Today's Birds of Ripon feature deals not precisely with birds, but more technically with "bird environment." There is a bush in our front yard that we call the "bird bush." No relation to Dubya. The bird bush has been singled out by the neighborhood birds as the place to settle in for the night. Each evening, just as the sun begins to set, dozens of birds begin to return from who knows where, and they begin jockeying for the prime sleeping perches. For about thirty minutes, there is a wonderful frenzy of fluttering, chirping and preening. Just like at a noisy cocktail party, the din of the chirping grows very loud as everyone tries to talk at once and tell about what kind of day they had. Then, inexplicably, everything gets quiet. A solitary bird giggles, then another comments, and off they go again, complaining about the lack of worms, breaking the news that the seeds of the sunflowers in the yard two doors down were finally ripe enough to eat, spreading the dirt on the latest gaffs by the young bluejays. Eventually, everyone does quiet down, settles in, and goes to sleep. At the crack of dawn, the party begins all over, and for about thirty minutes, dreams are analyzed, teams are picked, and plans are made. Then everybody is gone for who knows where, leaving behind discarded feathers and a sidewalk spotted with droppings.
I wanted to draw a picture of the tree (a Dwarf Blue Gum Eucalyptus), but even given my demonstrated talent at bird illustration, I was intimidated by the task. Then I remembered Kliban's "How To Draw a Cat" instructions (just start with the basic geometric shapes), and sure enough it worked.
In Figure One, I started out with the basic shape of the Blue Gum. In Figure Two, I added the basic outline of the multibranched backbone of the tree.
I began adding color in Figure Three (using the "spray paint application" of my program.
And after a few finishing touches, there you have it (Figure Four), a rendering of a Drawf Blue Gum.
In Figure Five, I have begun using the same technique for a drawing of Paris Hilton.