Thursday, May 29, 2014
Sketching the Great Blue Heron & River Otters
Indoors, I was yet again at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, in New Haven, CT. This time in the Discovery Room where I could get a superb view of a Great Blue Heron in flight. This taxidermy specimen is suspended from the ceiling allowing me to look up at it and study it from a vantage point that would be natural if I were outside and one flew overhead.
I started with some very quick gesture sketches so I could get a feel for the birds proportions. I was sitting close enough to see a lot of detail, which seemed a bit overwhelming, especially since my goal was to really focus on the heron's structure and form. Outdoors I see these stately birds from a distance or through binoculars or flying overhead. They are very shy and rarely allow you to be close to them. thus all my sketches of them tend to be very generalized and I was hoping to gain some better knowledge of their anatomy on this sketching trip. Which I think I did.
Outdoors, I was greeted by a river otter in our pond. These fun-loving muscular fellows are always such a treat to observe. Top sketch was done just from observing through binoculars. The bottom two I was able to do from memory, and develop a little more with the help of some quick cell phone pics I took while watching him/her devour a meal.