Two Butter Butts for Draw a Bird Day


I needed a new pencil. Shopper’s Drug Mart had a 24-pack of wooden pencils and a 5-pack of mechanical ones. I couldn’t decide which I preferred. After a 5 minute deadlock, I got both, since each set was only $3. After that extravagant decision, I saw the box of 50 Crayola markers on sale for $8 and grabbed it too.

I copied the Yellow Rumped Warblers from a drawing in the John Muir Laws book. For the first version, I used colored pencils and tried to stick with life-like colors. The second drawing was my first opportunity to try my fresh set of 50 markers. My initial intention was to go with life-like colors but the lightest shade of grey turned out to be quite dark and so I decided to use some light green instead. Then green needed a perky friend: a few whimsical dashes of orange! The grey background (Ć  la Photoshop) was J’s idea, a dapper change from bright, bright white.

Yellow Rumped Warblers are the warblers I see most often in Calgary. I haven’t seen any lately so I think they’ve migrated away for the winter. One of these days, I’ll pick my favourite photos and post them. They are called butter butts because of the yellow patch on their rump (not visible in the drawings).

Thanks to everyone who drew a bird for Draw a Bird Day. Such a treat to see all your birds in my WordPress Reader! Laura at Create Art Everyday started this monthly feathered fun after M.R. Emberson at A-wing and A-way wrote a post about the official yearly Draw a Bird Day on April 8th. Check out Laura’s blog in the next few weeks to find out who else participated.


  1. “Butter Butts”…the name alone is so cute, but your renderings are not only cute (the bird cannot help it) but also lovely. The gray background helps to pop color and it is nice to see the juxtaposition of life-like color and vibrant. Love them both. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. You are very talented. May I comment? I love the bird on the left – more delicate. I feel that the gray is a bit strong. I would try 10 or 25%. Feel free to give me honest comments like this any time. šŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Sherry :-). I don’t think I’m very talented but I’m glad I can draw something aesthetically pleasing. And feel free to comment! I appreciate your honesty. It is always good to know what other eyes see. I agree that a lighter grey would provide a nice contrast with a more delicate appearance. I’m thinking of getting some light grey or brown paper to draw on.

      I can’t imagine giving you advice on your photography. You have a much more experienced and discerning eye than I do. But maybe some day :-).


    • Thanks Kerfe :-). I used Photoshop to change the background from white to grey. I photograph my drawings so I usually have to tweak the contrast a bit in Photoshop. While I was doing that, J winced at my white background and suggested I try grey.

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  3. I am stunned by the beautiful art you produced from inexpensive materials, Myriam! (A lesson for me that I don’t need to buy more or more expensive supplies…LOL!) We get Yellow-rumped Warblers in migration, too. Pretty little thing! I think both of yours have merit…one is more vibrant and the other more realistic, but both are gorgeous!

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  4. …what fun, Myriam. We’re a gaggle of birdie lovers on wordpress! Now, I had quite the journey getting to your blog. That is because I have been absent from blogging for a few months and don’t remember where I left off–in any case, seeing you’d stopped by my page, I clicked onto your Gravatar to find a way to your site. I found you have created no link, no pathway to your website, so I hunted you out using Google. So you might think about adding a link to this site on your Gravatar. Of course, if I went to ‘sites I follow’, I would have found you that way–but of course, that would’ve been far too easy, (smile).

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    • Ah yes :-D! A gaggle. Sorry you had to take a long, circuitous journey to find my blog. But thanks for making me laugh with your description! I’ve taken a similar journey once or twice before from other people’s gravatars. So I added a link to my blog on my gravatar profile to shorten someone else’s journey.

      I am curious about the presence of Blue Jays or Steller’s Jays in different places, which you brought up in one of your recent posts. Since moving to Calgary, I no longer see the Steller’s Jays I would see once in a while in Vancouver. But I do see Blue Jays. Maybe I’ll look it up some day. Your paintings of both jays are lovely :-).


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