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Tip to Tail: The Art of Sketching Birds

Bird Sketch Class

November 2 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Virtual Course
4 Sessions / Wednesdays / November 2, 9, 16, 30

6 PM – 8 PM
$110 General Public, $95 VINS Members

Register Today

Love birds? Love drawing and sketching? Overwhelmed by the idea of sketching something that moves? VINS has the class for you!

This 4-week virtual class will focus on basic knowledge of bird anatomy and hone your observation and drawing skills. Each session will be devoted to a different topic related to drawing birds including bone structure, feathers, proportions and body shapes.

From the comfort of your home, use photos, mounted specimens, artifacts, and even live birds as your models. Challenging? Yes, but you can do this! This is an introductory course and will focus on the basics. Keeping it simple is key to creating a foundational path to success.

Class 1: Introduction, Warm-ups and Bones
Take this opportunity to study basic avian skeletal information. You will draw an entire skeleton, perhaps two, to gain an understanding of what lies beneath the muscle and feathers.

Class 2: Shapes and Proportions
In this class we’ll compare the variety of shapes and proportions of birds and the purposes for these variations. We’ll use mounted specimens of birds as well as photos from which to draw.

Class 3: Feathers and Scales
Birds have wonderful textures to sketch! We’ll use this class to practice creating these textures with pencil and/or pen using VINS’ collection of artifacts.

Class 4: Live Sketching!
Birds are always on the move. Whether in flight or perched, some part of their body is nearly always moving. Today we will put to work the skills learned thus far. No fear! One must have a place to start their journey of bird sketching and this is it.

Bring your current sketchpad (newsprint pads not recommended), drawing pencils, a white eraser (General’s Tri-Tip eraser recommended) and a kneaded eraser. Drawing pens are welcome as well as any tool you enjoy sketching with. Drawing/sketching experience not necessary.

Instructor – Sandy McDermott
Sandy McDermott was raised in New England where she received a BA in Art from Salem State University with a minor in Biology. She went on to receive a Graduate Certificate in Natural Science Illustration from the University of California at Santa Cruz, leading to an internship at Bryce Canyon National Park. Sandy furthered her education by later completing Mass Audubon’s Ornithology Certificate program and pursued private study of watercolors under two New England masters. She is the illustrator of books, numerous t-shirt designs, business identity logos, signage, brochures, murals and magazine articles. Sandy has been a teaching artist, sharing her passion for drawing the natural world, since 1998 and has been a freelance Natural Science Illustrator since 1992.

Sandy lived in New Hampshire for 23 years with her husband, raising their daughter on the seacoast before moving to the Mount Washington Valley. She recently moved to Alaska.

You can follow her journey and work on social media or sign up for her newsletters showcasing exclusive journal work as she explores Alaska:

Instagram: @sandyhmcdermottart
Facebook: Birchtr33 (or Sandy McDermott Birchtree Studio)

For more information, contact us at 802.359.5000 x245 or sstrew@vinsweb.org.

Illustration by © Sandy McDermott.