Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Three Bison Surge

Roughed in a few more bison today. This photo shows the messy process. I let the drawing panel with the texture have it's way for the most part.

Once the finger smudging is over I use vine charcoal to add some detail. This is the point where it's easy to over work the piece and lose the spontaneity I'm attempting to maintain. Next step is to pick out highlights with a kneaded erasure.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2 1/2

Another stolen moment today to rough in a bit more. Nice to have somthing new on the drawing board. Perhaps I can pick up the pace this weekend. My favorite aspect of this piece is the strong light from the setting sun as it highlights the shedding animals. They lose large wads of winter coat each season to expose a smooth undercoat that's evident on the back hip of this first one. Interesting contrasts and patterns will emerge as this develops.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Contradiction is Balance

I finally had a few minutes this afternoon to rough in the beginning of the bison drawing I recently posted adjustments to. It has been many years since I first did the initial study and feel that I can finally do justice to the work. It has been so long since I've gotten my fingers blackened with charcoal that I forgot what pure joy my work is for me. The lapse of time in between drawings illustrates the nature of the demands on my time.

My work is both bane and salvation for my soul. When I'm unable to work I suffer, when I draw I'm totally blissed. Odd contradiction. A song writer once observed that 'contradiction is balance'. Anyone know the song or musician?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Arrangements

This is a detail from a drawing I had nearly completed. Through the entire work I didn't have positive feelings about the composition. It was subconscious to a degree because I'd spent so much time working out the position of the two osprey I couldn't understand why it just didn't feel right. I finally decided to shelve the project after my wife admitted it just wasn't engaging her. I respect her opinion because she is a talented graphic artist and has a good eye for composition.

Recently I've been rearranging a bison study I made several years ago. I felt it was a strong work but still wanted to take it further. I call this the incubation period. It can take years sometimes. Songwriters often rearrange their well known songs to wonderful affect and I greatly enjoy them. I figured that I could do this to my drawings and feel that's the reason for studies in the first place. A few months ago I posted 'before' and 'after' compositions but have adjusted it even further since then.

The osprey nest has also been redesigned and will come back to the table in a new format soon. First comes the bison design which I've just finished preparing a drawing panel for. Over the next few weeks I hope to get it underway providing that responsibilities allow as they have eaten all my time over the past few months.