After almost two solid days of layering graphite i feel ive done as much as can be done with this portrait of stevie.layers of H,HB and B have been augmented under stevie's belly with layers of 2B,3B and 5B to anchor her to the ground and try and convey how she is almost lying on the ground when she adopts this pose.the white fur on her back has been shaped and refined and the blacker face and legs have had extra layers of graphite added to heighten contrast and add further detail. i think all that remains to do is add a signature.
A further layer of graphite(B grade) has been added to the background toning to really lift the skunks tail from the paper and final detailing completed.now i turn my attention to the foreground toning which will take many patient hours to complete and will comprise of at least four layers of graphite t build up the tone and the shadowing under the skunk to anchor the animal.The skunks pose is quite difficult to describe and not readily obvious from looking at the drawing until the shadowing is added then i hope it will make more sense to the viewer unfamiliar with the contortions that the skunk performs whilst offering a warning to 'back off'.the animal stretches out both front and back legs with its front paws off the ground supporting itself instead on its wrists with its belly consequently close to the ground.at this head-on angle its hind legs are pretty much obscurd from view by the front legs and belly fur.the back is arched and that amazing tail is held aloft curled over its back and the fur seemingly seperated into individual filaments.on my drawing you can see on close inspection the first layer of H grade pencil has been applied as far as the front right paw,this will be continued around the animal and then subsequent layers added over the top.
This is where i am as of end of the day yesterday with my skunk drawing.it is an incredibly slow and painstakiing business plotting out the tail fur and layering graphite around it to draw it from the paper.so far there are three layers of graphite applied around the tail and once the detail has all been added to it i shall need at least one other layer of graphite to be applied to the background toning before i can move onto the foreground.each layer of graphite is applied using tiny overlapping circles of the pencil to produce as smooth a finish as possible and takes many hours to complete.this drawing has already taken over 30 hours of work and islikely to be nearer 50 hours by the time its completed.
The focal point of the drawing is stevie's amazing tail raised up and over her head in the way only a skunk can do.to portray this tail which is for the most part stark white against the white of the paper i'm having to very patiently utilize negative drawing techniques and indentation of details to lift the tail from the paper.the background toning is,thus far,comprised of two layers of H grade pencil followed by a singly layer of HB grade pencil applied very carefully and slowly around the tail details.toning the background is the only way i felt that i could effectively portray the animal however it does add many hours of work to the piece and i havnt as yet decided on how i'm going to tackle the foreground toning.
this last week ive been concentrating on building up colours and blocking in details on the cat with a thicker coat of oils all over the animal in preparation for the third detailed coat of oils where fur details,colours and most importantly the eyes will be refined slowly using smaller brushes to allow me to capture some of the beauty of this leopard.for now the painting has been put to one side again to thoroughly dry whilst i tackle another of my on-going projects.
I thought i'd post the small amount of progress ive made on my drawing of stevie the skunk thus far.I'm finding this drawing quite a challenge as a large part of it consists of a white tail and upper body and i'm having to layer graphite very gently with both pencil and blending stump to depict the small areas of darker hairs and to try and pick out the white tail hairs against the white of the paper.ive made extensive use of indenting here too when attempting to pick out individual white hairs against black background fur.all this makes for slow going but i'm hopeful it will work satisfactorily.i normally work on graphite pieces once the sun goes down as i find i can work in black and white using my daylight lamps but dont like using colour at night as it never feels quite right and so my oils are worked on only during daylight hours.
whilst the snipe painting is set to one side to dry ive returned once again to my leopard painting.ive re-painted the foremost tree trunk yet again but this time i'm planning to add more interest in front of this in an effort to rid the image of the large slab of grey.made a start on the second layer of oils on the leopard starting with the paws and shoulder.