Graphite Bunny (100 Face Challenge, #70)

We have a pet wild bunny who escaped a run-in with a fox or some other predator. We’ve been leaving carrots and lettuce out for him daily, and he’s slowly learning to trust us, and plumping up nicely.     The reference image for this pencil sketch came from Brianna at Gold Hearts Blog; thank you, Brianna!     This was done in Faber-Castell 2B graphite pencil in my 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ Canson Universal sketch pad (which, IMO is the best bargain in sketchbooks out there for pencil and pen work at under $5 for 200 pages/100 sheets, and it even takes a light watercolor wash) (affiliate links):

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Our cameras aren’t super high-tech, but I may be able to share a photo if one of us gets close enough to snap one.   Ours is a precious Eastern Cottontail rabbit.   So I’ve become a bit obsessed with rabbits lately, and hope to improve on them in the next couple of months.   Speaking of furry critters, I really need to give a shout out to Rebecca Evans at Rebecca Evans Create.com here on WP.   This link is to her Hares page, and she is a magnificent artist, rendering mostly animals and birds, but other subjects too, in all mediums:  oil, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, acrylics, mixed media, collage, 3-D art; you name it.    You owe it to yourself to check out her site.   Her horses are spectacular too, but honestly, everything she does is incredible.   If I were ever to render an animal, any animal, the way she can, I would consider myself “arrived”.

I’ve decided to take a break from news headlines, particularly those about small men embarrassing my country on an all-too-regular basis, take a step back, and set my mind on things that are above, and that will fill up my peace tank, like God, nature, birds, bunnies, sunsets, flowers, trees, and beauty, wherever it lies.   So, not a break from art, but a break from pretty much everything else.   I need to really clear some space for prayer, yoga and meditation, things that will relax me and bring me to a healthy and more balanced place.    You may see me here and you may not, but hopefully I’ll have a post for Draw A Bird Day on Monday, the 8th!   I’ll be doing a roundup post, as well, with links to everyone’s bird art about a week or so after the event.

I hope everyone has a peaceful and restful weekend.     Go make the world beautiful, people!   Please.   We need you.   🙂

Percilla, Who Can Resist You? (#42): 100 Face Challenge

I found an absolutely irresistible photo of a young kitty named Percilla while browsing the blog of artist Jade Sutton the other day. If you have a minute, check out her blog! Her artwork will inspire you to dig through your supplies and fling pigment to paper, canvas, whatever is closest.   It’s lovely!

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I love all animals, but I have to admit being partial to cats. My two passed away within about a year of each other recently, and though we’re not ready to take the plunge yet, I just can’t resist cute little kitty faces. This one was done with a 2B graphite pencil in my most humble Canson sketchbook.

Happy Tuesday!   Enjoy the sun, the snow, the rain…..whatever’s happening where you are.   They all have a purpose, and something to offer us.   Peace.

The Perfect Couple (#37 & #38): 100 Face Challenge

This post from Robin at Robin’s Robins really caught my eye a couple of weeks ago, and I finally found a moment to quickly sketch this pair of mallards.  Aren’t they sweet?

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This was done in 2B graphite with a touch of Derwent Graphitint pencil added.   I’m finding I like those Graphitint pencils as much to simply draw with as when they are activated with water.   (They are basically water-soluble graphite pencil with a touch of color in each.)   The tones are muted, so they’re particularly suited to nature and landscape work.    Do check out Robin’s blog.   He takes lots of wonderful bird photos, and I think you’ll really enjoy them!

I don’t have as much time for blogging as busy season cranks up, so if I’m not in here daily posting, I didn’t disappear, and won’t be away for long.   Take care and enjoy your Wednesday.   Quacks and peace to you.

Contented Dog (#35): 100 Face Challenge

When I saw this photo of my friend Jodi’s dog at Life in Between…do I have to finish this sentence? How could anyone resist this face?!

Charlie: MM journal, 2B graphite

There is nothing sweeter than the eyes of a dog. A challenging, foreshortened view that I’m still working on rendering just right, but every single time, such a joy to try and capture. Thank you, Jodi, for sharing your lovely photos. And thank you, Charlie, my partner in crime!   You both inspire me.

