Making a start on the curlew now,ive completed most of the wing feathering although it will need tone added to form shadowed areas once complete.Ive also made a start on the shadows on the birds head and neck,these too will need further darkening.once the bird is fully rendered i can then adjust tones in the background and foreground to complete the piece.one more day's work should see this finished.
Friday, 27 November 2009
The foreground has now been worked up and the strong shadows added.There is still more work to do here ,however, i am now starting on the curlew itself to establish the correct tones for the bird which will dictate the tones i use to finish off the foreground.I have layed down some tone on the bird where the shadows will be cast by the strong sunlight and when these are worked up and the bird complete i hope the drawing will hang together and the lighting make sense.I'm taking a day out of the studio tomorrow to head down the coast to torquay where fellow wildlife artist Paul Apps is holding a preview day for his latest exhibition of paintings at haddon galleries,looking forward to seeing the show and catching up with an old friend.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Significant progress has now been made on the background to this piece over the last couple of sessions.The mudflat behind the bird is now complete,hopefully showing the strong sunlight and its cast shadows up nicely.ive had to go to quite soft grades to get the level of darkness i required,layering from H grade through to 3B in some spots.the small section of visible water at the base of the mud is also now complete.i'm now about to tackle the nearer mudflat that the curlew is standing upon,this will be well lit with strong sun and (if all goes to plan)some lovely dark shadows from stones and bird.My plan is to have some lovely cast shadows upon the bird as well which i hope will tie it all together and create the atmosphere within the piece.At this time ive just completed the second layer of graphite on the foreground having layered once with an H grade pencil and followed this by a layer of HB,these are the building blocks of the foreground,my next step is to start introducing some details.
Friday, 20 November 2009
This is the start of my latest bird drawing,again based on observations on my local patch.This time it's a curlew on the mudflats at keyhaven harbour.The idea here is to add some drama to a fairly straightforward composition and subject by concentrating heavily on the lighting conditions and attempting to convey something of the atmosphere at the time of my observations.I was walking along the sea wall,binoculars and camera at the ready on a windy but sunny morning last month,as is the norm on such windy days the birds were facing into the wind at low tide and feeding whilst taking advantage of any sheltered spots.there were feeding groups of dunlin,knot,brent geese,turnstones all within fairly close range providing me with some great reference shots as well as 3 or 4 curlews scattered along the mudflats.the sun was bright that day and provided some lovely shadows and bright highlights on the water and off the wet,seaweed clad mudflats and this is what i intend to try and portray.This drawing can go one of two ways,it's either going to work and the atmosphere will come through or its going to end up being just another curlew drawing,i know which one i'm aiming for!.as you can see ive started by laying down a wash of H grade pencil and then over-working with subsequent layers of HB,B and 2B attempting to bring out the shaded edges of the mudflat.This darkish background(i hope)will add to the drama by seeking to highlight even more the light and shadows striking the curlew.For such a relatively small drawing i think its likely to take a little while to complete,not least of all because of the complexity of the curlews plumage.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
My Teal drawing is at last complete.The whole idea here was to try and re-create the view i had from a hide at slimbridge wwt in gloucestershire,uk of a group of Teal just hanging around on one of the lagoons.Teal are one of my favourite's they're such pretty little ducks and full of character.The original measures 7.5"x16".As usual my photographic skills are rather letting me down here so apologies for picture quality,i shall post a better image once ive had this one scanned.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
end of day,nearly there
Saturday, 7 November 2009
lighting conditions here a little erratic at the moment so please excuse the darkening on the right side.All the teal are now in place with a little more work required on the smallest female.the next stage is to lay in a wash of H grade pencil to form the base for the water and then its reflection time!.hopefully this will tie it all together and really bring it to life.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
The second Teal is now almost complete and ive been able to do a bit more work on the water to make it a little more interesting.My next step will be to continue and complete all the teal and then i'll tackle the foreground water and reflections.The image will eventually comprise of 3 male teal and 2 females.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
The first Teal is now in place and now he's in i can more accurately judge the amount of toning that will be required on the water.i was a little wary of making the water too dark to begin with for fear of losing the teal in the background,now it's obvious that i shall be able to darken up and add some detail to the water.