Tuesday, January 29, 2008

kangaroos at dawn

kangaroos at dawn
This photo was taken when my husband and I were housesitting in the country. I woke at dawn and went (half asleep) to the kitchen for a glass of water. A movement caught my eye outside the window. It was a whole mob of kangaroos. The young ones were play-fighting while the adults grazed. I watched for a while, took a few blurry photos, then stumbled back to bed.

My main experience with roos is trying to avoid them when driving home after riding. They're always out in force in the twilight and are both difficult to see and unpredictable. They're also a bit of a menace when in comes to people's fruit and vegie gardens. But how could you stay mad at these guys? I decided to do my first kangaroo sketch.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

working in ink

horse eyeThere is nothing like using ink to force me to work quickly and freely, thinking in terms of light and shadow.

The ink is water-based and dries rapidly (especially on hot days). I can't erase mistakes or spend time agonising over little details. Plus I have to keep painting until the ink I've decanted is all used up (it would be terrible to let it dry up in the ink well!). I just love the deep blacks that are possible with good artists' ink.

This is the first of six, done v quickly on a hot Australian day (yes, it's summer over here!).
warmblood mare
An unfinished pastel. Drawing is just like fiction writing - the beginning comes easily, but endings are difficult. Some artists only have unfinished paintings. I plan to finish this one. Soon ...