Something one of my tutors at art school always taught us, was to keep a sketch book on you at all times. You never know when the opportunity might come up to make a few sketches…but also, never deny yourself the opportunity to practice and refine your drawing! Always draw.
On a trip to the zoo a few years ago, in my bag, was of course, my sketch book. As with all animals, you can never know how long they are going to stay still for, so the need to capture their form quickly and efficiently is very important. Some of the sketches here took me a matter of seconds; trying to train my eye into a sort of camera to get the image down as quickly and accurately as I can.
If anything, the need to keep drawing isn’t only about becoming a better artist, it’s also about improving your observational skills. Spotting the little details and getting them into your image. Bringing as much life into your sketch, as there is in your subject.
These studies were all done at Marwell Zoo, in Winchester…and clearly, that day, I was taken by the primates and giraffes. I love monkeys, they’re so full of character and charm, so are an obvious subject for me. I remember doing some experimental artwork with animal print, which is why I was drawing giraffes, but weirdly, none of my sketches show the pattern of their coat markings and colourings…looks like I was getting distracted by their grace and balletic poise (I always get distracted, tsk tsk). Aren’t giraffes just so utterly, magnificently majestic?
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© Marc Godfrey 2013