• Robert Martel

sepia Natural History

Cover of sketch book from Studio

In August my wife convinced me to pick up a handsome set of four sketch books manufactured by Studio. Normally I refrain from buying more art supplies than I can use at any given time but of the four unique cover designs only one complete set was in stock and I knew I would regret not grabbing them when I had the chance.

While all four sketch books (roughly 8 x 11) offer 30 sheets of cream coloured paper bound in black cloth tape, each dark blue cover sports a different pattered design. The image on the left is a scan of one of my four sketch books in current use. I chose to devote this sketch book to recording Halifax-based observations of nature or exhibits of natural history.

Below is a quick sketch of a baby black bear from the wildlife reconstitution exhibit at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. It was late August, the museum was bustling with summer tourists, and I had to render this particular sketch with a group of museum visitors looking over my shoulder. What I like about this sketch is the contrast of the long hatch marks used for the bears fur with the contour lines that make of the tree stump.

Baby Black Bear Study, ink sketch

By September I had begun to slow down the sketching process by spending more time on rendering the values so as to develop better the form of the object. No longer a preliminary study or sketch of an oak tree (as originally intended) , the image below takes on a more finished quality of a so called drawing. Really, my goal was simply to create a detailed sketch of this beautiful old oak tree near the Pleasant street entrance of Halifax Point Pleasant Park.

Old Oak Tree Study, ink drawing

Come October I was spending too much time on each individual sketch/drawing and found I was enjoying the process less and less. The decaying maple leaf below is a case in point; as a completed drawing I like the extent of detail but the work needed to achieve that detail was monotonous. After spending most of my lunch standing in the forest of Point Pleasant Park I realised I needed to snap a photo of the leaf and finish the drawing later. Thankfully my place of employment is only a couple minute walk from the park otherwise I would been late getting back to work.

Decaying Maple Leaf Study, ink drawing

#quick #ink #accuracy #animals #bear #oaktree #mapletree #drawings #sepia #sketch

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