It’s the middle of winter and too cold to draw outdoors, so I’ve settled on the next best thing... museum study skins. A close inspection of both Hairy and Downy woodpeckers side by side, makes their differences readily apparent, but when seen from afar in the woods, they can be easily mistaken for one another.
I plan to paint both in profile view on the same panel in order to clearly distinguish between the two species. These little studies are intended to compliment future sketches from the field and help me keep proportions in check. I have a habit to draw everything slightly larger than life, despite my best efforts to do otherwise!