Check and log: Drawing animals

~ drawing animals

~ drawing animals

What were the main challenges of drawing animals?

The main one was not having instant access to any animals, no longer having any pets.  Thankfully, however, we have friends with animals, so relied largely on them.  The other main difficulty is working quickly enough to capture sufficient detail, if drawing from life.  In addition, I struggled to get the eye placement right on some of my cat drawings.  It took me ages to realise where the problem was (the eyes were too high up), and I only solved the mystery by taking a photo and splitting it into sections, to see if anything leapt out at me as wrong.  That worked straight away.

Which media did you enjoy using most and which did you feel were best for the subject matter and why?

I really enjoyed using charcoal again, and graphite. Part 2 has focused mainly on coloured media, which has been interesting, but I do enjoy working in monochrome. That said, I combined charcoal with soft pastels here, and liked the effect that created, particularly on the dog drawing.  Water-soluble graphite used in combination with a water-brush proved a very useful bit of kit for working quickly, too. The cat silhouette in ink wash was very simple, but highly effective, I think.

Where can you go to draw more animals?  Think about the sorts of places that will give you opportunities for animal drawing.  Have you tried drawing a moving animal yet?

Fortunately, I live very close to Dartmoor, so there are sheep, cows and wild ponies not far away.  Getting there is the main problem, due to health difficulties (discussed with tutor/college).  Also, there is a rare breeds farm quite nearby – if I can get there, that could be an interesting source of subjects.  I haven’t drawn as many moving animals as I would like, as yet.  I did think of trying to draw some from videos, until I can get out to somewhere with a greater variety of animals.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this section of the course, and only wish there could be more time devoted to it.  I felt so much more relaxed when drawing animals – trying to capture characters.  I was able to work more loosely, which I’ve wanted to do.  There’s still much room for improvement on that score, but I feel this has been a good start. I drew without worrying so much about making a mess or ‘getting it right’. My aim now is to retain that way of working and that feeling of relaxing into a subject, especially for Assignment 2.

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