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56605 Sitka Drive
Otis, OR 97368
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A Deep Dive into Bird Illustration

Registering as Guest.

Minimum age:
Skill level:
Total cost:
Start date:
End date:
All Levels Welcome
June 23, 2021
June 25, 2021
10:00 - 4:00

Workshop Overview

Among the most beautiful creatures in the world, birds offer an infinite variety of sizes, shapes and colors. This workshop focuses on understanding bird anatomy on a detailed level and using that knowledge to render accurate and loving bird portraits. Drawing both form and detail, we will look at various adaptations. We will also consider how to create a composition that helps the viewer learn more about the species. We will use taxidermy specimens, photographs, video and live observation, and work in graphite and watercolor. Weather permitting, we'll take a bird walk with volunteers from the local Audubon Society.

About the Instructor(s)

Nora Sherwood has a professional certificate in Natural Science Illustration from the University of Washington and is a working artist on the Oregon coast. Her science illustration work is guided by Baba Dioum's famous quote: "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught." In addition to commissioned work for museums, interpretive signage, commercial products and scientific journals, Nora shows work in galleries around the Pacific Northwest and teaches workshops.

Materials List: Students Bring


• Pencil set for graphite studies (whatever pencils you like to use for sketching - I typically have 3 pencils on hand when I'm sketching - F, 2B and 4B is a useful set)

• Eraser

• Pencil sharpener

• Tortillon or stump if you like using them

• Magnifying glass

• Clear plastic ruler

• A sketch pad for sketches and rough drafts

• Brushes - other than a 1 1/2" wash brush, I exclusively use round brushes, ranging in size from 8 to 00. Everybody has their favorite type of brush, and mine is the Da Vinci Cosmotop spin... I love them and a bonus is that they're vegan! Bring what you have, and buy a few new ones if yours are old and crusty...

• Palette

• Water jars (I use two)

• Paper towels

• Watercolors - if you already have a set that you like, please bring it. If you don't have watercolors or your set needs some updating, below is a list of some colors I use a lot. (These are just suggestions - PLEASE don't feel obligated to buy them. We won't use a lot of paint in the class, and I'd be happy to share a dab of mine if you'd like to try one. Really, don't go overboard on purchases.)

o Phthalo Blue

o Cadmium Red

o Alizarin Crimson

o Quinacridone Gold

o Gamboge

o Hansa Yellow

o Sap Green

o Raw Umber

o Burnt Umber

o Raw Sienna

o Burnt Sienna

o Neutral Tint

o Payne's Grey

*(Note on watercolors – it is beneficial to pay the extra for the good quality, professional paints. I only use tube paints.)

Materials List: Provided by Instructor(s)

• Watercolor paper (300 lb. hot press) Most watercolor folks use cold press paper, so this will be new to some **(This paper will be shipped to Online Participants before class begins)

• Tracing paper

• Photographs and taxidermy specimens

• Hand-outs about bird anatomy and good resources for bird illustration

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