Saturday, September 5, 2009


Several years ago I made the above drawing based on reference photos I shot in Yellowstone National Park. This is actually a study, though very refined compared to what would be called a sketch. I enjoyed some success with it having been selected into the top 200 artworks in the 2003 Arts for the Parks competition.

I've long had intentions of creating a large charcoal version based on the initial drawing. After the results I achieved with "Sovereignty" I'm ready to approach it. The plan is to make it the exact same size as sort of a companion piece.

Comparing the two images will show the subtle adjustments I made in the composition that I felt would improve the overall impact of the work. Cutting the image scan into pieces I moved things around slightly and changed sizes. The size changes added more depth I think and now the bison fill more of the frame. Even though these changes are small I feel that they make an important difference to the design.

You can see in this image how I'm able to chop up the elements in order to move them around. This technique of making alterations was learned from a great book written by Paul Calle named "The Pencil". Paul is without question a master and I've learned more from his book than from any other source. He used to make photocopies from his sketches, reduced and enlarged, then cut them up and paste them in various combinations until he got what he was looking for. A digital scan is my photocopy. I use some form of this process in every drawing I plan.

This drawing will show up on this blog over the course of the next few months.

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