I was outdoors sketching the crow today (unseasonably warm weather, only slightly damp) and watching him grab various items from my pencil box to mangle. The kneadable rubber erasers were a big hit, as was a ziploc bag for a woodless graphite ‘art pencil’. We played tug of war with that for a few minutes (he was insanely happy doing this) until he decided to let me draw him for awhile. I got the impression he understood some of the sketches had something to do with him, even if he wasn’t aware he was the subject.
After sitting comparatively still for a few minutes, making sociable noises and closing his nictitating membranes, he decided he was going to borrow that PENCIL, and I must give it to him.
I’ve learned that I can’t rely on photographs to get many of
the features which distinguish him, but I also can’t just draw him outright. The plan now is to fill a notebook with some general drawings of him from photos, to be completed while he shreds my art supplies.

The above watercolor, colored pencil, and ink drawing is partly an effort to mimic 19th century representational modes, partly a failure to get it right, and partly an experiment with some unfamiliar media.

While playing with some frisket techniques, I learned you can use a slightly modified veterinary syringe as a technical pen. I wish I’d known that a few years ago, when I was spending too much money on Rapidograph sets. They’re also self-cleaning. If anyone is interested in a brief tutorial on how to make them I’ll put one together.

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