Monday, April 12, 2010
Sketching tame wildlife
I'm learning how to sketch wildlife and have discovered that it's much easier to work on my speed sketching skills in places where the wild things aren't so wild. One of my favorite of these places is on Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park, a city park in Santa Rosa, California. There are year-round Canada geese, several varieties of domestic geese, mallards and California ground squirrels. The ground squirrels are extremely brazen. I've seen them go right up to people and beg for peanuts, jumping up on the bench if the person gets distracted and forgets to keep the supply coming. Since I travel with a dog, the squirrels keep their distance from me, yet still come close enough for me to sketch. This one seemed as interested in what I was doing as I was in what she was doing. Which wasn't so much. She stood on the rock and we watched each other for a while and then she was just gone.
I've been working in pen but wanted to try pencil to see if I could get more tone more quickly and, boy, did I! Now I'm having loads of fun with pencil sketching. It's kind of messy and I'd forgotten how much fun that can be. But mostly I'm just thrilled with how much more quickly I can get everything down on paper!