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Arting and Stuff

1. Decide on a theme. (In this case: Birds in Beards 2: Dead Poets.)

2. Research. Poets? Poems? Birds?

3. Decide on a subject. (In this case: John Burroughs.)


4. Decide on an animal. In this case, a Cardinal (because it is a snow bird, and Burroughs had a poem about snow birds).

5. Sketch in pencil.

6. Draw in pen.

7. Erase pencil.

8. Maybe I put it into a coloring book. And maybe I burn it! It all depends. Artistic Temperament. It happens.

P.S. There were two new lambs this morning: both female. I am so happy about that. They are both black— top hats! Felted top hats! This is what we will make with their wool, if they survive and thrive.

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Name a Dead Poet Who Had a Handsome Beard

So far I’ve got:

  1. William Shakespeare
  2. Christopher Marlowe
  3. Walt Whitman
  4. Allen Ginsberg 
  5. Shel Silverstein
  6. Alfred Lord Tennyson
  7. Henry David Thoreau
  8. Rabindranath Tagore
  9. Dante Gabriel Rossetti 
  10. D.H. Lawrence
  11. Luís Vaz de Camóes
  12. Jim Morrison 
  13. Robert Browning

And a recommendation to read this (formerly) obscure book: 


All of this is, of course, for Birds in Beards 2: Dead Poets Edition, a new coloring book for adults. (No matter how great I make it, I don’t think I could ever make it cooler looking than Poets Ranked by Beard Weight.)

Is there a dead poet whom you would like to see drawn with a bird in his beard? If so, it is time now to leave his name in the comments section. 

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How to Draw a Guy with a Bird in his Beard

Birds in beards

1. Draw a guy.

2. Add a beard.

3. Draw a bird in the beard.

Another way is to have some really weird dudes visit you as you sketch them and their strange beard ecosystems. I speak from experience when I say, “Live models are a huge mistake! Bird poop everywhere! I’m missing my left thumb now! And those prima-dona beardos with their holier than thou attitudes? No, just make this stuff up. It’s better that way.”

After eighteen years of sweat, tears, and bird poop, at least I got a good coloring book out of it.