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Drawing Birds


Product Description
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 6
The history of
drawing birds 8
Materials 12
How to start 18
Wings 24
Feathers 26
Eyes 28
Beaks and bills 30
Feet 32
Bird groups 40
Waders and waterbirds 42
Common moorhen step
by step 44
Wildfowl 50
Canada geese step by step 52
Seabirds 58
Atlantic puffin step by step 60
Birds of prey 64
Lanner falcon step by step 66
Owls 72
Snowy owl step by step 74
Garden and woodland birds 80
European goldfinch step by step 82
Game birds 88
Red-legged partridge step jby step 90
Index 96

About the Author

Andrew Forkner is a keen naturalist and has travelled the world in search of wildlife. His artwork has also travelled widely, with examples of his art in collections in the UK, Europe, Kenya, Canada, USA and Nepal. A self-taught wildlife artist, he works in a variety of media, including graphite pencil, acrylics and pastel to complete his originals. He has produced several commissions for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, of which he has been a member for almost 40 years. Andrew lives in Oxfordshire.


Birds are a perennially popular subject and this eminently readable guide will help you get to grips with many of their complexities. Andrew Forkner also includes some helpful notes on structure and plumage and features such as beaks, feet, and feathers. Concentrating on black and white removes a layer of difficulty at a stroke, and enables those finding their feet to concentrate on shape and structure. While birds are not a subject for the complete beginner, a considerable degree of practice is required and Andrew provides plenty of instruction and exercises that will develop your skills as you work. This is a well-executed and nicely progressive guide that should appeal to the beginner as well as the more experienced worker.

-- Henry Malt * The Artist, September 2018 *

If you have ever wanted to capture the beauty and grace of birds in pencil, then this book will get you started. Mr. Forkner has also produced a book on painting bird portraits in acrylics, but this time he takes a look at working just with graphite pencils for a monochrome look.

You won't need to purchase much to produce any of the projects in here, just the materials associated with graphite pencil work. A detailed list of these is given, together with tips on what to buy and why you need it.

After a very brief look at the history of the bird in art, there is a chapter on getting set up, including how to set up your work area, assembling reference material, transferring layout sketches to drawing paper and more. In order to draw birds and make them look lifelike, it is necessary to understand their anatomy, and there is a useful chapter on bird features with exercises and diagrams. Draw feathers, wings, eyes, beaks and feet and take a look at how birds look in flight.

The project part of the book is divided into bird groups, each of which shows some drawings of relevant birds with drawing tips and a project. This is shown in captioned stages, not photographs but actual drawings, showing how the picture is built up. Each project comes with a traceable outline, so you can get started on the details without worrying about getting the sketch right. Choose from a moorhen, Canada geese, puffin, lanner falcon, snowy owl, goldfinch and partridge. Even a drawing beginner will be able to get plenty out of this book, with its clear, well worded instructions and clear diagrams. This primer is worth obtaining for anybody of any level who wants to draw birds.

-- Rachel Hyde * myshelf.com *

Summer 2018

Aimed at artists with some experience, Andrew Forkner's Drawing Birds is a through and detailed guid. Practical information on materials, basic techniques and gathering reference material is followed by sections on how to draw the key features of birds - beaks, claws, feathers and eyes. The birds are divided into groups and include: waders and waterbirds, wildfowl, birds of prey, owls, garden and woodland birds, seabirds and game birds, and there's a special section on birds in flight. Full step-by-step demonstrations are included.

* Leisure Painter *

Where Andrew's previous book dealt with acrylics and included colour, this concentrates on drawing and monochrome.

Birds are never an easy subject and simply observing them can be a challenge. Although Andrew does not cover the use of photographs in detail, he does hint at their possibilities and also has some useful notes on sketching in the field. The assumption is, I think, that you'll find your own reference material, of which there is plenty available.

The book begins with some handy notes on structure and plumage along with features such as eyes, beaks and bills. This section is worthy of considerable attention as it introduces basic techniques and helps you work towards the complete studies that come later.

These demonstrations cover a good variety of species from garden birds to waterfowl, birds of prey and game birds. Andrew shows you how to map out the outline and structure and then fill in the shading so that your finished result has both shape and solidity.

Although birds are not a subject for the complete beginner, neither is this a masterclass that need deter those who are new to the subject and it should satisfy them as well as those who want to take the art considerably further.

* Artbookreview.net *

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