Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wild Turkey Sketching--Vickie Henderson

I love faces. They say so much about both people and birds.
Meet two of the fourteen Wild Turkeys that have recently been visiting my yard. What a fun group to watch. Slow moving, wary, deliberate and when you take a closer look, fun and curious faces. Maybe that's why I had so much fun sketching them.
But when I got to the wings, I ran into a challenge--beautiful detail vs looseness. I love the movement and spontaneity of watercolor, that watery flow that invites the viewer to use their imagination. But I also love a bird's detailed beauty, for example the contrast in those striped wing feathers. A balance that pleases me is what I'm looking for. And I didn't achieve it here. But this is the practice that will get me there.

I also read about the shape of a turkey's wing, while sketching this. They are blunt in shape with shorter feathers that allow for quick bursts of flight to lift a heavier body. So I took a closer look at my photo images and shortened some of the feathers, leaving the original length as a reminder for later, as well as, adding some notes in the margin.

To see photo images of these curious birds and more about their special feather characteristics, visit my Wild Turkeys--A Happy Ending post at Vickie Henderson Art.


  1. VERY cool, Vickie...I love posts like this. So much to learn...

  2. Facinating, and what a stunning effect!

  3. Beautiful Vickie, and I think there's a place for both looseness and detail - birds lend themselves very much to detail, unless one is just doing a casual portrayal.

  4. These are beautiful pages Vickie. I love the page of feathers and way you have painted one of the wings in a lighter tone, as well as the feature on the feather. The notes on the page add to the composition. I never would have thought so much or so fondly of turkeys - I do now


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.