Ex 13 Grabbing the chance

Select your model.  Easier said than done.  Leave your sketchbook and tools in a handy place and grab them when your animal is settled in a good pose.  Be spontaneous and take opportunities to draw as they arise.

This exercise is completely out of my comfort zone.  I have never drawn animals before and I delayed starting this exercise for ages.

First I picked up a pen and paper and started with the birds at my bird table.  These left a lot to be desired and I thought that my marks were very childlike and stiff.

Grabbing the chance 4  Grabbing the chance 3

I decided to research gestural marks and practiced making very fluid random marks to suggest movement.  I spent a few days going over and over these types of marks to get a feel for them.

For the sketches of the dogs, I used a black Windsor and Newton watercolour marker, 2B pencil, blue ball point pen and 8B graphite pencil.

I started off catching my dogs when they were still.  I tried not to get into too much detail as I wanted to keep the sketches as gestural marks.

SB animal 30  SB animal 29  SB animal 5

Once the dogs were on the move, I tried to capture them from different angles, and because they were moving could only manage a head or a leg or half a body.  I didn’t try to make the sketches to look like my dogs, I just tried to capture the essence of a dog.

I used a black water colour marker, both the fine end and the brush end.

SB animal 2  SB animal 3  SB animal 4  SB animal 6

SB animal 7  SB animal 8

SB animal 9  SB animal 1

For these drawings I used a blue ball point pen.

SB animal 10  SB animal 11  SB animal 12

These are with 2B pencil.

SB animal 13  SB animal 14  SB animal 15

These are with 8B graphite pencil.  I liked using this pencil as I used the whole of the side of the sharpened point as well as the point.  It made really quick marks which were great to suggest fur and texture.

SB animal 16  SB animal 17

SB animal 18 SB animal 19

SB animal 20  SB animal 21

SB animal 22 SB animal 23

On the move.

SB animal 24  SB animal 25

SB animal 26  SB animal 27

SB animal 28

The final drawings.

Final Drawing 1

Final Drawing 1

Final Drawing 2

Final Drawing 2

I loved doing this exercise although I’m not over enamoured by the final drawings as they are not quite ‘right’.  They don’t look anything like my dogs, so I will need to concentrate on proportion, composition, and likeness.  I used the graphite pencil, and I am amazed at the speed I can lay down marks, both fine detail and larger sweeping marks.  This is a medium that I can’t wait to use again.


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