Being out-of-town for a couple of weeks put a halt to the Process, now that I am home I am excited and eager to continue. As promised I am posting a few photos of the next stages.
I usually start from the left hand side of the my paper. This helps reduce smudging the drawing as I work.
Moving to the right and down, I continue to add detail and define shapes. As I work my hand is resting on paper to keep oils from getting on the drawing surface. I never smudge with my fingers. Oils from hands and graphite don’t mix well. When oil is deposited on the paper the area becomes darker and hard to control. Give it a try, in your sketchbook not on your drawing. 🙂
Before I draw the mane of the horse, I try to lightly shape the body of the horse. It is just easier this way. Creating shape for the mane to flow over creates a more natural look.
Continuing on, I will go back and forth to add deeper shadow areas, knockdown highlights, or add new highlights. Standing back from the drawing or looking at it from a different angle helps me to see which areas look flat and need more depth, and where proportions are not right. Looking at the drawing in a mirror is also helpful. I usually leave the background area for last, but I am trying to incorporate it as I draw to help decrease smudging in the drawing. As you can see, I have not progress too much on the background, actually, not at all. 🙂
I really enjoy this stage of a drawing. It is really hard to put it down, I just want to finish! Keep posted, the finished drawing should be up soon.
A few people have asked me to post the process that I go through when I draw. I know there are many methods out there, but this is what works for me.
I think the hardest part for me is deciding on the composition as a whole. How do I want to crop or frame the subject? What do I want to do with the foreground and background? Sometimes it is just a matter of, am I brave enough to try execute what I visualize in my mind? When I finally come up with some ideas I can begin drawing, and this is the fun part.
I start most drawings by blocking out shapes on my paper. I want to be able to erase the marks later, so I am very careful to make the markings light. If the graphite is ground too deeply into the tooth of the paper it is hard to remove. Too much pressure from dark layout sketches can also damage the tooth of the paper. While blocking out shapes on my paper I often squint, this allows my focus to shift from detail to shapes and silhouettes. Once I am happy with the collection of what looks like a bunch of shapes and lines I start joining these shapes to create a line drawing of my subject. Next time I will post a photo of this step.
As the shapes are being joined I will add some shadow lines or shadow areas. These markings become great reference points as I begin to add more detail. The photo below is a sketch I am currently working on. The shapes have been joined, most unwanted lines have been removed, and more detail is being added.
19×24″ Barrel Racer
In order to make the photo more visible the lines on this sketch-up have been darkened in Lightroom. My original is much lighter.
Before I actually start adding life to the sketch I will do a few small practice areas in my sketchbook. This helps me decide what look I want to create, and work out any problem areas before I start the actual drawing.
From my sketchbook
The practice drawing helped me determine what pencils I did and did not want to use and gave me a chance to try create the angled back leg.
As the piece evolves I will post updates on The Process. I just have to remember to take photos as I go. 😉 …happy drawing!