Saturday, December 20, 2008

Making Mistakes and Learning a Lesson

bobcat drawing in progressThe drawing here is the beginning of a bobcat. I'm using smooth bristol paper with charcoal and using what I've been calling "the indent method" to an extreme. I'm quite pleased with how it started out, but unfortunately, I really messed up those whiskers over the eyes so I'll have to start over. This was gearing up to be my best work yet, but I just couldn't fix them. I tried a new technique and it didn't work. What can I say. That's how you get better, by taking chances and making mistakes.

So what did I do? I used an empty mechanical pencil to indent the paper where the whiskers will go. Usually, the charcoal glides over it leaving the indent white (my next drawing tip will be a detailed explanation of this technique). Instead, I decided to use a chamois with charcoal dust on it to dab charcoal onto the paper and get an interesting background texture. Well, the indents must not have been very clean, because the charcoal and even some chamois fibers got stuck in them. No amount of erasing and reindenting and redoing could correct it. I'm just glad I didn't do more of the cat before starting the background, or I might have lost a lot more time.


Glendon Mellow said...

The negative space in this unfinished piece makes it look really interesting though. Keep it!

One thing I think I relate to in your drawing technique is finishing each element (nose, eye etc) before moving on, rather than a gradual build-up of the whole drawing.

Almost as though you are uncovering an image already on the paper.

ButlerWifey said...

I'm anxious to see the finished work, it looks great already!

Heather M. Ward said...

Thank you both. I am going to keep it, if nothing else as a reminder to try out new techniques on scratch paper first. I've already started the second one, and it turns out it was the mechanical pencil point that scratched up the paper. When I used a hard pencil with extra paper in between, I had no problem.

Glendon, I usually work that way. After the paper is covered I then go back and touch things up. I find it easier that way.