Friday, July 24, 2009

The Giant Panda

This animal always draws the crowds at the National Zoo in Washinton, D. C... I try to get there early so I can see them feeding on bamboo. They are interesting in that in the wild they are loners. When the staff puts the male and female in the same enclosure it can get interesting.

One winter day they were wrestling. Actually it looked like they were beating the heck out of each other. Some observers were saying how cute they were.

Two weeks ago I went to the zoo and was totally surprised that there wasn't a parking spot in the whole place. I turned around and drove the 25 miles home. Found out later that it was Tai Shan's 4th birthday. The public loves these animals. Kids in particular are fascinated by them.

Sometimes the kids ask to see my drawings and we talk a bit. The parents usually just want to move on to another exhibit. Drawing the Panda is fun. Basically round shapes with definite color separations on the body. The mouth and eyes have to be done properly or everything is off. The ears have to be placed properly also.

Fred R. Crowley


  1. Great sketches, Fred! I miss the National Zoo - used to live nearby and regularly visited. The poses you captured are wonderful. I love how they sit and munch on bamboo like they are in an armchair or something. :)

    I'm curious - what medium did you use? Is this watercolor or pencil, or maybe watercolor pencil?


  2. You've captured their "cuteness" but also something of their great mass, too.

  3. Fred, Fred , Fred,....My buddy...I'm going to have to put you in a all new category to yourself and on a whole different plane. WOW! This is a great posting...well done.

  4. You have their body positions down so well I can 'see' them eating and munching. Great nature sketches!!! I love your visits to the zoo.

  5. I love these panda sketches!!! You really captured their character, their 'pandaness.'

  6. You really caught these, Fred! Love the opaque paint on the toned paper, it helps capture that bulk and presence...

  7. Thanks all.

    Carol, it is fountain pen with a sepia ink, watercolor, watercolor crayon, white cassein paint.


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