art blog of a skeptic·birder·science nerd

Posted by Jocelyn on Feb - 23 - 2014 under Artwork

Murder & Parliament

Murder & Parliament

Realized moments too late that the ink I’d used on the crows wasn’t waterproof — had to cover up my nice wash with some pasty gouache to fix it.  Ah, well.  Watercolour, pen & coloured pencil.

Posted by Jocelyn on Feb - 11 - 2014 under Field Sketches

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

Shrikes are obscenely cute for something so ferocious, and I’m terribly fond of them.  I spied this young bird streaking past while out searching for Snowy Owls on Saturday, and promptly turned the car around for a better look.

Northern Shrike

I only ever see shrikes during the colder months, and they tend to pop up unexpectedly.  This one didn’t seem to mind my presence, giving me a good twenty minutes of drawing time while it twisted its little head about in search of prey.

Northern Shrike

Posted by Jocelyn on Feb - 09 - 2014 under Field Sketches

Guelph Lake Varied Thrush

Varied Thrush

A female Varied Thrush has been hanging out near the Guelph Lake dam since at least the beginning of last week. I headed out into the -22C cold Saturday morning, joining a shivering group of birders at the trail head as they waited around for her to make an appearance.

Female Varied Thrush

An hour and a half later, she’d only offered us one brief, branch-obscured glimpse.  I took a break and headed to the nearest Tim’s for a tea to warm up.  Willing myself to go back into the cold was a bit of a challenge, but she showed much better during my second attempt.  Well worth it.

Female Varied Thrush

The thrush never stayed out in the open long, snatching wrinkled crab apples from the trailside before vanishing back into the scrub to eat them.  It’s not the sort of weather that’s hospitable to bare hands, but I hate drawing with gloves on.  I kept a handwarmer in my pocket to bring the feeling back to my numb fingers in between quick snatches of sketches.

Female Varied Thrush

I attempted a few photos as well, but there’s a reason I bring a sketchbook with me instead of a camera.  Great bird!

Female Varied Thrush

Posted by Jocelyn on Jan - 16 - 2014 under Artwork, Skepticism

Dragon In My Garage

Dragon In My Garage

I began this book as a summer project and intended to finish it for Carl Sagan Day back in November, but life inevitably got in the way and I slid past more than a few self-imposed deadlines.

I was paging through my copy of Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World when it occurred to me that his chapter on unfalsifiable claims — in which he posits that an invisible, floating, heatless, incorporeal dragon lives in his garage — would be an excellent premise for a children’s book. And so.

Read it here!

Posted by Jocelyn on Jan - 13 - 2014 under Field Sketches

House Sparrows

You’d think the deathly cold temperatures of the last few weeks would have driven the birds to the feeder, but my yard has been almost entirely empty since the new year.  A milder spell this weekend finally brought back my usual flock of House Sparrows. Last month’s ice storm took down one of the branches on my lonely willow tree, and the birds seemed to appreciate the extra ground cover.

sketchook 2014-01-11-2


Posted by Jocelyn on Dec - 17 - 2013 under Field Sketches


EPSON scanner image

Posted by Jocelyn on Oct - 31 - 2013 under Field Sketches


sketchbook 2013-10-13

Posted by Jocelyn on Jun - 17 - 2013 under Artwork

Dragon (Watercolour)

Another dragon.  Canson makes a pretty great mixed media sketchbook — a nice surface for pencils that erases well, while just heavy enough to accept washes.


Posted by Jocelyn on Jun - 15 - 2013 under Artwork


Some dragon designs for a new project I’ve started.  Still deciding whether I want to go digital or traditional for this one.  Flexibility versus comfort, same old battle.

Dragon 01

Dragon 03

Dragon 03

Posted by Jocelyn on Jun - 05 - 2013 under Field Sketches

May Sketches

Bluebirds at Huron Natural Area:

Warblers on the Bruce Peninsula:

Long-tailed Ducks on Colpoy’s Bay:

Thrushes and Northern Flicker: