I actually have a few picture I’ve never shown. Some of them needed more work. I’m always wary about trying to fix something because as often as not, more work takes a pretty good piece and ruins it. You really need to know when to put down the pencils or brush and back away. Once in a while, you look at the piece and say, “Oh, I just need to fix that head shape.” You fix it and suddenly, it’s okay.

I needed to make his head the right shape. Once I did, it became a Goldfinch. Okay, maybe his head is a little bit too round (before, it was too flat) but it’s definitely a Goldfinch
Red-Bellied Woodpecker

So the Goldfinch has been waiting a while for me to figure out what to do with his head. The woodpecker is new, though since he is drawn from the same photograph I used for the first woodpecker, there’s a strong resemblance.

Categories: Anecdote, Arts, Drawings, Goldfinch, Sketchbook, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Very nice
    In Cancun we photographed many wonderful birds that we still need to identify. That might
    not be easy.


    • If you remember their approximate size and color, you can identify ANY bird from ANYWHERE online. Try Merlin (that’s part of Cornell University) or any of the sites set up by Audubon. You need to know where you saw it, it’s approximate size compared to some other bird (they give you a list) and it’s primary color or colors. Also, it helps if you can say what it was doing when you saw it. I have a book in which I look things up when I’m outside, but when I’m home, I have Merlin on my phone AND the computer — and if I can’t find it there, Audubon will have it.


  2. The goldfinch is wonderful! The woodpecker reminds me a little of a fat penguin — perhaps because I’ve recently had a conversation with another friend about nesting Adelie Penguins! But penguins don’t have red heads, so he has to be a woodpecker!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now that you mention it, there is a similarity in head shape, though they are not related except that they are both birds. But yes, I think also the shape of the beak is similar too. You should watch birds. You have a really keen eye. I don’t think many people would notice those similarities.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn, from my novice viewpoint, I think you got the (head) goldfich pretty well. He can submit it as a headshot if he is doing movie work.

        The woodpecker looks like he hasn’t missed any meals at your feeders.

        You are progressing very well.


  3. Thanks for always describing your art Marilyn. I really get a feel for it. I love your descriptions. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s what I’m spending my time doing right now and also, it’s a bit of an interesting journey for someone my age. Garry thinks I’m ambitious, but I’m not especially. I just got tired of doing the same things all the time and wanted to do something different. I don’t think it was more complicated than that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Marilyn, I think your daily diligence to sketching is showing positive results. I hope you are finding satisfaction in your work. You should!


  4. Every new drawing is better than the old ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! That is what I hope for. Even when I don’t like what I did, I always find something in it I DO like and try to carry that over to the next thing I draw.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I wish I also had your talent and determination.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m not sure how much is talent and how much is determination. I could always draw some, but I never tried very hard to do it well. This is the first time I’ve put in the effort. I think many of us could do it, but it does require a fair bit of time. And it’s hard to know when a piece you’ve worked hard to get right ISN’T right — or good enough — and needs to be trashed. You can’t fall in love with your work or feel that everything you do is a treasure.

          But that’s where having spent my working life as a writer changes everything. I’ve had to toss out hundred of pages of manuscripts that I decided weren’t good enough, even though it meant a lot more work. That can be surprisingly hard to do, but having done it a few times, you begin to develop a bit of humility and recognize that no matter HOW hard you work, you will never get everything right — or even CLOSE to right.

          Liked by 2 people

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