Friday, May 2, 2014

Nature Journal and 2 portraits


Another blog update and another catch up page from my Nature Journal. Another visit to Daniel Webster again from April of 2013, this visit was on the 30th so almost one year ago. My usual tree stump in the panne with only 3 turtles that day. A violet I saw blooming in the grass and more Canada Geese. I decided to do the unusual and add a bit of color to the violet, this one was actually the pale violet depicted and not the dark violet which is more common.

The geese couple had 5 hatchlings in their brood in my photograph but I selected only four of them for my drawing. As I recall there were several pairs with young on the day I visited. Since Daniel Webster has quite a few predators (fox, hawks, snapping turtles for sure, there may be others) adults have to be vigilant and most parents end up raising only a couple of their goslings to full adulthood. These little ones make a tasty morsel.


In the past couple of days I have been involved with a discussion in the WetCanvas Drawing forum regarding drawing portraits. Some members suggest using tools to achieve total accuracy in a drawn portrait from a reference photograph. The tools suggested are using grids, or even using projectors of one sort or another so that an outline can be traced on the drawing paper then shading would be added.

Neither are my cup of tea. My training and inclination is to draw freehand, starting with some givens and working from there. Using erasers to make corrections as needed. If in the end I don't achieve total accuracy so be it, as long as I get it mostly right I am satisfied.

Anyway this discussion reminded me that it has been a while since I did a serious portrait study. The gentleman in the Library in the last post was just a quick sketch, so I pulled out a photograph that is actually from April's pen and ink challenge got my pencils and erasers at the ready and drew.

The above is what I finally ended up with, probably not totally accurate, but it is pretty close. I have to admit that for this drawing I did what I usually never do, I drew the boy's eyelashes. Normally I never draw eyelashes, but because he was either looking down or had his eyes closed the lashes made a very definite pattern against his cheeks and needed to be included.


Not sure how well I did with this young man. For this drawing I deliberately chose a rather difficult reference image from my own photographs. The photograph was made with a flash which reduces shadows and flattens features, also he is a young boy and was looking up at me when I made the shot. He wasn't entirely happy to be photographed as I hope his expression shows.

So the difficult aspects of this image with regards to drawing, first he is still a child and I usually draw adults (different relationships between some features) odd angle of view, and few shadows. Mostly I am pleased with how this turned out, could be better but could have been a heck of a lot worse. I wanted to challenge myself and believe me I did.

He is a relative of friends of mine, and the photograph was made at a Holiday gathering I attended.


I usually only post one photograph at the end of each update, but had to post this photograph of a rainbow. We had a rain storm come through Wed until Thursday afternoon, by evening it had cleared enough that we actually saw some sunlight, then a group of storm clouds came through bringing a brief shower and this rainbow. Photograph was made looking east with trees and houses being lit by an almost setting sun.


I did manage to get out between showers yesterday for a walk and spotted these blooming tulips. Aren't they beautiful, pretty pink and white flowers. Maybe there is another drawing here. 

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.