With a desire to feature Australian wildlife in my drawings and paintings, I'm often frustrated by my lack of good reference photographs, a collection of which I can see taking some time to accumulate. With a trip north to the Ningaloo coast planned for May, I hope to make serious inroads in that respect.
Having spent a month there for the past two years, I have a good idea now where the concentrations of wildlife can be found and already have a good collection of photographs featuring red and grey kangaroos and euros. They are abundant late in the afternoon and after dark to the extent that driving anywhere, even at low speed, is a risky proposition. They are curious animals and can be approached on foot fairly easily; I know it will be easy to collect all the photographs I want.
Pictured below is a drawing I'm working on featuring one of the many euros we photographed last year. I was attracted to this image by the late afternoon sun striking the animal from the side which really lends itself to an approach that has worked well for me in the past when tackling portraits. Using a pastel paper to provide the mid-tones, I use black and white Conte pencils to accentuate the shadows and highlights. I could also see possibilities in terms of the composition, with the grass clumps surrounding the euro echoing the arc of the creature's back. I'll emphasise this aspect of the scene to create interest and to unify the image.
The early stages of the drawing were fun to do, and it occured to me soon after I started it that I was drawing everything but the grass and the euro and was focussed entirely on defining the negative spaces around the animal and the stalks of grass.