Friday, July 31, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

WIP - Zebras

Grevy's zebra charcoal drawing in progressI have been planning this drawing for several months, but due to its size and complexity I did not feel I had the ability to start it until now. I've had this piece of gray matboard for years, from back when I actually had time to mat drawings myself. I thought how neat it would be to draw on it, but what could I draw that would take advantage of its huge size? It is twice the size of the coral reef - a full 30" x 30", the very largest I have ever attempted. I don't expect it to take as long, though, because charcoal goes much faster than colored pencil.

Anyway, I decided the gray background needed some animal that was both black and white, to utilize both black and white charcoal to make it pop out of the background. Thus was born the idea of the zebras. There are three remaining species of zebra, and I've always been fond of the more endangered one, the Grevy's zebra, so that it the one I chose. Their stripes are very narrow and close together (the large paper helps me get them all in), they have large ears, and their heads are larger in relation to their bodies than the other two species. (In fact, the Grevy's is so different they have been assigned their own subgenus.)

I have been working on these zebras for a few days already, as two little kittens play on my lap and chair. I'll show the full size of the drawing as it progresses.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Slow Month for the Blog

Dawn the torbie kittenI found myself looking at the calendar recently, only to realize that it's nearly the end of July and I've only written one blog post this month. To be honest, the past few weeks have been crazy. Four weeks ago I had some kidney stones removed, which took a week to recover from. Then two weeks ago I had a slight mishap in the kitchen that resulted in seven stitches in my left hand (let me emphasize the importance of knife-handling safety). That is mostly healed, but now I have these two new furry creatures living with me. Only three months old, they require a lot of attention and supervision, especially when interacting with the two adults. Yes, I have four cats now! And you can bet there will be drawings of Dawn and Dusk pretty soon.

Dusk tortie kittenDawn and Dusk came from a shelter. They are supposedly littermates, but have been together at least through foster care. If you have never been to an animal shelter, it's a very emotional experience. If you have set out to find a new pet, it's nearly impossible not to bring one home, or more than one. In a small room with two dozen cats and kittens in tiny cages, most scrambling for attention, I wanted to take as many as I could home with me. But we had decided beforehand a pair would be best, preferably littermates. As I'm sure anyone who has adopted from a shelter will tell you, if you can, adopt from a shelter rather than paying for special breeds - cats or dogs. There are so many loving animals out there that just need a good home.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

WIP - Clouded Leopards

clouded leopard drawing in progress in tinted charcoalI just realized I haven't written in a while. Not entirely my fault, I haven't had a lot to write about between a minor surgery and almost slicing my thumb off the other day (good news - I can still draw!). Anyway, since the completion of the coral reef I decided to have another large drawing going. I've had this zebra drawing in planning stage for a while. Unfortunately, I just finished the layout so there's not much to show.

However, I have a slightly smaller drawing going of a family of clouded leopards. This photo is the start of the mother, using tinted charcoal. I'm really getting the hang of the tinted charcoal, learning how to take the few colors to make a wider range of colors and values. It's getting exciting!