today’s doodles – barn swallows and owl

swallows on a wire

swallows on a wire

Since my last post I have been pretty busy but at least three weeks of that was a busy vacation! That’s the best kind of busy 😀

Last fall, I was playing around with something called “Zentangle”. It was pretty fun but didn’t ever seem me. Last weekend, I decided to try the technique out on something real instead of an abstract form. The swallows above are the result… with a fair amount of “cheating” – that is I didn’t really follow the rules. Anyway, I was fairly happy with the result so I decided to do another this weekend and that is the owl below.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

It is really fun to express the form and even emotion using patterns instead of rendering the birds in a truly realistic way. These are both done with ink on paper and are about 3.5″x5″. After the ink was done, I did some shading with pencil for volume and a hint of colour with water colour pencil. I didn’t use any water on them though because the paper isn’t very thick and would have buckled.

I found the photo of the owl here. It’s small on the page but you can click to make it larger and see where the inspiration came from. I know owls are fierce predators but they are awfully cute too!

UPDATE: New poem from Tom in the comments! Delightful! thanks!!
Swallows

“I’m feeling something abstract here,
upon this strand of wire,
as if the Artist had no fear,
was willing to acquire

a method new, a novel set
of rules to break and bend
with pencil shading, ink of jet–
it seems just slightly zen!”

Owl

“O, I say… do you not see
the pattern weaving deep
within the fabric of the world
where silent truths still sleep?

What a pity, for in truth
there’s beauty undiscovered
by all who see just surfaces
and think they have uncovered

all there is to know and see
through all of space and time
but those who know the pattern’s there
they see the world sublime!”

images (cc) 2015 Hilary J. Farmer

poems (c) 2015 TJ Radcliffe

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6 Responses to “today’s doodles – barn swallows and owl”

  1. Mike Wingrove Says:

    Really nice work. The owl is particularly beautiful.

  2. The patterns on the “birds on a wire”‘s chests are really awesome. There are so surreal and at the same time, the volume and the shadowing/coloring makes it very plausible.

    That owl has mesmerizing eyes. I love to compare your drawing to the original in the link.

    Great work, and I hope to see more soon!

  3. Swallows

    “I’m feeling something abstract here,
    upon this strand of wire,
    as if the Artist had no fear,
    was willing to acquire

    a method new, a novel set
    of rules to break and bend
    with pencil shading, ink of jet–
    it seems just slightly zen!”

    Owl

    “O, I say… do you not see
    the pattern weaving deep
    within the fabric of the world
    where silent truths still sleep?

    What a pity, for in truth
    there’s beauty undiscovered
    by all who see just surfaces
    and think they have uncovered

    all there is to know and see
    through all of space and time
    but those who know the pattern’s there
    they see the world sublime!”

    For some reason the poems came to me in the voices of the subjects, commenting on your (beautiful!) technique. Metapoems, or something! 🙂 I like the notion that that patterning you’ve created is a realistic capturing of the underlying reality.

    In the Okanagan this weekend Carrie and I saw a kestrel or two, some kind of ptarmigan or grouse, and (Eurasian) magpies, as well as many ducks of various varieties.

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