Monday, 28 April 2008

Kodiak bear

For about a week in January I spent every day in the National Museum of Scotland drawing bears or in the Surgeons’ Hall Museum drawing dissected body parts. I ended up collecting these drawings in a book, though at the time my main concern was to just brush up on my observational drawing. This particular drawing was the first in the series and defined the look of the rest. Rendering the fur of the Kodiak bear was the most challenging aspect of the drawing because I had to balance suggesting the direction and density of the fur and modelling the larger forms clearly. I tried to focus the detail on the head and claws and leave the rest of the composition open. I approached the drawing in a similar way to my life drawing, establishing a centre line, taking some measurements and then putting in a very loose sketch. From there I worked up the drawing, switching from the body of the bear to the negative space and back. I was very conscious of time when I drew this, as I knew I didn’t have long before the museum closed. This worked out well as I avoided overworking the image and so I continued to work to a time limit for the rest of the drawings in the set.

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