Saturdays are inspiring too! Beef stew will bubble in the crockpot, some kind of cool gluten-free chocolate chunk bars will be baking in the oven…..and then let the weekend dance continue with color galore! Happy almost February…..peace.

Dog in Profile (#19): 100 Face Challenge

I checked “The Artist’s Guide to Drawing Animals” by J. C. Amberlyn out from the library some time ago, and every now and then, I copy one of her sketches.   I’m finding this book really useful, as she breaks each animal down, feature by feature.    Love the expressiveness in her lines.   This is something I’m really working on this year:  loosening up and trying to let more emotion and personality come through in my work.

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I hope that you are enjoying the finest of Saturdays today.    Take time for yourself.   Read, create, relax with some beautiful music and fill up your soul.    Let’s make the world a better place, one sweet moment at a time.   Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Study for Madonna with the Yarnwinder (#10 & #11)

I’ve been enjoying copying the work of other artists, and so I decided to try this sketch from the great Leonardo da Vinci.  I tried a quick preliminary sketch first, with a Caran d’Ache Technalo watersoluble graphite pencil.  I wanted to see the lines, so I didn’t hit it with the water at all.   I’m finding I really like the look of a sketch done with water-soluble graphite.    It gives an interesting depth, and almost gives the feeling of charcoal on my mixed media paper, without so much smudging.

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The original work was so beautiful that I had to try again, this time with just a B graphite pencil on the same mixed media paper (just different lighting).   I was much happier with this effort.

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I look forward to revisiting this one again when I can take more time with it.   Such lovely lines in the original!    I’m learning so much right now from the work of others.    What a joy to try and recreate!    I’m enjoying this face challenge so much!

Enjoy your weekend and I hope you dance!

100 Face Challenge: Studio Cat (#6 & #7)!

I was browsing the blog of artist Katie Turner recently and found this post, featuring a wonderful photo of her studio cat, Tiger.    This cat is so gorgeous, with lovely markings, and I was especially drawn to her eyes (I am eye obsessed).   So of course, I had to draw her.    Or try!   🙂

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My first attempt was in graphite pencil (2B) in my 65-lb., mostly smooth Canson sketchbook.   I was happy with the eye, but had misaligned some other markings a bit.   And I didn’t think the lightweight paper would fare well with too much erasing.

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So I tried again in ink, this time in my Strathmore mixed media journal with a Copic 0.1 mm nib.   I’ve not finished this drawing, but will probably start over again on Bristol smooth paper.   The photo has so much eye detail (making me crave about 100 more just like it, of any animal you please!) and I find myself being drawn to it again and again.   I’ve found that the importance of a good photo reference can not be overestimated.   I’ve also found that in spite of a good reference, it’s easy to make mistakes.   hehe.

I’ve got some barnyard animals planned for the future:  cows, horses, rabbits, roosters, and even the odd squirrel and raccoon.    Also, more dogs!    I hope you make this a day to remember.  Meowing in public could go a long way toward brightening a January day.   (I’m just checking to see if anyone’s still reading.   But meowing in public really is fun!)    Peace.

100 Face Challenge: Noah (#5)!

A friend sent me a photo of her dog, Noah, and I had to draw him right away.   The eyes of a dog are impossible to resist.   You just melt into them!   And as you know, I’m a sucker for eyes!

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I’ve tried drawing this dog at least ten times with all different mediums:  graphite, pen and colored pencil.   This was done in either 2B or 4B graphite.  The 3/4 view isn’t the easiest, but it’s the one I’m drawn to most, of all the photos she sent. This is the best attempt I’ve made so far with Noah, but I’m determined to keep trying until all of us (including Noah) are happy with it!

I’ve never used a blending stump before, but on this toothy mixed media paper, it made a huge difference.   Something to remember for the future.   This is also the first time I’ve spent over three hours on one drawing.   It was so much fun, though, even so.   Of all the animals I’ve tried, I enjoy drawing dogs the most.   You can read so much from their eyes.   It’s such a joy to draw them.

Happy Monday, and I hope your ears perk up when the paint and colored pencils start calling you later! Peace.