Cedar Waxwings

cedar waxwingsFor every illustration I must research the subject in order to show accurate anatomy, behavior, color, and environment. Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) are gregarious song birds, moving in flocks to feed on berries and fruits. They don’t sit still for a minute, which makes it hard to study their brightly patterned plumage. When sketching these birds, I studied a preserved specimen at the RISD Nature Lab and referenced photos. However, what I found most helpful was video of the birds feeding and interacting. As the video progressed, I made quick gesture drawings to capture behavior and posture. Then, pausing the video on certain frames allowed me to take the time to better understand their anatomy and markings. Below are just some of the sketches that came out of this process.

waxwing sketches

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