Field Sketching: Learning to Draw Birds from Life with Michael DiGiorgio

Whether you are an ornithologist, birder or an artist, in order to successfully draw birds, you must know something about them by direct observation from life. Each family of birds has a “signature” way of acting, flying and posing, which helps us identify it. To recognizing what bird you are seeing, you must also take note of its size, shape, type of bill, shape of tail, and most important, it’s behavior. All thrushes, for example, act like our common robin and all doves act like a common pigeon.

Students in this class will learn how to take quick mental snapshots of these avian mannerisms and then record them in simple gesture drawings in pencil. The first part of the class will take place in the studio, where students will study the structure and anatomy of birds. The second part of the class will take place in the field, observing and drawing local birds in the Connecticut River Valley.

Open to all students. Students will be required to have a good quality sketchbook, a good set of drawing pencils, and binoculars.