For our prompt of “Emerald” today, I was originally going to sketch the gemstone and then got sidetracked by a video of a little hummingbird known as a western emerald. So, that’s what we ended up with today. As many of you know by now, I very easily get distracted by videos when looking for ideas of what to sketch. Though truly, any chance to sketch a bird and I’ll take it! My mind also went to the Emerald City of Oz, since I live right next to Kansas and Dorothy’s hometown. There’s lots of Wizard of Oz souvenirs that can be found for tourists who visit Kansas City even though it’s actually in Missouri. This little bird isn’t one you’d find here, but hails from western Ecuador and Colombia. One of the reasons I find birds so fascinating is that there are endless varieties in every color combination one could imagine. And it’s always a perfect lesson in color theory to study nature and watch how those colors appear.
While many of the most colorful birds aren’t seen where I live, there are still lots of them to enjoy. Yesterday while on a walk a lovely primary palette appeared consisting of a red cardinal, blue jay, and yellow finch. I see these birds and many others while we’re out walking our dog Phineas. He doesn’t seem quite as interested in birds. Indeed, he just ignores them unless one moves close by and startles him. On today’s walk, he was suddenly excited about something and started pulling forward almost at a run. Philippe and I ran after him to see where he might lead us, but just moments later, he got completely distracted by a patch of grass and we never found out what he was after. This is rare, as it’s normally more of constant stroll and stop with Phineas rather than a continuous walk, much less a run. He doesn’t want to miss anything along the way. A quality I have to admire.
Walks have become my only form of entertainment outside of being at home these days. So, I’m enjoying them even more. We live directly next to a historic cemetery, which has lots of ancient trees and various paved roads to explore. That’s where the first walk of the day happens and the one I always enjoy most. Phineas doesn’t like to go the same way twice during a day, so the path always shifts. But the morning walk is my favorite, because it feels like a little escape from the tightly packed city homes and apartments. No matter what my mood my have been when I started on that walk, I’m always in a bright and cheery mood when I return. Nature never fails to surprise and delight me. Even the smallest things, things I think I’ve seen so many times before are just a bit different. Flowers have grown, new birds have arrived, and fresh leaves have fallen. And though I’m limited to my own climate and location as to what appears there, in my sketchbook it’s equally delightful to know that I can still get a visit from a western emerald.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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