real” to me. But more clarity is needed, especially with outline and color/feather breaks. Gradual fill color, more realistic shadows shadows and details will be added in the next few passes.