Sketches from Life

In order to give my artwork a authentic and lifelike quality, I often go out and sketch nature from life. Working from the actual living bird not only teaches me about it's movements and gestures, but gives me a more immediate record of the actual experience of seeing them.

This small selection of sketches shows my work directly from life and studies of captive birds and bird specimens.

( All Paintings © Michael DiGiorgio

Use of images without permission is forbidden.)

Watch Hill Gull
Watch Hill Gull

Life sketch of a juvenile Herring Gull in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Western Grebe
Western Grebe

Life sketches of a winter Western Grebe from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

Rhode Island Turns
Rhode Island Turns

Life sketch of group of Common and Roseate Turns resting on a sandbar in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.

Great Island Egret
Great Island Egret

Life sketch of a preening Snowy Egret from Great Island Wildlife Refuge in Lyme, Connecticut.

Jamaica Bay Egret
Jamaica Bay Egret

A life sketch of a Snowy Egret in the early morning light from Jamaca Bay Wildlife Refuge, N.Y.

Laver Swamp Herons
Laver Swamp Herons

A life sketch of a nest full of juvenile Great-blue Herons in a wooded wetland, Hillsdale, N.Y.

Silky Flycatcher on Nest
Silky Flycatcher on Nest

A life sketch of a nesting Silky Flycatcher in Costa Rica.

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl.jpg
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl.jpg
Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

Life sketch of a Resplendent Quetzal near it's nesting site in Costa Rica.

Sun Bittern
Sun Bittern

Life sketch of a Sun Bittern hunting in the Sarapiqui River, Costa Rica.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Oddly enough, I searched for this bird in Florida without luck. This study was from a rare out of range bird in Deep River, Connecticut!

Violaceous Euphonia
Violaceous Euphonia

Life sketch of a Violaceous Euphonia from a captive bird in Trinidad.

Coco Thrush
Coco Thrush

Life sketch of a captive Coco Thrush from Trinidad.

Silver-beaked Tanager
Silver-beaked Tanager

Life sketch of a captive Silver-beaked Tanager from Trinidad.

Yellow billed Cuckoo
Yellow billed Cuckoo

A fresh window killed Yellow-billed Cuckoo study.

December Doves
December Doves

Life painting from my backyard in Madison Connecticut. These Morning Dover were waiting for me to fill my feeders on a snowy afternoon.

Deep River Mergansers
Deep River Mergansers

Life sketch of a group of Common Mergansers on an ice float in the Connecticut River in Deep River.

Hammonasset Snowy
Hammonasset Snowy

In 2001, we had a larger invasion of Snowy Owls. This painting was done from life on a warm December day at Hammonasset State Park in Madison.