Friday, February 25, 2011

Seeing what you're looking at

(click on painting to enlarge)
Watercolour, gouache and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown

I’ll be launching an environmental project soon, involving caribou and oilsands among other issues, so you’ll  be seeing these beasts again, computer-painted and posterized. Meanwhile, I have to tell you what I learned about my observation skills while drawing this…
I was working from a photograph I took of a caribou (in Denali, Alaska, actually, although these are supposed to be in Alberta) and decided he wasn’t holding his head up properly.  I rearranged him a little along the lines of Monarch of the Glen – and discovered he simply wasn’t right! So I Googled caribou Images and discovered caribou never hold their heads up! I’ve observed enough caribou to form the opinion they have by far the best-looking antlers in the entire deer family, but it wasn’t until I tried to draw one that I even noticed they must go through life with their heads at or below shoulder height!