Thursday, August 25, 2016

Watercolor Sketching Wolves

Still traveling in Gaylord, Michigan, I returned to Call of the Wild, which I mentioned in a previous post, as one of my favorite places to sketch.  If you are ever in the vicinity and want to visit a nostalgic mom and pop place where you can sketch all kinds of taxidermied animals (plus eat fudge and buy cowboy boots), this is the place.

Anyhow, having worked on coyotes the day before, I decided to work on wolves in this scribbling session.

In keeping with my July focus on watercolors, I used a waterbrush and a small palette of Schminke paints.  However, I also allowed myself (for the first time in a while!) to use some ink.  I wanted to see if I could use ink combined with watercolor in ways that were more than just a tinted ink drawing.   I focused on shapes and colors, and included some contours, but not as many as I would before I started this watercolor class.

To begin, I chose what I thought would be a challenging angle.

I surprised myself that this came out fairly well, especially for a first sketch of the day and of this model.  Could be that my previous work with the coyotes helped, since the animals are so similar.
Next, I tried a head-on view of a different model,  wanting to practice a bit more with seeing the nose and rendering it in perspective. I also chose not to use ink in this one.

Below is a clearer photo of the pages (done in a Strathmore 500 mixed media sketchbook).

I really am a fan of my ink and fountain pen, I confess.  There's a liveliness to an ink line that I just love.  Howeve

r, I can see grown in my use of the watercolor that pleases me.  I can use both now in quick, scribbly ways, and get richer results!  The daily practice is really paying off.

Finally, I moved to a coyote model I hadn't seen the other day.  I liked the running position and thought it would make good practice for capturing my own dogs in motion.

First, I focused on capturing the whole animal's position.  Then, in keeping with the other two sketches of the day, I did an detail of just the head and included watercolor.

What a great sketching session!  In and out in about an hour, paying focused attention to beautiful animals, and improving my creative skills.  I can't imagine many better ways to spend my time!

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