Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birdhouse Pyrography

This birdhouse will be donated to an auction for the Relay for Life, along with birdhouses from several other local artists. I chose to decorate mine with five birds that are local to the area: the black-chinned hummingbird, lark sparrow, Scott's oriole, red-breasted nuthatch, and ruby-crowned kinglet. The design was burned onto the wood, and then I stained the roof, base and perch. The auction will be held next month.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Opening Reception

The big day arrived! I actually set up my exhibit nearly three weeks ago, but tonight was the opening reception. I got a lot of praise from the visitors and even had a few people come in from out of town just to see my stuff. There was a group exhibit going on concurrently in the other room with a theme of "reflections," and the whole thing looked great. Here are a few snapshots of my area (see the whole area here).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

WIP - First Lion Almost Done

I've been working down the left side of the drawing. I wanted to get the male lion in place, and to do that I needed to get some of the background done first. Next I will put in the two females and start working towards the lower right corner.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

WIP - Leopard Finished

The top third of the leopard/lions drawing is done, minus some tweaking later on. I started blocking in the male lion as you can see. There will be two females, too, but I keep changing my mind as to exactly what their positions will be. Until I work that out, I'll continue with the male lion and the background foliage.

My tools are pretty simple. I'm using 6B, 4B and 2B charcoal pencils and a 6B charcoal stick. The 6B is usually my favorite, but I find I'm using the 4B more on this drawing. It is not quite as black or as soft, which makes the tree bark easier to handle. I'm also using a small blending stump for, well, blending, and a paintbrush and chamois for applying charcoal powder (chamois is great for large areas, paintbrush for small areas). Then, as always, is the kneaded eraser for highlights and corrections.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WIP - Leopard and Lions part 2

Gosh, it's hard drawing a dead animal, particularly one draped over a branch. I spent ages trying to figure out where the shoulders and elbows should be. Now the gazelle is almost finished. I've started brushing charcoal powder on the leopard to give it a little definition before I continue with the spots, and I started blending in some more charcoal powder on the background where there will be distant trees (it's a little hard to see in this photo). In the next step, I'll finish the leopard.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

WIP - Leopard and Lions

I've been very busy the past week or so getting ready for my exhibit. Everything is set up and I finally have time to get back to drawing! As I mentioned in my last post, this one is going to be a leopard guarding its recent kill in a tree while three lions circle below. This will be my first drawing with more than one species. In this situation, it is important not only to get each animal in the right proportion, but also to get each individual in the right proportion to others of the same and different species. Leopards are smaller than lions, so that must be evident in the drawing.

Once I figured out the composition, I realized it would need to be fairly large in order to accomodate the detail I like to use, so I am working on an 18"x24" sheet of smooth bristol paper (my favorite paper at the moment). After several hours already, I have the layout set and have started on the leopard. I'm going to work mostly top-to-bottom because of the size. The photo shows the full size of the drawing and a closeup of the part I'm working on. It still has more to be done, and I will probably start working on the background a little. This will probably take me a few weeks to complete, and I will post my progress along the way.