Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WIP - Snow Leopard and Cubs

After taking some time off for Christmas and recovering from various illnesses in the family, I am finally back full swing into drawing. As you can see, the snow leopard family is coming along pretty well. The cubs still need some work as well as the background. My new technique of applying the fur with the blending stump is not producing the deep shadows I was hoping for, so I have to go back in with the pencils to darken them. Overall, I am happy with how it is turning out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Fur Technique

I decided to try something new with this new snow leopard drawing (I just love these cats!), to loosen up my technique a little. I started with a base of charcoal applied with a blending stump to get the right value of the fur, then I added the spots with the 6B pencil and a bit of fur texture with the 2B pencil.
I'm going to continue the rest of the drawing this way, and I think it's a good way to achieve realism without getting into too much detail.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Year in Preview

I've spent quite a bit of time the past couple weeks thinking about my goals for my art. I suppose I can call them "new year's resolutions," which is why I'm doing this now (I mean, what better time?). It has been said that one way to improve your art is to compare it to art you admire. What does your favorite art have that your own does not? So I look to the art of Robert Bateman, master wildlife painter.

In his own words, Bateman says the problem with so much wildlife art is
when you see it, you feel you have seen it a thousand times before – yet another wolf, or another loon, or some other overworked subject done in the same old way. And, it looks as if it is done with a great deal of effort – every feather or every hair painted in great detail...
and also
the easiest of pieces is a head and shoulders of a mammal or bird with little or no background.... [This] presents almost no challenge to the artist or viewer.
This quite accurately summarizes what I myself have been unable to express. Drawing portraits and simple backgrounds is great for developing technique, but I am ready to do more. I think I'm heading in the right direction with my recent zebras and polar bears, but this year I'm really going to push myself to work on more interesting compositions with more complex backgrounds and greater depth of value.

So what is in store for the coming year? I have a couple pieces in mind for the mother/baby series (including one already started), and will do one, hopefully two more in the Africa series. I also would like to try my hand at some extinct species, but we'll see how things go.