Sunday, 28 August 2011

Assignment 3 - Drawing Animals

Grabbing the Chance

I chose my border collie Tess as a subject for this section. Although she is very (hyper) active she does spend a lot of time in that typical collie pose waiting for someone to throw her toy which gave me a chance to sketch her and of course she spends a lot of time stretched out sleeping.
Pencil various and pen A4
Pencil A4



Rotring Art Pen and Pencil various A4

Pencil various A4
Pencil, ball point pen A4


The brief asked for an A2 drawing on Bockingford paper. Unfortunately I bought an A3 pad by accident so I did an A2 drawing with conte pastels on white cartridge paper and an A3 using the bockingford with black pastel.

Conte Pastel Pencil  A2


Black pastel stick A3 Bockinford Paper

I'm much happier with the larger drawing with conte pastel pencil. I think she had clocked that she was the centre of attention by the time I did the 2nd drawing and I had to rush it a bit due to her wriggling. Also the pastel sticks were much more difficult to use and get detail with especially on the rough paper.
The conte pencils were great for showing her coat and I had fun trying to describe the highlights and shadows over her back. Her coat is longest around her neck and over her back end and much smoother over her back. The pastel hasn't shown this very well as it looks like she's bald over her back!

Fish on a Plate

I wasn't overly keen on a fish as a subject but it was quite enjoyable. I think the key to drawing the fish is trying to get the irridescent shine over the body. First of all I did a few sketches of the head and tail and tried to get a handle on the colours using the pencils.

Preparatory sketches A4


Then I gave the drawing a go using coloured inks and the Aquarelle pencils.

Coloured Inks and coloured pencils on Bockingford Paper A3
I liked using the inks and thought they worked well for this subject because I was able to do a kind of wash and drag out the colour with water. I used the Aquarelle pencils to get an overall colour in areas and for the darkest tones like the shadow under the plate and I think the two media worked quite well together.

After this attempt I had another go but I don't think it was as successful. For this attempt I just used a black pen to do basic drawing with some shading and then used the Aquarelle pencils to get the larger areas of shade and the colour. Although this photo doesn't show up the colours well, I think I have gone overboard with the black pen and pencil and if I were to do it again I would do less black and more colour pencil.
Black pen and water soluble pencils A3 Bockingford paper


Check and Log

1. What where the main challenges of drawing animals?
The biggest challange was the fact that animals can't be relied upon to stay still. This means you have to be fast and makes it difficult to really detailed drawing or painting from life. Other than that the biggest challenge is drawing their hair or fur in a life like way. I think it's all about giving an impression of the texture by indicating certain areas. I was quite lucky with my choice, although she is really hairy it was quite easy to show her coat and it was quite good fun too.
The fish was bit more difficult as the scales are unlike any surface I've tried before. I'm glad I chose the inks for this as they depicted the shimmer and the colours very well.

2. Which media did you enjoy using most and which did you feel where best for the subject matter and why?
I enjoyed the inks the best as they are the most spontaneous and I love the effect they give. Although they were good for the fish, they wouldn't have been very good at the dogs coat. I think the conte pastels were perfect. I was able to get the long sweeping lines for her long hair. I also tried with pastel sticks and they weren't so good. The conte pastel is in a pencil which gives more detail but can also cover paper fast. Something smaller like pencils would be harder on a larger scale because of the subject and the difficulty getting them to stay still.

3. Where can you go to draw more animals? Think about the sorts of places that will give you opportunities for drawing animals?
Obviously places like zoos and safari parks are perfect but I would imagine they would tend to be busy and it would be difficult to get the time to sit for a while. Photos would be useful in these places. I am very lucky as I have  a cat and a dog so I have plenty of opportunity to draw animals. In the past I have also sketched ducks at the duck pond round the corner and sheep in local fields. We have plenty of horses and cows in local fields too. 

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