This is the WIP for the Elk. In order to depict the massive rack, I wanted to do this on the largest surface I had in the studio. So, I used my only 18″ x 24″ pastelbord (gray). If I had something larger, I would have used it. I’ve found I like to work large when working on animals…maybe it’s because I prefer to stand when using charcoal and pastel, maybe it’s because the nature of the subject warrants to me really get in the fur without getting bogged down with the detail.
On the other hand, the colored pencils are the opposite. I prefer to sit down, work smaller (for now), and concentrate on the details.
So let’s get back to the elk…I’ve added captions to each step. I guess I didn’t take a picture of the drawing, but my favorite step is below…right after I’ve drawn in the subject, and I pick up the first and second color. It’s just magic. 🙂
Blocking in the elk and background…
Here’s a good photo of the easel and reference photo. Not the best placement for the photo, but I haven’t figured how to affix the references without looking away from my easel.
Working on the horns a little more…
Softening the horns further away, working on the chin contour, correcting the ear
I know…I’m obsessed with taking progress photos. But really, it’s more for me than you. Looking at the photo after I take it helps me see the big picture so I can easily see where I am and what I need to correct.
It’s sort of like blurring your eyes to see the values, or walking far away to look back at your work in progress.
Plus, it gives me more information to post…because I am not that verbose (but I can impress you with my vocabulary).
So, the first step…sorta. I used vine charcoal and the yellow at the same time to block in the darks and lights. The background was the next step. I’m trying to REMEMBER that backgrounds are as important to the painting as the rest of it. I can’t pretend it was that hard here…there’s not that much background.
Adding green and pops of yellow to the background, but keeping it blurry.
Adding white, black, orange and light purple/lavendar.
Smoothing out areas and adding detail to others…
Filling out the face, adding whiskers…and repeating the dance of smoothing out areas and adding detail to others.
Add a few more black and brown areas to the face. Added more lavendar to the bottom right to balance this color with the top left. Cropped the painting to how I think I will frame it (minus the tape on the bottom and right).