Currently Browsing: sketching animals 15 articles

Chicken sketch in pen and watercolor on a 9 x 12 inch watercolor board, made in the Poulty Barn in 2016.

Protected: The Great Minnesota State Fair Sketch Together Is Almost Here!

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Above: Sketch of a sleeping pig, pen and watercolor on a 9 x 12 inch watercolor board. During class you'll see me demonstrate how to work with pen and watercolor in close quarters even at crowded events like the Minnesota State Fair. (The demos include active animals so that you can see how it's possible to catch a likeness even when your subject is moving.)

Protected: There’s Still Time to Sign Up for Drawing Practice 2017

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

6a01053560de5d970b01b7c7c6836b970b-450wi

Protected: The Seventh Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out is TOMORROW—Tuesday, September 1, 2015

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

6a01053560de5d970b0120a60db5da970c-450wi

Backgrounds and What Goes on Top—Another View

091001Sheep

Above: I couldn’t sleep on Thursday night so I threw a couple sheep photos from the Fair up on my computer screen and sketched using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (most of the lines are now obscured) and Stabilo Tones. This journal has pages of Hahnemühle Gutenberg. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I don’t have a before image of the background only for this page, but I think you can clearly see what was there. It was a completely painted background (I used acrylic inks). Next I took a silver Brilliance ink pad, and rubbed it on the right and left edges of the paper, over a torn mask so there is a soft wavy demarcation. It is most clearly seen at the left of the page spread, working its way up next to the ewe’s face. When the stamp ink was dry I did some outlining with a purple Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pen. Next I added a bit of collaged foil paper and a fortune. The last was totally covered by the ewe’s nose, and I didn’t write down what it said before I covered it—something about trying a bunch of things before settling and stability?!

6a01053560de5d970b0120a575a35b970b-450wi

My Last Sketches at the 2009 Minnesota State Fair

090904KSheep

Above: Quick sketch of a sheep using a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper. That’s my admission ticket which I stuck on at home. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

As I pack my 2009 Minnesota State Fair journal cards away, to await the construction of a portfolio, I have two more cards I’d like to share with you—more on "the taking a break to revive yourself theme," which I mentioned earlier when showing my break and after cards from my two other Fair visits. (First day break, second day break.)

6a01053560de5d970b0120a5c0b366970c-450wi

Another Note on Taking a Mental Break to Get a Second Wind

090901KSheepInk

Above: sheep sketch; 9 x 7 inches, Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. Hot Press Watercolor paper; Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor pencils (used dry). Click on the image to view an enlargement.

On Sept. 6 I wrote about taking a mental break when your energy is low by returning to a favorite drawing standby. I thought you would enjoy seeing another example of this from my 2009 Minnesota State Fair visits. At the Sketch Out on Sept. 1 I returned to the barns after a short Corn Dog break and decided I really wanted to see some rich black lines on the paper. (It’s all that white paper, it’s blinding!) I sketched the above ewe with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and then scribbled in some various blues for shading. I really like the shapes I was able to catch quickly. It freed my mind up from the small strokes I had been taking all day with pencils.

Zapped back by this little break, I walked into the Poultry section with a renewed mission to sketch one more bird before I called it quits for the day (which had been a long day—I'd walked in at 10:38 a.m.).

6a01053560de5d970b0120a560d29e970b-250wi

When Things Don’t Go Your Way: Sketching Animals (at the Fair, or Anywhere)

090901FChickenGestures

Above: Chicken sketches made during the Minnesota State Fair Sketch Out. I started with the sketch at the left but when that chicken became totally frantic over what was happening in the next crate I moved on down the line. On the right I did a quick sketch of a large rooster to get a feel for the shape and proportions. I then took some notes and left space for my admissions ticket—which I glued in place that night. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils used dry on 9 x 7 inch piece of Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. HP watercolor paper. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

One of the exciting things about sketching animals, whether or not you’re at the Fair or a Zoo or at home or at a dog park, is that animals do the unexpected.

