I am doing a lot of sea-related drawings at the moment. My daughter loves fish, and the aquarium in Galway is her favorite pace right now, so I may end up doing some sea related murals on her bedroom furniture. First off I need a load of source material to work from.
And for that reason, I give you – the shrimp!
I started this drawing of a lizard perched on some rock as a line drawing in pencil, very quickly executed. I picked out some shapes in the same way I’d draw folds in material, but here I was trying to capture the areas of light and dark – or to be more precise the borders between them. This first stage is shown below. I didn’t spend more than a minute or at most two on that.
I then dipped a wet brush into some black watercolour, or paynes grey perhaps – I don’t recall, and blocked in the darkest areas. I know the usual watercolour thing is to build up to dark but this was a quick sketch so I did it my own way (as I usually do in life!).
Next I used the blues and greens in my pocket watercolour palette and along with the grey/black I was using above I made up some shades for doing drops of shade to build up a sort of reptile skin texture. It is only a sketch, so there was no need to do all the skin, just enough to see how this method worked out. That was the purpose after all – see how this and that work out.
For the last step I picked up my most common sketching tool – a pen – and defined some scales, as well as the fins al0ng its spine (probably wrong word, but I don’t know the right one and am not going to look it up right now).
I was lucky enough to get married on safari in South Africa, in Kwandwe to be precise. Because of this we had the unusual experience of going out for a dawn trek on safari on the morning of our wedding day. While out we came across a cheetah dripping in perspiration, just after taking down a wildebeest. Here I drew from a set of photo I took where he is dragging it into cover away from some warthogs who were passing. I drew it with a fine-liner pen on watercolour paper as I like the firmness of the paper, how it soaks up the ink and how the texture affects the line when drawing.
Below is one in the series of photos I took to make the drawing from. Magnificent animal. I feel very lucky to have seen him in action in his natural habitat. What a wonderful start to our married life together. And it has only gotten better and better since.
This is about as random as they get. I wanted to try out some new pens the other night – Faber Caster PITT artist pens in sepia – and so needed something to draw. I pulled up a random photo form my honeymoon, which turned out to be an Icelandic sheep. I’m not very impressed with the pens, but will give them a few more goes before I give up on them. They are far firmer than the package gives the impression of. I had expected something halfway between a brush and a pen.
The reason for the washes is that I wanted to see if the ink was water soluble. Another impression I picked up from the packaging.
This is the view across the road from my house, out my bedroom window. Actually, the sheep isn’t there all the time, but the rest is pretty much always there. The land is quite hilly so there are lots of these slopes, with lovely Galway stone walls – no mortar so like here, they are often knocked down in places by livestock looking for a scratch.
I like this drawing as it isn’t finished, but there is a nice balance between the bits I shaded and those I had only rough marking out done for. To me it is instantly recognisable as the hill over the road, and without looking at the landscape I could easily draw in everything that has not been drawn already.
I guess I should get out more!
This sketch is a perfect example of one of my biggest failings as an artist: impatience. I was drawing a nice enough line drawing of a cat, and just had to finish up colouring in the dark eyes. But I was impatient and scribbled them in, ruining the rest of the drawing in the process.
The only reason for posting it here is the site is a catalogue of my drawings, not a gallery of the best (in case you hadn’t guessed).
This is a drawing of a chimps eyes. It was a photo that accompanied an article in National Geographic and I thought it would be challenging to draw so gave it a go. It was a challenge, and I will definitely give it another go sometime. I try to draw something most days, just to get a bit of practice in, which is why there is such a variety of subjects on this site. I will usually draw what I can see out the window, or at night from magazines, books or the room I am sitting in.