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View Full Version : Camera Shy - WIP Casper II


SparrowHawk7
09-09-2008, 02:23 PM
Hi all ... I've been concentrating on drawing a lot of human portraits of late but it is time for a break and something a little easier. So here's a start on my buddy, Casper who was feeling rather camera shy this particular day.

It's 11x14 on Mellotex and various grades of graphite. The right side eye needs to be darkened slightly and the hair on the front of his nose could be softened a bit more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_2.jpg

Here's a closeup if anyone's interested:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_2.close.jpg

Thanks for looking,

Ceci
09-09-2008, 03:05 PM
looking good so far.
Ceci

SparrowHawk7
09-09-2008, 04:28 PM
Thank you Ceci ... this is a fun one to draw.

Orph
09-09-2008, 04:28 PM
WOW~~~~looking great...
can see what you mean about the eye and fur..
Thanks for saying that, shows me more of your work and mine!
Orph

SparrowHawk7
09-09-2008, 04:30 PM
Thanks Orph. I'm forever fiddling and tweaking stuff in my drawings till I finally call them finished.

ARTMUTT
09-09-2008, 05:58 PM
Great start I love your work

SparrowHawk7
09-09-2008, 06:07 PM
Thanks BA. I'm not sure that Casper approves or not ... he doesn't seem to have an opinion one way or another. :)

Bnsmalkin
09-09-2008, 06:24 PM
Oh my!!!!!!!

I am pulling up a chair!

Sharon

SparrowHawk7
09-09-2008, 08:54 PM
Lions and tigers and bears ...
Oh my!!!!!!!
:cool: :lol:

I am pulling up a chair!

Sharon
Welcome aboard Sharon. This one will probably last a shorter time than my human portraits as it's moving right along at a good clip. But I'm always glad to see folks stop by. :thumbsup: :wave:

Agilepaws
09-09-2008, 09:03 PM
Make that two chairs! I am amazed at you artists that can achieve the degree of photo-realism that you do. I would love to see a video of you as you work!

SparrowHawk7
09-09-2008, 09:23 PM
Thank you Sharryn ... glad to have you aboard. ;)

I would love to see a video of you as you work!
So you'd like to see a video of paint drying? :rolleyes: I think it would be pretty boring ...

jody007
09-12-2008, 11:37 AM
Wow this is looking magnificent! I am watching you work!
Jody

SparrowHawk7
09-12-2008, 12:22 PM
Thank you Jody. I did a bit more earlier this week but haven't posted it as it's sort of in an uglystage .. tonality is slightly off as are some of the shapes .. but it's generally in the right area. I've also drawn for a couple hours after taking this photo so some of the rough edges are better now. I redid the left side of his nose, for example .. now it fits better.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_3_close.jpg

As I said, it's at an ugly stage but they all go through those times and get straightened out by the time I'm done.
Thanks for looking,

jennaboo88
09-12-2008, 02:02 PM
Looks like I found you over here, too, Ken!:lol: And Casper is looking great!:)

SparrowHawk7
09-12-2008, 02:31 PM
Yes Ms.Boo ... I do get out now and then - whether I've got permission or not! Thanks .. but I think he looks the same in both places ... doesn't he?

FaeLynn
09-12-2008, 08:12 PM
wheee this is really nice!! I love it so far! I'll be back :-)

SparrowHawk7
09-12-2008, 09:09 PM
Thank you Fae Lynn ... I hope it gets to looking better when I draw again this weekend. I know I'm my own worst critic, but some things are simply not right and they make the face look wrong. I'll straighten them out ...

SparrowHawk7
09-13-2008, 06:24 PM
Here's todays update .. still needs lots of work though. I spent quite a bit of time redoing the face and while it's not right yet, it's closer. The lower left corner needs better tonality and is too sharp yet - I want it to fade out of focus back there. But, I ran out of time and tomrrow's another day.:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_4.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_4_close.jpg

Thanks for looking,

OkeeKat
09-13-2008, 08:09 PM
Looking fabulous so far!!:thumbsup:

OkeeKat
09-13-2008, 08:11 PM
Looking great so far!!:thumbsup:

PatrickHedges
09-14-2008, 04:48 AM
This looks like it'll be an absolute beauty, Ken.

SparrowHawk7
09-14-2008, 07:35 AM
Thanks Kathie. It's kind of at an awkward stage right now, but I'll sort that out as I go along.

Thanks for looking,

SparrowHawk7
09-14-2008, 07:36 AM
Thanks Patrick .. I'm hoping .. :)

Thanks for stopping by,

SparrowHawk7
09-14-2008, 06:22 PM
Here's today's update. I erased and redrew the lower left corner and then continued up the side of his face to his ear. I reworked some of the facial markings and nose. The new areas need more work on texture and shading but I'm happier with this today than I was yesterday. The cotton covering of his perch needs more definition but I'll probably put that off to about last.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_5.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_5_close.jpg

I'm sure things will look better once I get that ear done and the top of his head. :thumbsup: His expression still needs more tweaking though.

