American Robin (juvenile)

Juvenile American Robin watercolor pencil drawing, June 2016


Studio notes:

I chose this subject because of a juvenile Robin in my neighborhood, whom I have been calling Felicity. I chose to draw just the head and shoulders of the Robin because I trying to draw strength. We don’t often think of Robins as something strong. We do the Bob-Bob bobbing along and leave it at that. Felicity always looks somewhat scruffy and bewildered but determined.

I have done my first pass with watercolor pencil. I tried to keep things light, though I failed in a few spots. I tried to keep strokes short to maintain a feeling of fluffiness and feathers. Technical note: sometimes drool ran down the pencil and got unintended water on the paper. Next, I will use a wet brush and I’m bit scared. I’m afraid I will lose any sense of feathery. We’ll see what happens…

The good news is the feathery strokes were easy to maintain with short brushstrokes. The bad news is it turns out I’m working on drawing paper, not watercolor paper. I need to supervise more carefully! Also, I’ve lost white patches in the feathers.

Next: darken areas of shadow; add more reddish areas; add a little brown on head

I did what’s noted above. Paper seems to reach a point where it is saturated doesn’t take more color. Water seems to “take” unpredictably, causing darker spots where I don’t expect them. Finished.


Posted on

June 27, 2016


  1. Pat Young

    I would have done the same thing you did, it would not occur to me to check the paper, even though I knew I was using W.C. pencils, but for some reason, I always welcome a happy accident!….It feels like the great Universe is participating!

    • Kate

      “The universe is participating…” What a great way to look at it. Thanks, Pat!


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