Tuesday 25 May 2010

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 preview evening

The Chase-moorhen and avocet

Last night i attended the Wildlife Artist Of the Year preview evening.On a hot and sultry evening in london the Mall Galleries was packed with artists,family and friends,a smattering of celebrities and(judging by the large number of red spots appearing beside works) plenty of buyers.David Gower,Robert Lindsay and of course David Shepherd all made empassioned speeches about the work of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and the role us wildlife artists can and do play in helping to conserve endangered species worldwide.The overall winner of the competition was Adam Binder with a beautiful bronze of a polar bear clinging onto an ice glow entitled 'that sinking feeling'.The overall standard of work on display was superb and it was a thrill to be able to see up close work by such talented artists all under one roof.it was also nice to catch up with some artist friends both old and new and the icing on the cake for me was to discover on arrival at the preview that one of my entries 'Tigress' had been sold.

Friday 21 May 2010

Cape Buffalo 12" x 21"

Cape Buffalo drawing is finally complete.A little bit of tinkering here and there is highly likely to take place over the weekend and so i'll leave it on the board for a few days.For those of you who follow my blog regularly you'll know that two of my drawings 'Tigress' and 'The chase-moorhen and avocet' made it to the finals of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 competition,these were delivered on wednesday to The Mall Galleries to be hung in time for the preview evening on monday 24th may,all the finalists for this years competition can now be viewed online at www.davidshepherd.org/news-events/detail.php?id=001159

Thursday 20 May 2010

A bit more progress

The Buffalo is almost complete now,just an ear to go.i'm hoping to have this completed by tomorrow but i wont rush it,which is all so easy to do at this stage.Once the ear is complete i shall go over the whole piece tweaking here and there until i'm happy with the drawing.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Nearly there

Another couple of days work has got me this far with the drawing,now just the nose and ear remain to be drawn.the face was built of layers of graphite from H thru to 2B grade with rough hair texture added in with a sharp pointed 2B pencil.the nose will really help to bring life to the subject as it has a wide variation of tone as it is wet and reflects light adding some more nice highlights to the piece.

Friday 14 May 2010

Cape Buffalo progress

I had been working very intensively on this drawing with much layering and many long hours spent motionless except for my drawing hand with the inevitable consequence that my back became stiff and painful necessitating a couple of days break and a fair few miles on my mountain bike to ease it off.Having sorted that out i'm back at the board and have so far managed to complete one ear and made a start on layering the graphite on the head of the animal.ive added a layer of H grade pencil over most of it,plotted some of the main features and now ive started with a second layer of H grade,this time pressing a little firmer.

Monday 10 May 2010

And then there were two!

The second of the buffalo's horns is now completed.in order that the horns stand out nicely ive added more tone adjacent to the horn highlights and this has thrown them forward nicely.i shall move onto the ears next and move gradually inwards on the face.

Saturday 8 May 2010

Cape Buffalo drawing update

Work has started on the most prominent part of the buffalo,the horns.here ive completed one side and ive made a start on the other with an initial layer of h grade pencil.Adding the horns really starts to throw the image into 3d especially with the strong highlights and shadows on the horns.After initial layers of H and HB grade pencils details were added in using a B grade pencil and the strong shadows have been layered in by using all grades from H thru to 4B.it's quite a long process to get the details into the horns whilst maintaining a natural look rather than it starting to look like a technical drawing but i'm relishing the challenge of this focal point of the piece.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Buffalo progression

ive finished for now the body of the buffalo,some fine tuning will be required later.next i'm moving onto the horns and here ive started the layering process as well as adding a few scribbles to start to suggest scuffs and so forth on the horns.i'm going to have some nice highlights here with very dark shadows on the underside of the horns which will mean working into some of the very soft grades of graphite.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Back to the Cape Buffalo

Returned to my cape buffalo drawing today and immediately back into extensive layering.Working up layers of graphite on the body of the animal from H grade thru to 2B building shape and form before adding hair and skin detail using 2B and 4B pencils.each graphite grade has been layered several times and once the hair detail is added another layer of graphite has been over-layed to tone down the details a little.

Saturday 1 May 2010

Old drawing re-visited

i originally drew this as a straightforward study with no background toning or grasses some time ago.i'd had it framed but was never entirely satisfied with the end result and so i decided to re-hash it and try to make it a little more interesting.the background toning took many hours to accomplish with several layers of H,HB and B grade pencils,i then added a few grass stalks to give an idea of the birds habitat(the african grasslands) and also to help balance out the image composition.this was a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in representing the different textures,i know he's not the prettiest but he's a real character