Thanks for looking,

winecountry
09-14-2008, 08:31 PM
thank you for the wip, and showing it warts and all, I really honor you for the very high standards you demand of yourself, and a willingness to keep them with no compromise. very inspiring to me

SparrowHawk7
09-14-2008, 08:57 PM
Thank you Colleen. I am by FAR my own worst critic .. but then again .. I'm the one I have to please. Holding myself to very high standards is the best way for me to improve as well ... it's what has led me to my present skill levels after all.

Believe it or not .. he actually has a somewhat evil look that I've yet to capture .. just a bit more angle to his left side eyebrow ... it's really quite amusing. I'll get it. It's really amazing at how much goes into one of his expressions ... nearly as complex as a human portrait. They really are amazingly gorgeous and wondrous creatures.

SparrowHawk7
09-20-2008, 06:16 PM
Here's today's update. Some improvements but lots of things yet to fix. In particular some hairs in his ear have hooks that must be removed and there is a bit too much on the top. Still some shading issues with his nose ...

My card reader died (bent pins somehow!) so I had to resort to my scanner which isn't so good.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_6.jpg

Anyway, thanks for looking,

jennaboo88
09-20-2008, 10:18 PM
Looks great here, too, Ken!!:D Sorry to hear your pins are bent! It looks great as a scan, anyhow...

SparrowHawk7
09-20-2008, 10:46 PM
Thanks Ms.Boo. The scan is somewhat harsh in it's rendering of things. Besides this is somewhat larger than my scanner can handle so it ends up basically being a closeup.

SparrowHawk7
09-21-2008, 06:31 PM
Here's todays update. I spent a lot of time locating and reshaping markings as well as integrating them into the surrounding fur. I'm not quite sure of the top of his head so it's intentionally left a little raw. Some areas need tonal balancing still and there are a few markings left to place.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_7.jpg

Thanks for looking,

outsidemywindow
09-21-2008, 09:48 PM
beautiful precision work there

SparrowHawk7
09-21-2008, 10:25 PM
Thank you Jacky. There are a number of errors in this but I'm working to fix them as I go along.

Thanks for looking,

FaeLynn
09-22-2008, 10:29 AM
Hoooooooo---lyyyyyyyyyy cow Ken! This is really coming together! I LOVE it. I really like that you got his lower lids to look moist. A lot of animal artists forget to do that, myself included I am sure sometimes! Carry on, it's lovely!

SparrowHawk7
09-22-2008, 10:38 AM
Hi FaeLynn ... thank you for such kind words. I still see so much that is not the way I want, but that's true with all my work. I keep moving things around and tweaking things here and there until it's mostly the way I want by the time I'm done.

Thanks for stopping by!

PatrickHedges
09-22-2008, 10:15 PM
Ken, it's looking exquisite!!

SparrowHawk7
09-23-2008, 09:16 AM
Thank you Patrick. I'm intentionally going slowly to do the very best I possibly can with my present skills. Like many of us, I have a tendency to want to rush to finish although that really doesn't make very much sense if you think about it. The next work is going to be different yet the same - just the subject will change - so why should I feel a need to rush? If I give in, I will only cheapen my current work by not giving it all I can of myself so it will not be a true representative of my current capabilities .. and that is rather self defeating, isn't it? So I guess perhaps I've matured enough as an artist to let each part take whatever time it takes and not move on till I've done the very best I can. And then I constantly go back over what I've already drawn and tweak it to get a better likeness. It's surprising how much goes into this particular cat's expression .. much like a human in many ways. It's slower ... but more satisfying. And I don't feel that I'm shortchanging whatever gifts I may have at art.

Currabubula
09-23-2008, 09:24 AM
I am in awe of your skill, the finished portrait should be wonderful.

SparrowHawk7
09-23-2008, 09:31 AM
Thank you Jeanne .. you're very kind. I must be doing OK because Casper hasn't complained and he's been watching me do this all along. Of course, it puts him to sleep ... but then he's a cat. :)

jody007
09-23-2008, 06:27 PM
Wow this is looking so real!!!! I am still watching!
Jody

SparrowHawk7
09-23-2008, 07:50 PM
Thank you Jody. I'm hoping to breathe some life into this to take it a step beyond a drawing. Time will tell ...

Thanks for watching!

