Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Drawing moving animals is a lot different from drawing trees and plants. I've been working on it for about a month. I started with California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) because they're plentiful and easy to find at Howarth Park. There are some colonies in areas with a lot of human traffic so they're not as shy and will often stand and stare right back at me while I draw, holding perfectly still. Sometimes, they seem to almost get used to me sitting there with binoculars and drawing stuff. Then I get up to leave and my model begins shrieking at me for being such a nuisance.

I've just added Acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) to my repertoire. I found a group of them filling hundreds of pre-drilled holes with acorns, in a dead tree. They work for a while, then take off. Then they come back and work some more.

Drawing through binoculars takes some getting used to and I'm relearning gesture drawing, something I haven't done since I was in college and going to figure drawing classes. Hmmm.


  1. These sketches are really beautiful, Debbie...who knew the annoying ground squirrel could be good for something: a source of inspiration.

  2. I'm glad I could help change your perspective on them! I'm crazy about them.