Here is where I am at today. I just started to bring the birch branch forward. The main branch to the right will get deeper in value and blended to push it into the background, and then I will do the shading and detailed work on the section in front that is in focus. There will still be some more time tonight to work, but I wanted to post it at this stage. It helps me to chronicle how a piece comes together for future reference. The squirrel has been given heavier cast shadows to match the photo reference. (And now that I am looking at it on the screen, I might darken his back a little more. It is where the light source hits the strongest, but I think I can go a little deeper in value.) He has taken quite a bit of time as I go back and forth deciding how to get that short fur to look right. I must say it has been a learning experience. I know I moved faster than this on my self portrait... AAAAGH!! Back to the drawing board...
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Here is the next update to the squirrel drawing. As you can see, I added in more of the background to the right and completed his other hand and tail area. Now, I will move on to his whitish under belly and feet. The right side of the background will be considerably lighter and not as busy as the left. With the holiday weekend upon me, I hope to get the time to finish this one. (Sorry for the washed out photo! Graphite does not photograph well in a sunny studio. I promise to get a better pic of the finished work. )
Long time since the last post. What have I been doing?? Believe it or not, I have been hatching chicks. This little guy here is named Fred. Fred is a little turkey. He and his brother were born within a few hours of each other. His little brother, whose name is Gene, had trouble coming out of his egg and was delivered by yours truly. We have since found out that Gene's inability to hatch himself out was due to a problem with his left leg. At the present moment, they are both doing well and are very noisy and active. My son does not like me naming the birds. He believes I become to attached. Who me?? If you hadn't guessed I named them after two famous actor/dancer/choreographers. And boy do they live up to their names. They are constantly moving (or dancing ;-) ) around the cage with those long legs!!
Here is Fred at a tamer moment as his brother was just delivered in the background. He thought he'd take a peek at the outside world.
These guys arrived already hatched on the same day that the two above were born. The majority of them were a couple of weeks old, but the guy threw in four that were newborns. This did not work out well as two ended up dying. So while my son was gone, I pulled out the two remaining little chicks and stuck them in with Fred and Gene, since they are very close in age. At first the little chickens just stared at those long legged birds! What in the heck are those things?!! It was so funny. But in the end, they were piled in a little heap under the heat lamp in the corner. Aren't families great!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Busy weekend, but a little progress was made on the drawing. As you can see, he now has a face. His whiskers have made their appearance, even though some will be elongated later. I have been double checking the values in the shadows of the fur, and they might have to be altered once the body is finished. My main objective is to get the fur laid in the right direction then worry about cohesiveness later. This little guy is actually a roan color for the main part of the body with a gray/white under belly. With the sun hitting at his back, it is making a job of translating it all into shades of gray. Although more than likely, I am just over thinking the task!!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Here is a quick update to show how this drawing is progressing. The background was drug over a little farther to the right to accommodate the bush of the tail that needed to be rendered. A good part of his tail can be seen and the majority of his head. I went back and darkened up the background blur with a 9b pencil. Usually I will wait until the end of the project to darken values, but it was throwing off my shading of the squirrel. This little guy's head has given me quite a time! I am not accustomed to rendering short haired animals. It has been quite the learning experience. It was a strategic move to do the face first on this one. I figured it was the shortest haired area and the spot on the body with the most detail. Hopefully, the pace will pick up with the other areas.
Friday, May 7, 2010
"What is that?" you ask. Hopefully to be followed by--"It looks blurry." ;-) At least I hope that is what you are thinking. The answer to the question is that this is half of my out-of-focus background. I know this does not bring a whole lot of anything to the table, but this is what I have done so far. It has taken me a few sessions to get all that blur going on! It made me rather nervous to start the background first. My comfort level is pretty low. At first, I was going to do all the background; but after some thought, I decided to stop midway. The squirrel will be the next part to be rendered. If the background on the right of the picture was finished, it would make me nuts. I would have to cover that part of the drawing while I worked on the squirrel, because that is where I would rest my hand. Not that blurring it more would be a bad thing, but it just makes me uncomfortable. An artists bridge would solve the problem, but me and my bridge do not get along very well! I cannot remember a project that I used the poor thing on. Aaaaah, maybe someday...