Learn to draw birds in 30 seconds – The John Busby seabird drawing course 2017

Another great week long drawing course on the Firth of Forth. Our joint exercises getting more and more challenging with guest tutor Kim Atkinson inviting us to use sound drawing (clamour of kittiwake and gargle of guillemots in sound foreground) as a way of explore our toolboxes. What might make an equivalent for each sound we could identify.

Kim Atkinson setting up the sound drawing exercise above the cliffs at St Abbs

Kim Atkinson setting up the sound drawing exercise above the cliffs at St Abbs

Darren Woodhead got us all working with clay on the cliff tops on day 5 to feel out in 3D the forms we’d been exploring in 2. The shared activities right there next to the seabirds, sharing the same drizzle, a potent recipe.
On wednesday, day 4 we had a very brief landing on the Bass, only one hour, but the quantity and quality of work was outstanding. The time pressure seeming to force everyone into bolder, more vigorous drawing.
So gathered back on the cliffs of St Abbs we did timed drawing, a bit like a short pose session at a life drawing class. Crazy that we’d never thought to do it before. Ben Woodhams sheet below seems almost superhuman…he had to find and draw the kittiwakes…first in 2 x 2 minute slots, then 2 x 1 minutes and finally 8 x 30 second drawings.

Timed kittiwake drawings by Ben Woodhams on the 2017 John Busby seabird drawing course

Timed kittiwake drawings by Ben Woodhams on the 2017 John Busby seabird drawing course

 

 

30 second timed guillemot drawings by SWLA bursary winner Wynona Legg

30 second timed guillemot drawings by SWLA bursary winner Wynona Legg

2 & 1 minute timed guillemot drawings by SWLA bursary winner Wynona Legg

2 & 1 minute timed guillemot drawings by SWLA bursary winner Wynona Legg

 

SWLA bursary winner Wynona Legg’s drawings are equally impressive… Fantastic to see her development during the week.

This is only a small part of what the course is about and maybe invidious to pick out individual work but the phenomenon of the discipline of quick timed sketches seemed worth sharing asap.

I think John Busby and David Measures would be very happy looking down on the evolution of the course.