Drawing Exercise: A Yellow Bird

I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.
Anne Lamott

Inspired by illustrations in Nya Fågelboken

I am not one of those cool people who enjoy drawing from life. I rarely draw really (I just do random doodling sometimes), and when I do it’s often what I find in my imagination, like the green bird I recently showed you. I envy those who fill their sketchbooks and journals with life like sketches, but I don’t strive to become one of them.

But all that said, sometimes it is fun to use still life, life, photographs, or other people’s images and try to draw something that is not already in your head. It is a challenge, especially if you don’t do it often, but also a very fun exercise! An exercise that expands and grows your ability to draw, to use your hands and yes, and to concentrate! For my own Yellow Bird I picked an illustration from my big book for birds, and tried to (kind of) copy the feather patterns. This is what I got:

Yellow Bird Friend
Yellow (a bit realistic, at least more real looking than I usually do) Bird. I like it!

To try give it a try: you pick an image and try to copy it. First the outer form, then details and the colours as best you can. No need to do an exact copy, just think of your picture as inspiration. Good luck!

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13 Responses to Drawing Exercise: A Yellow Bird

  1. Irma says:

    The little birdie is sooo pretty…Thank you for the inspiration in words and picture. Yes, one should take the time to do so.

  2. Caatje says:

    I love it, good job. I’m currently practicing drawing clothed female figures from postorder catalogues and bridal magazines. It’s a lot of fun as long as I can put my own spin on it.

  3. lee says:

    I often do this, as practice, just take the form and make it my own, i love how your bird turned out

  4. Andria says:

    I am a GREAT fan of Anne Lamott, the source of today’s quotation. I went to a book reading she gave at an area church just last month, and that was the second time I had heard her there. She is amazing!

    I, too, would love to fill my sketchbooks with drawings from life. But I draw best (when I draw at all) from other people’s drawings! I know, though, that I could do better if I would put in the practice time. I’m not sure it’s where my heart really is! Your bird is lovely.

  5. MissKoolAid says:

    I think your drawing is perfect as is! It is definitely good practice to draw by looking at an image. I need to do that too.

  6. Laila says:

    It’s beautiful Hanna! Good way to practice drawing skills. Love your bird.

  7. Jana says:

    I love your bird!
    Me too – I wish sketching came easier to me. But practicing is always so peaceful – I need that more often.

  8. Beautiful!
    Well done! :)

  9. Kim Mailhot says:

    I love the yellow bird ! And your fearless dive into drawing !

  10. Ann Martin says:

    Another fan of Anne Lamott here and am happy to say I had the pleasure of hearing her speak once upon a time. I love your frame-worthy, little bird!

  11. this is gorgeous! it looks like you did it in watercolor – something i wish i had the patience for because the result is so lovely! it captures the lightness of the birdie perfectly.

  12. Chris says:

    This is a beautiful sketch Hanna. I also draw mostly from images, not from life. But I do it very infrequently. I just got a postcard from someone who had drawn and painted a face, and then reproduced it for her cards. So beautiful! I’ll be blogging about it soon and all the other great pieces I’m being gifted. Isn’t life wonderful?

    Another thing I want to tell you that I keep forgetting: I REALLY appreciate that you don’t use CAPTCHA codes on your comments. It is so tiresome and really unnecessary. I wish everyone would take them off.

  13. pixie says:

    So pretty! I definitely need to practice more.

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