I’m waiting for my course materials to arrive but I’m conscious that the thing I struggled with in Foundations was prep work, and actually thinking through what I was going to do. So, in a spirit of ‘start as you mean to go on’ I thought I’d have a go at drawing one of my cockerels who is particularly handsome.
I did some prep sketches and took some photographs and got a pose from him that I felt would work. As I struggle with finding patches of tone, I photoshopped him in black and white to help. I then had a go at some different media: tinted charcoal, soluble graphite pencils, inktense pencils, charcoal, watercolour and ink. Having worked through various combinations in my sketchbook, I decided to leave the blue-green beetlesheen of his tail feathers out and focus on the gold and red.
I wanted to go large (again, to get away from my A4 comfort zone) so charcoal presented itself as the most obvious for the bulk of the drawing. I liked the quill and ink on top of the charcoal as it sort of scratches the dust in places and leaves ink in others.
I drew him in pencil first then went over in charcoal. I then added ink and gold paint, and went over a few bits of finer detail with a charcoal pencil.
Here is the final drawing:
I’m pleased with how it’s turned out and I’m also pleased with my main aim of working through and using preparatory work to finalise the image. I wanted a slightly abstract/exaggerated version of him and I like the smudged background. I also like the gold and the ink on the charcoal. The tail feathers are less successful and I might have to practise these again; I’m not quite sure why they don’t look right but they feel a bit amateurish.