Saturday, August 23, 2008

Turkey and Cow

I was loitering in the poultry house again this week at the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, New York. The owner of this 40-pound grand prize tom let me reach in and feel his bumpy head. The turkey was too busy strutting to notice me.

He was 16 weeks old. The owner told me that these meat turkeys can’t live to adulthood because before long they can’t hold up their weight. That kind of creeped me out so much that my sketch came out strangely, a mixture of sympathy and revulsion.

I moved on to the cow shed and sketched this Jersey. Try to imagine that lower jaw going up and down as she chews her cud.

I used three water-soluble pencils along with a Kuretake water brush filled with clear water. The pencils were brown, russet, and black in a brand called Suprasoft II by Caran d’Ache.

I started with a quick outline to establish the big shapes. Then I added some some colors and tones with the dry pencils. I then wet down the surface with the water brush to melt the colors, and smeared them around.

When the base washes were dry, I came back with the black pencil to add detail—wrinkles, etc.

I had been standing all the while alongside the rear ends of another row of cows. Thanks to a timely warning from a young 4-H kid (Erik, 4-H is an agricultural youth organization), I stepped away from a cow before she let loose with some “projectile excrement.” It was a narrow escape, typical of the hazards of the Artist’s Life.
Earlier GJ posts on this technique here. and here.


Erik Bongers said...

Thank you :)

Victor said...

I want to see the turkey sketch!

Unknown said...

I want to see the turkey sketch too! I really love it when you you let us in on process, it's so helpful.