White-throated Swifts 2


White-throated Swifts study—a bad scan of a very loose drawing. I’ll probably revisit this again soon, but right now I’m thinking of something purple…


White-throated Swift 1


I’ve seen electric blue, neon orange, iridescent purple and every color in between the past few days. It’s time to celebrate a little black, white and gray… Here’s an initial sketch for a White-throated Swift portrait—one of my favorite bird families. These nondescript birds, are exciting to watch until you wrench your neck following them speed through the air.

Grappletail 3


The all-pencil Grappletail portrait is done. I realize the veination of the wings is not completely accurate, nor is the exact segmentation of the abdomen in place…. but I like the roughness of the drawing. Look closely at the strokes, and they reflect the markings of the animal nicely.

Grappletail 2


I used the composition from the earlier 2-minute Grappletail sketch to begin another study. The head and eyes are more accurately proportioned and the body more detailed. The outer segments are maybe exaggerated a bit, so I may been to narrow the tip. Plenty of work remaining on the wings, but i will go very lightly with that to preserve the transparent feel. This new version is much larger, 18″ x 14″. I will likely continue with this instead of redrawing it. I’m not even sure I will be using color

Ruddy Turnstone 1


Initial lines for a breeding plumaged Ruddy Turnstone portrait. I resisted the temptation to do a traditional profile, the kind we see in field guide all the time, and opted for an action shot to suggest its arrival. As it turns out, this bird was my first for my home county of Santa Clara, CA. It was right on the border between my county and the neighboring San Mateo where the bird is routine. I plan on suggesting motion in the wings, perhaps with blurred strokes. And of course, there will be lots of color.