Award-winning wildlife artist Barry van Dusen works on a watercolor piece. He prefers to work in the field, even with difficult subjects such as wild birds.  PHOTO COURTESY OF ROY DOCKERY 

Master wildlife artist shares techniques 



SOUTHWEST HARBOR – The Wendell Gilley Museum is offering two online workshops with master wildlife artist Barry van Dusen in May and June.   

First up is “Drawing and Sketching Birds” on Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to noon. This program will explore methods for drawing birds in both studio and field. Van Dusen will discuss the value of keeping a field sketchbook, along with the techniques, challenges and opportunities involved with drawing wild birds outdoors. This will be followed by a real-time, follow-along drawing demonstration in which the artist shares insights on bird anatomy and structure, tips for drawing various parts of the bird, and a start-to-finish drawing of a Carolina Wren, offering a detailed sequence of steps. This program is aimed at beginner artists and art appreciators.  

The second class, “Exploring Nature in Watercolor” is on Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to noonThis more advanced program focuses on painting birds and other subjects in watercolor. Van Dusen will share his own portfolio, which includes paintings of birds, flowers and plants, mammals, salamanders, turtles, frogs, fish, insects and natural landscapes. This will be followed by a live, real-time demonstration of the steps involved in painting a watercolor portrait of a songbird. The demonstration will include discussions of field observation and field sketching, watercolor materials, approaches to working with tone and color, and many tips for creating naturalistic watercolor portraits of wild birds.  

Van Dusen is an internationally respected and award-winning wildlife artistHe prefers to work in the field, even with difficult subjects such as wild birds. Over the years, he has filled countless sketchbooks with hundreds of drawings done on location. Birds, he says, were his gateway to a passion for nature, which he’s been able to combine with artistic talent to create a career that has taken him all over the world. 

Van Dusen’s work is frequently chosen for Birds in Art, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s prestigious annual juried art show. He is a full member of London’s Society of Wildlife Artists, and his work is regularly exhibited worldwide. His articles and paintings have been featured in Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birding and Yankee magazines.  

To reserve a spot for either class, email [email protected], including name, email, phone number and which class you’d like to sign up for. There is a $35 fee for each class. 

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