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Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method

Updated on December 22, 2012

First Scribble Attempt

This was my first attempt and shows that I was still exploring the possibilities.
This was my first attempt and shows that I was still exploring the possibilities. | Source

Rock 'n' Robin

The second bird I did using the Scribble Method. Combines ball point pen on the bird and branch and pastels for the background.
The second bird I did using the Scribble Method. Combines ball point pen on the bird and branch and pastels for the background. | Source

Discovery

I discovered the Scribble Method when learning Adobe Illustrator and looking through some of the effects one could apply to backgrounds and type. I wondered if Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method could be applied to hands on illustration and how that might look. I really like the way the effect works in Illustrator and was sure that it would work just as well using frisket paper.

This leads me to the supplies you will need;

• Roll of Frisket paper or large sheets.

• Exacto knife and blades, #11's work best for me

• Ball point pens of every color, I have yet to find a yellow ball point pen.

• Illustration board (cold press)

• Assortment of dry pastels

• Spray can of workable fixative, matt or gloss depending on your preference

• Roll of toilet paper or Q-tips

Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method is now something I can do on or off the computer and these are the steps I use while doing hands on illustrations.

1. The first step is to choose a bird and then draw or trace the bird onto your illustration board.


2. The second step is to cover your board in with a sheet of frisket paper, making sure to burnish it down smoothly.


3. Using your xacto knife trace around the outline of the bird applying enough pressure to cut the frisket paper but not leave a cut line in the illustration board. Remove the frisket paper covering the interior of the bird.


4. Now the fun part, using the lightest colors first begin scribbling. I prefer to go in one direction for all colors until I have created a good base color. Then I add detail at a slightly different angle to create contrast using a darker colored ball point pen. The frisket paper allows you to scribble outside the outline without coloring the background and leaves a sharp edge.


5. When you have finished the bird and whatever it is standing on, simple remove the frisket paper (slowly) as it is not suppose to tear the illustration board but still can if you are not careful. Spray a light coat of workable fixative on the ball point pen area and let it thoroughly dry.


6. Put down another sheet of frisket paper and repeat the burnishing and cutting process. Remove the frisket from the background area and make sure the covering frisket is burnished smoothly. You are now free to do whatever you wish with the background, I prefer pastels as they are quick and easy to use.


7. I prefer using the Exacto knife to scrape a fine dust of pastel onto my background and then using toilet paper or a Q-tip to smear and smudge the color in an abstract way. I generally use this method to create the impression of the background being out of focus. Look at photos, where the background is out of focus and the subject is in clear focus to get a better idea of how to create this effect.

Included are birds I have done for friends and family and all of these bird illustrations took less than eight hours total to do, some half that time.

Do I make a living at selling these illustrations? No, but I haven't given up on that dream yet either. I do art because I enjoy it and would rather have my art hanging on some ones wall than waiting to be sold. Birds are fun to illustrate for me because they are so colorful and because we see them everyday but don't pay much attention to them.

Illustrating Birds Using the Scribble Method is now a tried and true part of my illustration techniques, hopefully it will inspire other artists as well.


Half Way There and Done

Top Notch Pigeon without background. These beautiful pigeons are found in Australia and this was done for a friend of mine that has helped me on my journey.
Top Notch Pigeon without background. These beautiful pigeons are found in Australia and this was done for a friend of mine that has helped me on my journey. | Source
Once again I used the out of focus look on the background to complete my Illustration.
Once again I used the out of focus look on the background to complete my Illustration. | Source

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    • somethgblue profile image
      Author

      somethgblue 4 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      thank you and it's fun also!

    • profile image

      obviousadmirer 4 years ago

      And we were always told not scribble....pffft! What did they know???!!! Wonderful way to express your heart here.

    • somethgblue profile image
      Author

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      thank you to both of you RTalloni, you will and rebeccamealy always looking for different ways to create as it is said that God created us in his/her image, that must mean we all are artists and so the creative juices are naturally apart of all of us!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Nice work, different and unique. Thanks for sharing that

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Lovely work--love the intense colors! Hope to see more of your art here. Voted up!

    • somethgblue profile image
      Author

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Your welcome Kimberly and it is really easy, after all it's all in the scribble!

    • profile image

      kimberlyslyrics 5 years ago

      This is absolutely fantastic. I have never seen this before and really want to attempt its medium. Thank you for hubbing it.

      Kimberly

    • somethgblue profile image
      Author

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Thank you Steph, liked your hub on alternative transportation.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Very beautiful artwork - great explanations as well! Voted up and beautiful - Cheers, Steph

    • somethgblue profile image
      Author

      somethgblue 5 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Thanks, bird watching can be done anywhere, however I find that if you can get to their level, second or third stories apartments near trees offer the best views.

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

      Wow, these are absolutely beautiful! You have truly talent, my friend! I like sketching birds too, although it's been a long while since I sketched anything! Thanks for the last link, I've bookmarked it for when I'm free. You should do a hub on the best places on earth for bird-watching! Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting lol! ^-^