Saturday 31 October 2009

Teal drawing progress

This is progress on my teal drawing as of last night,i meant to post it yesterday but the failing autumn light crept up on me before i got a chance.i have now completed the background vegetation to the top right of the image and layed in another wash in the centre of the picture for another stretch of water.i added reflections to the water from the vegetation and they will continue into the third stretch of water in the foreground.i'm working from top to bottom on this piece and once i've finished layering the mud bank that the ducks are standing on i'll proceed to add detail to them leaving the foreground water and reflections till last.i will work up the existing stretches of water a little more once i have more detail in the remainder of the piece as things come to mind.

Thursday 29 October 2009

quality scans of latest images

The Egret pool
The chase-moorhen and avocet

Serval portrait

Just received some better quality scans of my latest drawings so i thought i'd post them here for your viewing pleasure

New drawing started

this is today's work on my latest drawing.It's a drawing of teal resting in one of the lagoons at slimbridge in gloucestershire.ive put together this image from lots of photo reference taken in february of this year on a lovely clear day,so there will be plenty of nice reflections to work with.ive made a start by plotting in the ducks and some of the more detailed vegetation as well as some faint outlines of where the mud and water will be.the first mud patch has been more or less fully worked up with grades H thru to B and i have layed in some of the background vegetation working thru the grades from H to 3B as it is fairly dark in places.ive also layed in a wash of H grade pencil in the background and blended it with a paper stump to begin the process of drawing water.ive been meaning to draw this scene for some time as i love teals they're my favourite duck's going to be fairly complicated and so likely to take a while to complete even though it's fairly small scale.hope you'll like watching progress unfold.

Friday 23 October 2009

The chase-moorhen and avocet

Another day's work in the studio and this image is conditions are not great at the moment and so the image is a little darker than in reality.I'm happy that ive managed to get across the speed at which the moorhen departed the scene by placing it at the extreme left of the picture,this wouldn't work for all compositions but here it helps to increase the sense of the moorhen taking flight.ive enjoyed enormously getting back to my favourite subjects waterbirds over the last couple of pieces and in particular working in this smaller format 7"x15".i hope you've enjoyed them too.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

avocet update

blended and worked up the background some more and worked up the reflections from the avocet and moorhen today.i got a bit bored with drawing mud so ive made a start on the moorhen,will finish it tomorrow and then dive back into the mud again!.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

splashing around in the mud

today has been spent refining the foreground of this image.ive worked up some of the estuary mud and water puddles and started to work up the reflections from both the avocet and moorhen.i dont normally start with the foreground on something like this but because the tones are very light with the entire background i wanted to set my darkest one's early on so i didn't go too dark.talking of dark,my apologies for the darkness of the photo but the nights are closing in rapidly now as we approach winter and time flew by today rather catching me out.

Monday 19 October 2009

Avocet on a mission

following on from my last drawing i wanted to stick with the theme of depicting birds from my local patch.this drawing is a snapshot of a moment i witnessed back in august at the titchfield haven nature reserve here on the south coast of england.titchfield haven is a wonderful habitat,situated where the river meon reaches the sea at the solent with large scrapes full of waders both in the breeding season and overwintering birds during the colder months.on this occasion i was watching from a hide across the exposed mud as an avocet pair with two juveniles in tow were feeding.every now and then one or both of the adults would deem that the local moorhens were getting too close for comfort and take an instant dislike to them and charge at them in a very purposeful manner,heads down, looking really rather menacing.the moorhens would scatter in all directions,skipping or flying across the mud and peace would reign again,until they once more strayed too close to the juveniles,then all hell would break lose once again!.i'm trying to capture the moment that the adult avocet got close enough to make the moorhen take flight.ive started this drawing by sketching in the birds and ive put the moorhen just taking flight to the extreme left of the picture to try and add to the impression of a hasty exit,hopefully it will work and the image wont look to initial 'wash' of H grade pencil has been laid in and now ive started to work up some of the muddy areas so that the puddles of water stand out.there will be some nice reflections here to work with.

Thursday 15 October 2009

Little Egret

Little Egret drawing

This drawing is quite unusual for me,in that it is a very small piece measuring only 5"x11".It's been a bit of an experiment as i wanted to see if i could produce a relatively detailed drawing at such a small of the problems with working in graphite is the time it takes to complete an image and i wanted to see if i could shorten this timescale without losing quality of imagery.i would love to hear what you all think as i really enjoyed being able to get an image onto paper so quickly(2 days) after observing the bird without sacrificing the quality.

Whenever i get a break from a drawing i love to get out my mountain bike and head of to my favourite local birding spots either on the river hamble estuary or to my local bird reserve at titchfield haven.This time of year there are plenty of interesting migrants arriving to supplement the resident species.this reference was obtained on the estuary at warsash at low tide when many of the mudflats are exposed and the wading birds dash in to feed before the tide returns submerging there food source until the next low tide.It was a beautiful crisp,sunny autumn day with barely any wind and so the water that remained in the saltmarsh pools was like a millpond with wonderful shadows and reflections from the strong sunlight.i watched several of our resident little egrets wading around in the shallow water,stirring the muddy bottom with one foot and scanning the resultant cloudy patch for fleeing fish,occasionally darting head-first into the water to retreive a tiddler or two.the shadows cast on the pure white egrets with the sun behind them provided quite a contrast to the silvery still water and immediately i knew there was a drawing to be had here and so here is the result.i'm hoping to produce some more of these smaller pieces documenting the birdlife on my 'patch' as birds are by far my favourite subjects.hope you all enjoy this one.

Friday 9 October 2009

Serval portrait complete

the serval portrait is now complete,ive darkened the background a little to make the cat stand out a little more.thanks to all for your kind comments after my recent back troubles,i'm now fighting fit again after a couple of trips to my local osteopath and plenty of exercise!

Tuesday 6 October 2009

back at the board

after my remedial break i'm now back at the drawing board and raring to go!.this is yesterday's progress on my serval portrait,the ears are complete and i'm now working on the's quite a pale cat so it's easy doe's it on the layering for the face.ive used grades from H thru to B grade to depict the coloration with added 2 and 3B for the black markings.the background will require some more tone just to darken up a little to help the cat stand out.