Artwork: Birds on a Wire

I’ve been thinking, lately, about how to create simple but relatively unique artwork using Adobe Illustrator.  I’m not good at drawing true-to-life kinds of things.  I don’t seem to have the kind of eye that notices where shadows are cast on faces during certain times of day or how to represent an apple sitting in a basket on the table. So I work with what I do know and like–line art that asks the reader to fill in some blanks with their imagination.  I’m including some work I did today when trying to get ideas for my visual narrative.

This study of “Birds on a Wire” came from an idea that one of my students had on how to represent loneliness in my essay–a singular bird on a wire.  But today when I drove around, I saw no birds on wires along Federal Blvd.  It seems that birds are always there, except when I’m looking for them.  But this idea intrigued me–drawing my own artwork.  Is it childish? Or does simple create a certain possibility for sophistication?

Here they are…

About npiasecki

Instructor of Composition and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado Denver, specializing in 21st century skills, research, and creative nonfiction. Director of the Denver Writing Project, a local site of the National Writing Project's professional network for K through College educators.
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2 Responses to Artwork: Birds on a Wire

  1. Ashlee says:

    No, it’s not childish! I actually love the effect – a digital image includes so much background, but these with just the bird and the line add a stark sort of quality that enhances the feeling of loneliness in my opinion.

    Did you use a template (especially with the last one) or did you hand draw these with the pen tool or something? I’m curious what the process was because I’m learning illustrator myself right now.

  2. npiasecki says:

    Hi Ashlee!

    Thanks for your response to my artwork. What I did to get these ideas was search google images to get inspiration from actual photographs.

    For the last piece of artwork, I found an image with some deep perspective of the telephone poles, dropped the image into Illustrator and attempted to trace the perspective of the poles and wires using the pen tool. My version came out much different, but it still used the concept of the original photo as a jumping off point.

    Pretty much all of the work I did here was done with the paintbrush and the pen tool.

    Isn’t playing in Illustrator fun?! Time just seems to disappear.


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