To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Sketching Wildlife Basics Workbook is out!

Announcing: Sketching Wildlife Basics!!!!
This is a really pretty workbook, if I do say so m'self, full of sketches from my sketchbooks and how you can get there from here, wherever that may be.

If you want to sketch wildlife (and that includes birds and squirrels at the feeder and your lap kitty or snuggle pup), you are going to love this one. You'll get advice on how to find proportions by relating one part of your subject to another, how to draw a critter that inconsiderately keeps moving around (with anecdotes from my adventures sketching a herd of longhorns), and how to develop your "visual snapshot" skills, and practice doing just that.
Then the workbook moves on to developing the textures you see on critters ~ fine fur, coarse fur, long and short fur and other textures ~ by observing and practicing your control of line quality in both pencil and ballpoint pen (ballpoint pens are extremely useful in humid locations ~ essential in tropical Costa Rica, for instance!).

Then there is some good advice and a practice session on how to draw and shade with tortillons and pencil, plus detailed instructions on how to draw any eye quickly and realistically whenever you need one. Next comes downy fur and feather on ducklings, mammal hair direction and how to render realistic fur.

If you've ever tried to sketch birds, you'll know what frustration is all about. Here you'll find pointers on how to sketch moving birds with confidence and speed before they fly away ~ and advice on how to maximize your chances of getting a good drawing in a minimum of time. There is a page of techniques on how to see and draw believable feathers on any kind of bird.

What do you do when a bird hits your window? Sketch it of course! But there are some things you should know before you pick it up to draw ~ and some unbelievable benefits if you decide it's worthwhile. You'd better know what you're doing if that's your choice.

Using photos as a primary and backup source for your wildlife sketching is discussed at length ~ what to photograph (and when), and how to make the best use of your photos and the view screen on your digital camera ~ plus examples of how photos and sketching can put the icing on your vacation travel experience.

In this workbook you'll find tidbits about labels, carrying a handlens for closer inspection, introspective notes, sketchbook selection, the joys and terrors of using ballpoint pen to sketch, info about ink pens and electric erasers, and how to use a frame to help you draw a problem view.

And to top it off, you get instructions on how to make a quick and useful pencil and eraser "keeper" for your sketchbook, invaluable for the hiker, traveler, and even the windowsill sketcher who'd like to keep the drawing tools with the sketchbook for instant use.

That's twenty-three pages of useful stuff gleaned from my decades of wildlife sketching and my wildlife sketching workshops.

The introductory price (good for a couple of weeks at least) is $9.95. After that, it will go up to $19.95, so take advantage of my good nature and grab this before the price increases.

If you were thinking of downloading any of my other workbooks, the introductory price ($9.95 for them, too) will continue for a week or two, they they'll be going up as well.

I've been making good progress on Nature Sketching with Watercolor Pencils. Keep your eyes peeled for it! If you haven't done so already, sign up for blog notices at the bottom end of the right-hand panel on this page so you'll be notified when it's available.

Happy sketching!

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