Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dessins du Jour

As a rule I post only nature photos on this blog, but once in a while a change of pace can be fun. The following sketches are drawn on the sandwich board at the By the Way Café in Tweed, and I create a new drawing from scratch each day (hence the name, Dessins du Jour).

It's challenging to see how much one can accomplish with limited tools ... the drawing area is only about a foot in height, it's quite rough, and it's next to impossible to blend different colors. The first few drawings were done with coloured chalk.

Lady's Slippers

Clown Triggerfish – definitely not a species indigenous to our area, this sketch is based on photos found on the Internet.

A Cat in the Garden ... there are some rather egregious mistakes in this sketch, but as it was –15°C outside it proved impossible to use water to erase any undesirable lines or colors.

Frog on a Lilypad

A local sign painter gave me some chalk pastels to experiment with ... this is the same frog, but the colors are so much more vibrant.

Turtle on a Log ... it was threatening to rain and erase my efforts, so I didn't bother adding much detail to this one.

Meet Dexter, an engaging little canine clown. The drawing is based on a photo by his owner, Monika Cosway. It's a shame the lighter yellowish parts of his head appear stippled, but I found that once there's a layer of chalk on the board it's impossible to add and blend another color. (The substrate isn't slate, it's matte black paint.)

A closeup of Professor Dexter

Mallard Drake ... another quick sketch for a rainy day.

Off to the depths of outer space – perhaps this is how we might see Uranus from its largest moon, Titania?

The Clouded Leopard of southeast Asia – after a photograph by Vincent J. Musi, published in the December 2011 issue of National Geographic. The article profiled the world's eight big cats.

A closeup of the Clouded Leopard sketch ... drawing on the rough, painted surface of the signboard is like working on canvas.

After another photo by Vincent J. Musi from the December 2011 issue of National Geographic. I love the way he's captured his subject, with one of the tiger's eyes looking at the camera, the other almost hidden in shadow.

A Gypsy Vanner – so I'm told, I don't know anything about horses.

An unfinished drawing of a Bighorn Sheep ... too bad there was no time to finesse the highlights, shadows and colors. This is after a watercolor sketch in a booklet titled "Mammals in Profile", illustrated by Canadian artist Glen Loates. For anyone who wishes to see more of his work, here's a link to his website – The Art of Glen Loates.

Bloodroot – themed after a weekend photo expedition. Nothing fancy, just the basic forms, colors, highlights and shadows, as it was threatening to rain and wash my artistic efforts away ...

Yellow-spotted Salamander

Stream Cruiser

There seems to be a population explosion of Red Admirals in my area, I counted at least fifty of these butterflies within about three-quarters of an hour.