Watercolor and pencil sketch of a Woodcock game bird, Don West, Artist
7”x10”, sketched in a medium LEDA sketchbook with pencil and watercolor.

I got a bit bogged down with writing the sketching guide and decided to set it on the back burner for now so I could get back to sketching. I’m convinced the personality of the dog in the animated movie “Up” is somehow part of my DNA. No matter what the little fella was focused on, it didn’t take much to get him off track…squirrel? If you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t seen it, stream it. It’s a really great movie.

Sketching habits die hard. I found myself longing to just sit and sketch instead of trying to figure out a good way to explain how to sketch in words, photos and illustrations. A little break in thinking on a project will usually bring about clarity upon continuing. Our brains subconsciously solve problems for us when we give the conscious a time to enjoy some other activity. Amazing isn’t it? It felt good to sketch again.

This little game bird, the American Woodcock, is a favorite bird of mine. Mostly because of its form and appearance, I’ve come to appreciate it. Plus, it’s a fun bird to sketch. Hunters find a great challenge in them and I’m told they are the king of game birds in terms of dining. They are really small though. Seems to me one could eat at least a couple of them in one sitting. But hey, sometimes it’s about the experience and not the practicality that makes an activity appealing. Witness modern vacation snow skiing if you need an example.😉

The Woodcock can be found primarily in the Eastern United States and they frequent woodlands and forests. Now that I’m in Colorado, siting one will be unlikely. Had I known about them when I lived in Georgia, I would have made it a quest to hunt one down and sketch it. That’s my form of hunting but I’m okay with all the sportsmen out there who put food on their tables by doing so. Most tend to be mindful of conservation in their endeavors since it bolsters the health and population of their chosen quarry.

We are all aware of historical tendencies of humans to decimate a species to near extinction for nonsensical, ignorant reasons. The media continually focuses on our negative behaviors so that’s what we hear most. Fortunately, humans sometimes progress in positive and practical directions that aren’t necessarily motivated by profit or covered in mainstream news. It does one good to dig a little and find that the mainstream is full of positive information too. 😉