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.
So far I’ve got:
- William Shakespeare
- Christopher Marlowe
- Walt Whitman
- Allen Ginsberg
- Shel Silverstein
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
- Henry David Thoreau
- Rabindranath Tagore
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti
- D.H. Lawrence
- Luís Vaz de Camóes
- Jim Morrison
- 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.
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.