You can let this frustrate you and end your sketching session, or you can keep working and learn something. You all know which I favor.

I want to encourage you all to give in to the moment and really look at the animal before you, hear and smell its breath (unless it is of the large predator variety and then get the hell out of there) and settle into its rhythms.

Don’t try to sketch right away. Watch. Watch. Watch. Then when you do start to sketch you’ll have a sense of how the animal is moving. I've written about sketching at zoos where the animals often follow a pattern of movement. This allows you to start several sketches in rotation on your page, and work on each for a few seconds as the animal passes that position again. In enclosed spaces like barns or animal pens animals will also repeat positions and behaviors in a smaller area.

6a01053560de5d970b0120a55ddc3e970b-450wi

Using Watersoluble Colored Pencils for Quick Backgrounds

090901DCow

Above: my last morning sketch from the Sketch Out—made just before our first group meeting. Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils used dry and wet on a 9 x 7 inch card of Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. HP Watercolor paper. Notes written with a Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.3. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

One great advantage of watersoluble colored pencils over wax-based colored pencils is the way you can use the first to create watercolor washes throughout your drawing. You can dissolve the lines of your sketch and blend colors together as you would with watercolor paint. Or you can leave your lines only partially dissolved for additional texture to your sketch/painting. Or you can simply leave them dry, as originally applied, with the same sort of visual effect you would get using wax-based pencils.

If you have a large area to cover and no time you can also lay in a background of blended color much more quickly with these pencils than with wax-based ones.

In this post I have three examples all made on the Sketch Out trip to this year’s State Fair. For each sketch I simply drew the animal I was observing. Then I scribbled in a background of colored lines, typically using two or three analogous colors in a random order across the background (placing darker colors where I wanted more contrast, but no more thought than that to the placement).

6a01053560de5d970b0120a553bb5a970b-450wi

Sketching with Colored Pencils: Why Blue?

090901CPig

Above: Pig sketch from my second trip to the 2009 Minnesota State fair. (Yes there is a faint outline of his shadow on the wall. I didn't know if I would have time to paint in the background or not; but this shadow isn't to be confused with the restated tail—it had to be moved up higher on the butt to give roundness to the ham.) Faber-Castell
Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils used dry on a 9 x 7 inch card of
Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. HP Watercolor paper. Notes written with a
Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.3. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

After warming up on with some gesture sketches of pigs (see yesterday's post) I had a very pleasant talk with the owner of this pig. We talked about her husband's love of pig breeding and showing. She laughed saying, "There are worse things—race cars, dangerous things…I only wish my husband had a laundry at the farm so he wouldn't bring those clothes home."  (From that we can assume that they have a hobby farm.)

But I digress, blue pencils, why am I sketching with a blue pencil? Well I don't like to use black colored pencils at all (either wax or watersoluble). And I love Indanthrene Blue (which is the color of the pencil used above—remember PB60?) It seems a natural choice for me. When working with wax based pencils I can use it to create a grisaille; when working with watersoluble colored pencils I can use it to quickly blend shadow areas depending on the color choice I layer with it. Bottom line I just like the way it looks on the paper. I prefer it to a warm or cool gray. If I add other colors on top of it I get blending possibilities the grays don't offer me.

6a01053560de5d970b0120a58f191e970c-250wi

Draw What Interests You: Sketching at the Minnesota State Fair

090828DSheep

Above: My fourth journal card from my first visit to the 2009 Minnesota State Fair. Here I caught a black-faced ewe sitting in a protective canvas jacket with a large green collar. (Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils used dry on a 9 x 7 inch card of Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. hot press watercolor paper. Notes were written with a 0.3 Staedtler Pigment Liner.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

The eye and aspect of this ewe, sitting in her protective coat with its high green collar attracted my attention. First she was sitting still and "promised" to do so for a few minutes more. Second there was something lovely about her eye. Third there was the delightful shading of black on black across her face. And then there was the crispness of the collar against her shorn beige neck.

RozWoundUp
Close Cookmode

Pin It on Pinterest