Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SKETCHBOOK - "Another ZOO Day"

Yesterday, I decided I needed to get out of the house and go do something fun. "Hey, I'll go to the ZOO and draw animals!" I said to myself. By the time I got there, it really never dawned on me that a lovely sunny Memorial Day would also inspire a couple of thousand other folks to get out of the house and go do something fun. Not being a "people person" (especially a "huge crowds of people" person), I sighed...and went about my adventure anyway.

Above is one of my favorite critters...the beautiful WARTHOG! I love every bump, tusk, and gnarly thing about these guys. Took a while to get this sketch locked down...he kept getting up, walking away, then back again to lay in the sand.

I decided to walk in reverse order from my last visit to the zoo in July of '09 (Check my labels on the right of this blog for other zoo sketches). So I went straight over to the AFRICA area, and warmed up with a few poses of some baboons.

Around the corner were these multi-colored African hunting dogs...but they weren't hunting. They were sleeping...so I let them lie...as the old saying instructs us to.

Found my way over to the Crocodile House, where I took note of this guy's camouflage. Did you know that if you sit quietly in a zoo, minding your own business drawing a crocodile, that several children will soon be crawling all over you, to watch? I had forgotten this little detail about zoo sketching...happened almost every place I stopped to draw. It was okay, though...I decided it was good training for my soon-to-be-a-Grandpa status, come September.
This underwater view above was right up next to the glass enclosure...the croc hoping to make a quick snack of one of those curious children watching me draw. Here are some of the questions I was pummeled with while drawing: "What are you doing?" "Are you an artist?" "Did you draw that from scratch?" (I told him, "Yep...no tracing here!)

And my personal favorite question of the day was from a very loud teenage girl looking over my shoulder as I was drawing the hippo below: "Are you drawing that?" (as I am literally "drawing that" while she watched.) I just turned around with a huge grin of disbelief on my face, and said nothing.
The little rhino sketch above was disappointing, in that the beast kept eating and moving around. So I just managed a quick little thumbnail drawing.

It was almost closing time, when I came up on the elephants enjoying their evening meal. I thought, great...they'll stand still for me! Wrong...I would do some sketching...pick up my gear, walk down the path...sketch a bit...pick up, move down, sketch, etc. The last drawing of this female was fun...I was captivated by her smiling face (between bites of hay), and the long girly eyelashes. It was a good day.


Fitz-Badger said...

Cool sketches! I love the warthog.
Do you do the coloring "on site", too, or add it later?
I know what you mean about crowds.
The questions made me laugh. I've heard other artists talk about similar questions when out sketching in public. Like people have such a hard time imagining someone could actually draw. ha ha

Warren said...

Yes, Fitz...I do the color right there. I have a little bag of pens, pencils, and watercolors that I take along. I suppose it is a bit like "magic" when folks see a drawing happen in front of their eyes. But I worry for some of those people...

Anonymous said...

Good you got out into the "real" world for a bit. What you experienced is what I hate about going out to sketch. But such is life. These are neat. Reminds me of Old Noah's Elephants. Hope you had a good time. mom

linsolomons said...

I want "Wanda" the Elephant sketch! She is so happy & healthy looking, all that fiber I suppose!!! XO

Anonymous said...

You should have told the teenage girl " here's your sign". Great sketches. Keep having fun in all you do

Lil bro

Terry said...

I enjoyed your zoo sketches.

Looked like a fun day.


Anonymous said...

fun dad! :)~J

ArtbyBernadette said...

Hi- your mom gave me your blog- I love her work, and now yours too! It's obvious where you got your talent! These zoo sketches are great, as well as your other work.
Thanks for sharing!

Vicky Williamson (vickylw) said...

I LOVE your style! (and congrats on the soon-coming grandpa-hood)

I recently visited a wildlife park, where the rhino held still better for me . . . but only facing away from me. I sketched him later from a photo (on my blog), since our eldest granddaughter was wanting to move on to the next critter.

Warren said...

Thank you all for your nice comments! Welcome, Bernadette and Vicky...hope you enjoy looking around on my blog.

The last couple of weekends I've been painting some rooms in the house...unfortunately, it leaves less time to do the sketching! Maybe I'll take a break soon and go draw for a bit.