Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Anatamy of a Drawing

This picture of ravens entitled Shooting Gallery was drawn for my boss who recently left our utility due to a political move by our mayor (long story and I won't get into politics here). I was his secretary and we worked together closely for five years. He is a wonderful man; fair, kind, fun, and has a great sense of humor. I miss working with him very much.

Because we work at the city landfill/transfer station we have a raven/seagull problem. Those birds LOVE garbage. In order to keep the bird problem to a minimum we have a permit to haze the birds. That is accomplished by shooting crackers and paintballs at them. The object is to make the transfer station and landfill an unpleasant place for birds to eat lunch.

Now my former boss is also an avid gun owner who loves to shoot. His idea of the perfect Saturday off was to come to work and shoot at ravens with a paintball gun. Hense the title Shooting Gallery.

Prep - procrastinate and wait until the last minute so you have only two evenings to get this done! Buy pens and paper. Remind yourself that you like your boss very much and he is worth getting this picture done because you know he'll be very happy to receive it. Then clear off the art table because it's a huge mess.

Step 1 - figure out what to draw...seagulls or ravens. I chose ravens because they are black and that fits in well with pen and ink, which is my favorite medium to work in. Plus I just don't draw seagulls as well as ravens.

Step 2 - sketch the design out with a pencil. This part is easy for me - I had gathered several different pictures of ravens from several sources so had lots to choose from.

Step 3 - ink in the birds, section by section. This is critical to do in a thought-out order because you don't want to smear the ink with your hand as you work. If that happened I'd have to make a solid raven or a post to cover it up and that wouldn't fit in with my master plan.

Step 4 - admire my birds and dawdle. My fingers on right hand are sore from gripping the pen. Quit dawdling and get to work on fence. That took some measuring with a ruler and I had to be precise. I usually just wing stuff so that part isn't as much fun.

Step 5 - dawdle some more. This is a critical part. I've decided to add snow using watercolor paint. If I get any water on the ink it will cause the ink to spread and then I'll have to make more posts or solid black ravens to cover the mess. Finally quit procrastinating and decide to go for it.....very carefully.

Step 6 - snow finished! Ta Da! I'm feeling very proud of myself, but now realize the fence looks very plain. Need to do something, but what? Ah ha....add lines to make fence look like wood, but realize this will take a long time. I'm feeling very tired.

Step 7 - step back and admire fence. It was the right thing to do. Now I just need to take it to frame shop and frame it. I love this part. It is so fulfilling to see the finished project in a frame.

Step 8 - show to husband who has been listening to me go back and forth on snow and fence decisions out loud for the last 2-3 hours. He suggests calling it Shooting Gallery because he knows my boss too. Good contribution Tim!

Step 9 - continue to have further discussion and second thoughts about getting my son's real paintgun out and shooting a few bright and colorful splotches on it. The effect could be very exciting and fun. On the other hand, it could ruin the picture for good and I'd have to start all over. I seriously considered this for a l-o-n-g time. Finally decided that I just needed to call it good and paint that other picture in my mind another time.


Casey said...

I think your work is great. I can't draw stick people. It must be wonderful to have a gift.
I came across you blog while browsing I live in Ga Usa. If you get a chance come check out my blog. What's it like to live in alaska. One day I hope to visit it on do before I die list.

Aunt Krissy said...

Patty, how come I dont have any or your work on my wall? I would make sure that the pic was stright on the wall!

Alicia said...

yeah Patty! how come i don't have anything on my walls either! hunh?

wow...your getting popular...

btw...i love your blog, too. The both of yous (kris and you) are quite the writers!

another that how you really spell "anatamy"? It looks weird and wrong...