Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Practicing the Moose (with a Bonus Owl)

On another trip to Call of the Wild in Gaylord, Michigan, instead of taking my new watercolor sketchbook, I took my tan toned Strathmore sketchbook and a china marker.

This day, I decided to work with the moose exhibit.  I wanted to spend a good hour or so studying the two animals and making fat, gestural marks on the paper.

I find the shape of these animals really fascinating.

I did a bunch of sketches and ran into my usual problem:  spacing.  I always run off the page. 

In this next one you can see me restating the lines in an attempt to get the whole animal on the page.  For some reason this is just so darned hard for me!

Anyhow, I eventually gave up on that and decided to work on some close-ups of facial structure.  Here is an example:  I am focusing here on that round yet cube shape at the end of the nose.

As my final sketch of the day, now that my eyes and hands felt completely warmed up, I settled into a detail of one eye and a bit of forehead.


Well, I thought that was going to be my last sketch of the day, but on my way out, I passed a barn owl and stopped to scribble something in just a few minutes.  In this one, I actually planned to run off the page.... honest!

I know I say it over and over, but really, I can't describe the wonderful impact this scribbling practice has had on my life.

It takes me out of the house.
It takes me out of my head.
It asks me to look--really look--at the wonderous ways things have been made.
It shows me light and darkness, always together, always pushing each other.
It shows me how wonderful the world is.
It shows me that I can be vulnerable, take risk, fail, and get up to draw again!

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