52 Birds: White-breasted Nuthatch

Saturday mornings have become my times to work on this 52 Birds project.  I'm an early riser, and love having a quiet hour with my green tea and a sketchbook.  Adding some bird illustration into the mix doesn't hurt either!

For this project, I spend a lot of time sketching the bird I'm drawing for the week, from all kinds of different angles, in all kinds of positions.  It's good practice, and, I hope, helps me capture the personality of each bird. 

When it comes to illustrating the birds in Photoshop, I limit myself to certain amount of time, usually between 30 minutes and an hour.  Any longer than that and I tend to overwork it and overthink it.  Spending more time sketching helps as well; I'm going into Photoshop with a complete sketch, something I never used to do.

This week's bird, a white-breasted nuthatch, is a frequent visitor around here.  When I first noticed them, I thought they were woodpeckers, because of the way they walk down tree trunks head first.  Then I noticed they didn't use their tail feathers for balance, like woodpeckers do, and after a quick search discovered what kind of bird they really were.

white-breasted nuthatch illustration by Stephanie Fizer Coleman

Prints are available in my shop, along with the other birds I've illustrated so far!