Happy, happy Sunday, friends, fellow artists and random Google surfers. If it is your first visit welcome and if you have been following my ramblings from the beginning thank you! I am not a pretty sight as l write this. I have had a very bad reaction to the mosquito bites l got the other day whilst picking blackberries and l am covered in huge red, swollen patches, but we got 16lbs of the most beautiful blackberries (blackberry sorbet here we come!) and 120lbs of almonds! Of course, that will be about 5lbs of shelled ones, but who cares, it was fun!
So, l set myself several challenges with this picture, the first being to draw a puppy, a first for me and actually only my third ever dog, the second being strawberries. (Why have l never drawn a strawberry, they are so pretty?) and the third and for me the biggest, drawing a pale animal on a white background.
This was an interesting picture for me because of the unusual angle of the eyes, they are completely odd, different shapes, different sizes. The temptation of course is to try and match them, to make them look the same. This is where l have learned it is really, really important to analyse your reference photo. If for example l had looked at the photo and the eyes had jumped out at me as looking a bit odd, l would never have used the photo. I have said it before l know, but it is worth repeating, if something looks odd in a photo, it will look even more odd when you draw it. If you find yourself asking 'why is that eye bigger than the other?'Or 'what is that supposed to be?' Just don't go there. Find another photo. In this case, nothing confused my eye at all so l was happy to go ahead and draw it.
ln the picture above l have begun work on the lower part of the face and you can see that as l work it the oddness in the eyes begins to go and the expression starts to make sense. Sometimes it requires a little faith to draw what you actually see and not what you think you should see! I am learning all the time that the right reference photo is one of the most important things you can do to improve your drawing. It is always, always worth spending a little longer looking for it, than to try and correct a poor one.
Prints of this piece will be available in my shop very soon, along with phone cases, tote bags and all kinds of lovely things, or check out more of my tips for using colored pencils by clicking on the link below.
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