Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Drawing - Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow (Detail) - Graphite on Paper
Copyright 2010, Nicole MacPherson

Still more blue haze on the scan, sorry about that!  I think I need to learn how to photograph these drawings, instead of leaving them to the mercy of the scanning software!  I actually did a full-body drawing of this bird, but in resizing the image fit on a computer screen, alot of the detail was lost.  Therefor, I offer you two versions of this drawing, the full image is at the end of this post.

Tree Swallows have charm in abundance.  Even when they're not doing anything, they look cute.  Through the spring and summer, most of the Tree Swallows you see are a beautiful iridescent blue.  In the fall, most of them are a soft brown.  It can be hard to tell them from the two "brown-all-the-time" Swallows, the Northern Rough-Winged and the Bank Swallows.  But brown Tree Swallows have a sharply defined transition from the colored head to the white chin (presented nicely by our model, above) and no brown across the chest. 

Tree Swallows can also break your heart.  In some places, they congregate in the hundreds, or even thousands.  Usually around marshes, but sometimes on powerlines and roads, where some are inevitably killed by cars.  But instead of leaving the source of danger and abandoning their lost loved ones, some of the Swallows will stay alongside their fallen friends, even as traffic continues. 

Tree Swallow - Graphite on Paper
Copyright 2010, Nicole MacPherson

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Drawing - Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow Rumped Warbler - Graphite on Paper
Copyright 2010, Nicole MacPherson

Wow, what a long time between drawings!  I actually started and abandoned four drawings between the Nazca Booby and this warbler.  Not sure why they didn't work, maybe I'll go back to them.  Or maybe not!

Yellow-Rumped Warblers are usually one of the first warblers to return in the spring, and usually the last to leave in the fall.  Warblers don't generally over-winter, but most over-wintering warblers are Yellow-Rumped. The other great thing about them is that they use birdfeeders!  I've had them eating sunflower seeds and suet.  And water brings them in like nobody's business!

When I scan these drawings in, I try to adjust the scanners settings so the image on my screen matches the actual drawings level of "darkness".  I don't know why the default settings make it show up so light - when I use the same setting for photos and drawings, you can barely see the drawing at all.  And then when it's the right level of "dark", the background turns blue!  Oh well, technical difficulties notwithstanding, it's nice to have another drawing completed.  Here's hoping the next one doesn't take six weeks as well!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunset Sunday

Well, we may have officially crossed over into Monday, but it's still Sunday night to me!  

Just a random sunset picture.  I can never resist photographing sunsets, each one seems completely different to me!  I must have thousands of pictures of 'em. 

Photographed in June of 2005, no idea where.  Someplace, Manitoba.