Friday, 26 February 2010

New giraffe pencil portrait



This is the start of my latest small drawing,a portrait of a giraffe youngster.I took time out after my labrador drawing to get out and about on my local nature reserves and coastal spots to gather photographic references for future images ive also been sorting out existing reference material in preparation for tackling some larger drawings focussing on large african species,so 'watch this space' as they say!.The image above shows my layering process at work when creating a background.here you can see layers of graphite in various stages.in the bottom right hand corner i have layered with H,HB and B grade pencils,in the top right corner i have subsequently added a layer of 2B pencil,whilst on the left hand side of the drawing i have added further layers of both HB and B grade pencil.once the whole image has been layered like this i finished up with the drawing as in the top photo.Tomorrow i shall get stuck into the giraffe itself.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Geese galore!




Finally,the rain stopped for a few hours and this stir-crazy artist made a bee-line for the great outdoors.Knowing the rain wouldn't hold off for long i made a dash over to Farlington marshes on the outskirts of Portsmouth armed with camera and waterproofs!.I wasnt disappointed as i found myself surrounded by wild brent geese and what a privilege to be able to get so close to hundreds of grazing birds.i took loads of photo's as the clouds loomed ever larger and it wasnt long before the heavens opened again but not before i gathered some superb reference shots.also present were a large number of wigeon grazing amongst the meadows which were so wet that they were joined by godwits and curlew and on the lagoons all the usual suspects and quite a few shoveler and teal.All in all a really enjoyable few hours.


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Black Labrador portrait 12"x9"


After a hectic weekend i managed to get back to the drawing board yesterday and worked up the layers of graphite on the neck of the labrador to completion,leaving just the ear for me to complete today.This is a simple drawing but it's been so nice to use some of the lovely darker/softer grades of graphite here for a change with multiple overlayering of 2B and 3B on top of the usual harder grades.The drawing positively glistens with graphite and makes the lab's coat look even more shiny.I'm hoping this will go down well at the summer shows this year as i'm always being asked 'have you got a lab?'.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Black Labrador portrait progress


The head of the labrador is now finished all except the ear which i'm going to leave untill ive finished layering on the neck area as this is particularly dark.Ive used grades of pencil here from H through to 3B to get the really dark areas.The neck and upper chest is really going to be an exercise in patience as it will take a lot of layering upto 3B and whilst effective in building up depth and tone its not the most exciting part of the drawing process.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Black Labrador portrait

At the moment i'm still trying to work out what i want to do next image-wise but in the meantime ive had the rough sketch for this black labrador lying around for a couple of weeks now and so i'll crack on with this whilst i ruminate over the next project.
In the first photo you can see the building blocks of all my images.the rough outline has been transferred onto the paper and two layers of H grade pencil layed in with some areas a little darker to show where i want some bold darks.
In the second photo ive overlayed more layers of graphite consisting of HB,B and 2B and worked the top of the head area up to near completion.ive also started building tone on the muzzle and indented the whiskers ready for darker graphite to be overlayed.


Friday, 5 February 2010

Saker drawing(nearly there)


I was hoping to have this one finished today but it was not to be.Just a little more work to do on the remaining feathers and then an overall check of the final tones,adjusting where necessary to make sure of the overall shape and form of the bird.Whilst this is a detailed study of the bird it is important to remember the basics of light and shade and there effect on the feathers and bird so that it doesn't become merely an illustration as opposed to a drawing that captures something of the bird's character.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Saker progress


The feathers are coming along slowly but surely,each one individually layered and detailed in turn.The saker is a beautiful falcon and i'm doing my best to do the bird justice.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Saker drawing update(feathers galore!)


Now to work in earnest on the wing feathers!.As you can see ive worked some of the feathers upto completion(unless i have to darken later) and have plotted out more to be layered upon.So far on the incomplete feathers ive been working just in H grade.This is quite a long process as each individual feather has to be layered several times over and i have to be mindful about the shape and form as well as the technicalities of portraying the feather so that each one doe's not look identical.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Saker Falcon drawing progress


back in the studio today it's been slow progress as i try to map out the lighter breast feathers of the falcon.As the feathers get closer to the birds thigh the brown markings become more dominant and so i'm layering more here with H,HB and B grade pencils with some feather vane details added in 2B.I shall be moving onto the back and wing feathers next and these will take a good deal more fine layering to get the subtle details and the effect of light and shadows on the wing.