Sunday, March 08, 2009

Illustration Friday - Intricate













I heard my first American robins of the season chirping on Thursday (just before a snowstorm blew into the valley, of course) so I've had the species on my mind. I wish I could say that I saw this nesting robin this weekend, but no such luck. This is from a trip to an Audubon site in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho two springs ago. The robin had built such an intricate nest of twigs, grasses and mud, all interwoven around some branches of a hawthorne sapling. I have no idea if it thought the thorns might give it some protection or not, but it seemed like a good set up.

I did this quick pencil and watercolor sketch from a photograph I took that day. Madeleine helped with the sketch immensely; inspecting the watercolor water, checking out the eraser, walking over the sketch to make sure the watercolor paint was dry (luckily it was). What would I do without her?













I've been feeling a little over-extended and run down lately, so I wasn't sure I was even going to get an Illustration Friday entry up this week. My better half was at a conference this weekend, so I planned a much needed personal retreat for myself. Except for running a few necessary errands on Saturday morning, I devoted my time to only doing what I felt like doing. I indulged in a massage, cooked myself a very healthy and delicious dinner - balancing that out by baking a chocolate torte as well - did some yoga, sketched, curled up with a cup of almond tea and finally watched "The Science of Sleep" (a quirky, romantic French film that totally spoke to my inner child) and just generally recharged my batteries. Not only did it inspire me to go ahead and tackle IF, but I feel like I can face another week now too!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice watercolor study. good thing your art director didn't have to leave their paw of approval all over it.
Glad you had a great weekend and are feeling much better too. michael dailey

Gabrielle said...

Hi Michael! Nice to hear from you again. Have you posted to IF yet this week? I didn't see it.

Yes, it is a good thing my art director held herself back! I have experienced blue acrylic "paw of approval" marks all over my work, my desk, the carpet... She doesn't seem to appreciate the complimentary paw scrub in the sink afterwards, either. There's no pleasing my art director. *Sigh*

Coreopsis said...

That sounds like a wonderful weekend. Not many people take care of themselves so well.

A couple weeks ago we had a total influx of robins--hundreds of them everywhere. I don't know where they are now.

Lovely painting!

debbie fanning said...

Beautiful watercolor work. I can imagine how beautifully intricate that nest must have been in person. You did a great job of suggesting the detail without overworking the nest. I also enjoyed reading about your "apprentice with paws". Have a wonderful week!

Cyndia said...

One of these days I will learn to water paint. What an inspirational piece, great job.

kslaughter said...

What a lovely little painting! I love birds, and kitties too ; ). Thanks so much for sharing~~

Muggle's Mom said...

That almost looks like a guilty look on Madeline's face.....but that can't be!
Muggle's Mom

Indigene said...

Lovely colors!

Shannon Melville said...

I like your birdy drawing, it looks gentle and natural, nice colours too, and i like your lead up to it, sounds so relaxing and lovely. Almond tea, haven't heard of that before. Animals are so charming aren't they? I have dogs not cats so they don't usually walk on my work, but even if they did i couldn't really tell them off, well not in a big way anyway, because they know no wrong :)