• Robert Martel

sepia Natural History

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.

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.

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.

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

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