From My Sketchbook Pages: Bird Watching

I have been noticing a lot of birds hanging out in our crabapple tree over the past wintery month.

robin close-up

I recently borrowed a telephoto lens from a friend, so I’ve been practicing taking close-up pictures during my birdwatching pastime.cedar waxwings

The crabapples must be just the right ripeness because I’ve seen a lot of robins (robins here in winter?), cedar waxwings, and chickadees, the latter of which are usually around here in winter. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen many cardinals in awhile.


It’s fun to observe things going on in nature, especially when it’s too cold to be outside exploring, so I like to capture those moments in my sketchbook while practicing my illustration style.

sketchbook page bird drawings

sketchbook page birdwatching

I started out with a pencil sketch and then added color. For this illustration, I broke out my set of Inktense watercolor pencils, which I haven’t used in a couple years. I love how you can control the vibrancy of the color with these pencils, different other watercolor mediums, by drawing in color with the pencil first and then going over those areas with a wet brush. You can make things really pop or you can get a more washed–out look. I really love using the Niji Waterbrushes because they are portable, in that they hold water in the handle. I also like the fine-tipped brush, which works well for me on more detailed illustrations like this.

inktense watercolor pencils

This is definitely one of my more favorite sketchbook pages, which is great motivation to do more illustrations like this!


10 thoughts on “From My Sketchbook Pages: Bird Watching

    1. Thank you Amy! I really appreciate that. I wished I could remember to take more in-progress pictures like this. I guess I get caught up in the process.

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