A very happy and amazingly beautiful Sunday to you. The sun is shining here (no surprise since it is California!), l feel totally chilled and am thoroughly enjoying a lazy start to this glorious Sunday. I have watched the Blue Jays in the bird bath, the hummingbirds at the feeder and the finches squabbling over the seed feeder. We are now making sourdough loaves and bagels to bake in the cob oven later, after the ridiculously good stone baked pizza, and there will be more piecing together of our back yard flagstone jigsaw puzzle. So, a day filled with so many good things l cannot help but feel happy.
And l am so very happy to be drawing Ralph. I still bounce out of bed at 4am thinking 'Wow! I get to draw Ralph today!' . I can't really explain it, but some animals just draw me in. I love all animals, birds and bugs, but some just pull you and Ralph has that and all l can think of as l draw is that l want Ralph to bounce off the page. His eyes are so full of the excitement of life. I watched the lovely video of his first walk on Instagram the other day and that joy and excitement at the simple pleasures in life just jumps out at me. We can learn a lot, l think, from watching animals, and dogs teach us that there is joy to be found in everything. The things that make life happy are not the exotic holiday, the bigger house or the new job, the things that make life happy are the little things that surround us every day if we care to look. And seeing Ralph bouncing with delight on his first walk reminds me to always enjoy every moment.
l began working on his beautiful ears in the first picture. The curls are a challenge, like drawing hair. You have to work out which piece goes on top and work your way down through the layers. I am starting lighter than l will end up because it is far easier to work light to dark with colored pencil.
l do jump about a bit as l work, for many reasons, it is often to do with balancing colours, and l wanted to add the nose so that some of the darkest part was done to contrast the rest with. I have added the nose as it is in the photo here. The problem l have here is that it looks crooked. It is crooked in the photo. I have scrutinised this photo and the nose sooooo many times. Using a ruler and measuring, zooming n and out, standing back from a distance. It is back to the old problem, what we accept in a photo, we sometimes question in a drawing, and l can't help it but to me every time l look at his nose like this, I think, 'why is his nose crooked?'. His head is at a very slight tilt, but the nose is at an angle. After much deliberation and photo gazing, I think his nose looks so crooked because of the darker grey fur around it and l decide that l need to straighten it and make it more obvious that it is fur, not a crooked nose, but at the same time it has to still look like Ralph.
So, as you can see in the photo below l have straightened the nose and made it clear that there is darker fur there. I have begun work under the nose and the whole of one ear is more or less complete. Nothing is ever finished until the picture is finished. I go back over and over, constantly adjusting bits.
I am really looking forward to doing more work on this fabulous character. But for today l am going to enjoy the sunshine and all the other little things that make life good. I hope you find lots of little pleasures to bring you happiness today and of course, happy drawing to you!