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Thar She Blows! How to Draw Whales in the Wild

When you encounter whales in nature, you will not see the entire body exposed  at one time, except in a rare dramatic breach. The rest of the time you will see some portion of the back or tail exposed above the water’s surface. Draw what you see, Capture the dark form of the whale against Read More

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Whale Illustration Basics

Understanding the “basic” whale will help you identify and sketch whales in the field. To help you do this, study the whale form below the water. Some portion of this form is exposed when the whale surfaces. To help you understand the whale structure, we will draw four baleen whales found of the California coast. Read More

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How to Draw Waves and Whales (video workshop)

Learn to sketch marine mammals as you see them in the field. Whether you draw from shore or head out whale watching, this class will help you capture the moments on paper. Learn relevant anatomy for artists and field sketchers to help you draw whales, seals, sea lions, and otters. Understand the series of shapes Read More

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How to Draw Mammal Noses

Want to draw mammal noses? Learn to see the similarities of structure across species and then the nuance of the details of the particular species you are drawing. Practice drawing noses from the front, side and three-quarter view. Start with a light ghost drawing to block in the basic shape. Notice that the nostrils make Read More

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How to Draw Mammal Ears

Want to draw mammal ears? Here is a step-by-step approach to creating ears that look furry and suggest the texture of hairs in and around the ears. The trick is to focus on creating three areas of value: dark, middle and light. Then to suggest the texture of the hair with strokes from the dark Read More


Fast Wing Details

Try a white colored pencil on dry watercolor for fast wing details. Bird wing feathers often have pale lines along the edges of the primaries and secondaries. Click on the first image to start a step-by-step slideshow demonstration to get this effect in seconds. Materials used: Sepia prismacolor pencil, White prismacolor pencil, watercolors (Daniel Smith).

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How to draw a Red-eyed Verio Step-by-Step

Know more than you Show One of the secrets to a successful bird illustration its to understand bird anatomy, and then suggest detail without noodling in every feather location. To accurately draw feathers, you must understand feather groups and wing structure. I think the best book on the subject is Birding Basics by David Sibley (also Read More


Drawing Birds: Heads, Wings, & Feet (video workshop)

Are you ready to draw birds? When the bird lands in front of you, you must be ready to get the basic form on paper with a few lines. This was the focus of last month’s workshop which you can view here. But what do you do then? Once you have this basic shape you Read More

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Drawing Birds: side, front, back and 3/4 views (video workshop)

Would you like to sketch the birds at your feeder and garden? Learn basic techniques to get the bird on paper while it is still in front of you and how to fill out the drawing from memory and reference once it has flown the coop. In this workshop we explore drawing songbrids from the side, Read More


Curiosity (video workshop)

“Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English).” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Curiosity is not a trait you are born with. It is a skill that you can develop and refine with practice.It is more essential than any Read More