Dall Sheep

Dall Sheep on Rocks
Graphite and pastel on grey paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″

A few months ago I went to the Denver Zoo and took a photo of a Dall sheep, which is like a bighorn sheep but white. Wikipedia says it’s a subspecies of thinhorn sheep, so I guess the horns aren’t so big either. By the way, I’m posting things on Instagram now, here, and I’m thinking that I might post things like sketches or works in progress there before posting them here.

Waterfall Book 20

Sheep and Lamb Crossing
Ink on paper, 7″ x 5″

When you’re small, even a little waterfall can look like a big challenge. The patient care and encouragement of another can make many obstacles surmountable.

As I drew this I thought about Moses leading his flock while in the land of Midian. Long before that, when Moses first thought it was time to save his people from slavery, he wasn’t ready. He was too impulsive and his people needed more care than he knew how to give. To be properly prepared he needed to first tend to a flock in the wilderness for forty years. There he learned the patience, gentleness, and faithful reliance on God needed to guide an erring flock.

The materials used for this:
One of the wooden pens I carved a long time ago
Daniel Smith walnut ink
Noodler’s black ink

As I drew it became more difficult to control the ink flow because the tip of the pen was wearing down. After quickly resharpening the point with a razor the problem was fixed.

The lamb was referenced from Nicola B and the sheep from Angeline Rijkeboer of Paint my Photo.

Sheep Study

Warm and Cool Sheep
Acrylic on paper, 5.5″ x 6.5″

A two color study painting I made last night with acrylics on sketch paper. The reference photo is from Paint my Photo, here.

The actual paper in this sketchpad is about 11″ x 14″ and is the same pad that I used for the last Draw a Bird Day, as well as the same 1″ flat brush used for everything. As before, I first covered a large patch of the paper with grey paint, this time mixed with white, and then after that used white and two premixed colors. The blue is about 1:1 ultramarine and ivory black, and the brown is the same mix of burnt sienna and ivory black. I was worried that without the black addition it would be too chromatic, but instead it’s much more grey than the reference photo so maybe next time less black will be mixed in.

Because this is only sketch paper it buckles and wrinkles a lot soon after the wet paint first touches it, but if you ignore that and keep working it mostly settles back down. The layers of paint eventually form enough of a barrier that additional wet paint doesn’t affect the paper much. While painting I kept the sheet in the paper pad to give it a hard backing for support and propped it up on a table top easel next to my computer.

The back and forth process of quickly building up colors and indications of shapes until they become increasingly recognizable seems to work well. The more defined the shapes become the slower and more deliberate the brushwork needs to be, but the focus at the start isn’t on the fine details. What’s important in this process is just getting something onto the paper so it can then be adjusted as needed.