wildlife, landscapes, pet portraits and more
About My Pictures in Graphite Pencil
As a young lad visiting Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester, the rhino was my favourite animal. In those days 'health and safety' wasn’t what it is today (there was no standoff barrier) and as ‘Maggie’ came alongside the heavy perimeter bars I could reach through and touch her hide!
In my picture, the birds were not part of the original design; they were included to add drama and humour. The stormy sky seemed to work with the composition.
Pictures of elephants such as this became popular thanks to David Shepherd’s terrific paintings. Here’s my pencil study. The artist is presented with the challenge of capturing the complex texture of the trunk while conveying its great strength and weight.
In this composition I wanted to emphasize the vulnerability of the infant by positioning it between the great columns of its mother’s legs. Note how, compared to the previous picture, the youngster’s trunk is underdeveloped. A ‘wiggly’ trunk adds to the appeal of a baby elephant.
This captive bird was observed and photographed in a backyard in Blackpool (you can see the reflection of the roof in its eye). It perched on its owner’s heavily gloved forearm and in the final drawing I substituted a piece of driftwood.
Three studies of a captive bird which belonged to an enthusiast in my village in Lancashire.
I used a ‘soft’ 7B pencil to achieve contrast and to convey the downy nature of the plumage.