Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Learning to Draw Birds

In drawing, all objects should be studied under the general heads of:
  • The Copy, or Imitation.
  • The Object, or Observation.
  • The Memory and Imagination.
       In general, these three divisions should go hand in hand, each helping to explain and make clear the others. But if an order is followed in the study of birds, the best one for young pupils is as follows: (1) The copy; (2) memory and imagination; (3) the object.
       This order, however, is not intended to be arbitrary. If the object is something that can be leisurely studied, like a leaf, or a flower, then an order similar to this should be followed: (1) The object; (2) the copy; (3) memory and imagination.
       The principle of the construction of all birds is, in general, the same ; the difference is in the proportion and minor details. By learning the proportions and general features from pictures and drawings, much time will be saved, and the work made more effective and less discouraging than if the study is attempted from the living bird alone. This does not mean to blindly copy the drawings of others, but to study them intelligently, to study them with a view of learning their form and proportion and the general principle of bird construction. To learn such points  the following: The size of the head as compared with the body; the movement of the tail, head and body; how the feet are placed under the body to give perfect balance; how the wings rest on the body, and their movements when flying. All of these can be studied from drawings coupled with observation, and then verified on the real bird, much better than from the real bird alone. It is doubtful if one untrained in drawing can make very much headway learning to draw from such a restless bit of animation as a live bird, with its multiplicity of markings and numberless details. One must have both knowledge of the bird and skill in drawing to do this.
  • Balance
  • Character
  • Divisions of Study
  • General Directions
  • Drill Exercises
       Here is a simple sketch of how to draw a bird. Memorize how to draw birds from these instructions and soon little birds will be dancing across your notebook in no time.

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