Oct 8, 2014

Have You been to the Dark Side??


I mean the REALLY,REALLY Dark Side!

Where everything is black or shades of gray and
White is a stranger!

That's where this drawing has taken me!

Eyes of the Forest - Graphite, 20 x 16

Eyes of the Forest is a drawing of a Northern Hawk Owl that we were fortunate to see while hiking on Mount Revelstoke.  It was settled in amongst a group of firs on a branch.  As you can see from the picture below he was well camouflaged.  We would not have seen him had we not heard his call just before we arrived.
Can you find my owl??  Pretty well hidden, eh?

I really wanted to capture the way he blends into the tree.  I realized it required moving into the Dark Zone.  In drawing we have a name for it!  Bright, light pictures are High Value pictures and pictures full of dark, gray tones are Low Value.  Most pictures are in the mid-range with a more even spread of values.  Working in the Dark Zone can lead to black  mess!!  A dangerous place for an artist!

To work on my picture I put my darkest dark near the owl's head.  I did that quite early on in process so I had a point of comparison.  When I studied my picture I kept reminding myself, that's my 10, is this a 10.  (Artist talk for really dark!)  This helped me to keep most of the drawing in the mid value range and even move up to light grays with some of the moss and branches.  I really wanted to capture a shaft of light going across his chest and I picked it up with a bit of the branches around him as well.  When I was done, I was very pleased.  My owl is there but there is a really strong sense of the kind of environment we found him in.   

Eyes of the Forest will be off to Revelstoke later this month, he will be part of the Art in the Park  2014 show which will open in Revelstoke Nov. 7th.- Dec 5, 2014.  The show will then travel for a year promoting the 100th Anniversary of the Park and the Parks Program in Canada.  Pretty exciting, eh?

Capturing animals in graphite is one my passions and one of my specialties.  If you would like to commission a drawing of one of your pets Contact Me .  I would be pleased to work with you to bring your project to life.  See more of my Pet Commission Work on my Commission A Drawing Page. 
Special Note: To learn more about the Residency see my first three August 2014 Posts beginning with this One


Linda said...

Awesome as usual Wendy!!

Debbie Nolan said...

Wendy - this is gorgeous. You certainly captured this owl in all that hid him. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week-end.

Brenda Hill CDM said...

That is so much work, but well done!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thank you Linda, I am glad that you enjoy my work.

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Debbie, involving his environment in the picture was a very important part of the goals for my picture.
Have a good weekend despite the rain they say we will get. They have been wrong before!

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

Thanks Brenda, you are so right, it was a lot of work. With no real white space it meant nearly every inch of paper is covered with at least 2 layers of pencil work. Have a good weekend.