Tuesday, April 4, 2017

iPad Sketching at the Outdoor Discovery Center

I am lucky to have a wonderful Outdoor Discovery Center within 30 miles of my home, where they welcome sketchers!

I visited one day to practice bears (you'll know from some of my previous posts that I have struggled with bears) and to practice working on  my iPad Pro.

I love my iPad pro, but the last time I went out and sketched with it, it got too heavy on my arm.  So this time, I took a folding stool and was able to prop it on my lap.

I spent about two hours sketching just this one display, from the same angle.  But I drew the bear head multiple times.  Here are a few.

I loved the challenge of getting the anatomy of the head from this upward angle.  It's one I haven't had a chance to work with before.

This bear is in a display with a mountain lion, so it wasn't long before I had to draw the cat as well.

Having worked on close ups of each, I then attempted them both together.  You can see that I worked first in a thinner line, then went back over it in a thicker line to restate the lines I liked best.  This is how I work in a regular sketchbook sometimes as well.  Though I could have erased the earlier exploratory sketch lines from the iPad, I didn't.  I like the look.

Next I decided it would be fun to duplicate the sketch above, but play with it on a tinted background, something mid-tone, so that I could play with putting in highlights.  You can see below I had begun to mess with adding whites.

Finally, I added flat areas of color.  My goal here was not to make it look like a watercolor or colored pencil piece (which you can do, of course!) but to use the flat tones of color one sees in a lot of comics.  I'm learning more about how that works.

For fun, I went back and did the same with my mountain lion close up.  

I also wanted to be sure I got a full body portrait of the bear, since I ran off the "page" when I did him with the mountain lion.  And I drew him leaving space for some journaling.

Below is the final page of my day.  I haven't done much sketching (just one or two times, that I can remember) where I sat with one model for a long period of time and drew it in many different ways.  I found something very satisfying about the study this let me do.  I felt like I progressed a lot in my understanding of what makes a bear a bear.

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