SparrowHawk7
09-27-2008, 05:53 PM
Here's today's work. I did a lot more work on the markings to get them more accurate (nobody will know that except me .. but since I'm doing this one to honor Casper I need to do things as accurately as possible). I reworked the eyes quite a bit to get the expression better - very annoyed and almost slightly evil. There's a lot that goes into an animal's expression if you want to really capture it. The nose needs a bit more sculpting to even out.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_8.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_8_close.jpg

Thanks for looking,

hunterpaul
09-27-2008, 06:27 PM
chuffing awsome... Paul

SparrowHawk7
09-27-2008, 06:31 PM
Thanks so much, Paul. Kind of slow going but they all take whatever time they take ...

Thanks for looking,

hunterpaul
09-27-2008, 06:49 PM
with quality of this standard, if all it costs is time it is a small price to pay... you are also talking to the slowest worker in the world... I have just checked your site, very impressed.... Paul

SparrowHawk7
09-27-2008, 06:53 PM
Thanks again Paul. I started drawing a bit over 3 years ago and have found I enjoy it a great deal.

PatrickHedges
09-27-2008, 08:52 PM
Looking superb Ken, truly!!

SparrowHawk7
09-27-2008, 09:02 PM
Thanks Patrick ... it's coming together now ...

jody007
09-28-2008, 11:15 AM
Wow I am still watching and loving it!
Jody

SparrowHawk7
09-28-2008, 12:38 PM
Thanks Jody. I can't decide quite which way to finish this. I intend to enter it in a contest but sometimes photorealistic drawings don't do so well if they look like a completed photo. I'm not actually going for photorealism in what I do .. more trying to capture the spirit of the subject and give it a spark of life. To me, I've got to use photorealism to that end. So I don't want a judge to say well, that looks like a photo and dismiss it at that ...

But I'm not quite sure how I want to complete this so it is obviously a drawing. I was considering drawing a pencil and a hand on the far right side and leave the area to the right of that either blank or simply with construction lines. The thing is that drawing a pencil and hand is rather trite and done fairly often. Or I could just fade out the realism slowly to construction lines on the right side. I definitely want to finish the face and get the expression right, but I'm undecided as to what I want to do to make this clearly show it is a drawing.

Thanks for looking,

winecountry
09-28-2008, 01:20 PM
The its not a photo thing is tough. My work is a long way from photorealism and it still get mistaken for a photo sometimes...in this case leaving construction lines will be one way tho I think it will be a bit unbalanced unless you sketch in a bit more even tho this is not how you work...or maybe draw a pencil lying there that is real looking but the far end of it is just sketched in like the artist just left the scene and will come back soon to finish, and the rug the same way on the (our) right side. I'd love to meet Caspar he looks like a bit of a rascal:lol:

SparrowHawk7
09-28-2008, 01:29 PM
Thanks for the ideas, Colleen. The pencil idea is quite doable as I have room to the upper right. I agree that a fadeout is tricky .. especially since I'm trying to get a larger aperture by fuzzing the outside areas. Worth thinking about .. I'll draw today which should get me close to finished with his face and then I can see what I've got left ... and play with Photoshop a bit to see how things might look.

He actually is not much of a rascal ... since I got Cassie (his little sister 1yr now) he has become a bit of an old man (he's 4). They love one another, but he's no longer a kitten and doesn't want to play much. He's very intelligent (Maine Coon stock) but also rather shy and, as you can see, not a big fan of having his picture taken sometimes. But I love him dearly and like the idea of documenting his (and Cassie's) life in my drawings - especially some of the cuter poses. Cassie isn't the brightest bulb in the pack and is only 1 year old now so she's a great deal of fun and does many amusing things. She's OK with the camera ... :)

Casper figured out he'd never catch the laser light in about 10 minutes and now ignores it. Cassie still has hope and chases it for hours .. while Casper watches and wonders about her. But she's full of energy and races all over in hot pursuit ... hope springs eternal. :lol:
Thanks for looking,

SparrowHawk7
09-28-2008, 07:22 PM
This is it for the weekend. I am refining the markings yet again. Many areas still need some adjusting but it gets closer. the top of his head is not quite set yet and the right side is about halfway there. But next week will find time for more drawing so this will have to do for now.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Sep-2008/61266-Casper2_9.jpg

Thanks for looking,

SparrowHawk7
10-04-2008, 06:24 PM
Here's today's update. More work on tonality and texture ... feeling out the right side of the face and adjusting shapes more. The usual ... :p

Thanks for looking,

winecountry
10-04-2008, 07:37 PM
oh my what a treasure you'll have here...just beautiful.

SparrowHawk7
10-04-2008, 08:37 PM
Thank you Colleen. I still have a number of things to fix and of course, more to draw, but it's coming along and there's light at the end of the tunnel (just hope it's not a freight train!)

Thanks for looking,

SparrowHawk7
10-05-2008, 06:31 PM
Here's the latest with this. I reworked the tonality rather extensively, worked on some areas where the texture could have been better and began to extend the right side cheek to find it's end - it's obviously in a state of work. Once I get that settled and drawn I will have to figure out how I want to finish this.

Thanks for looking,

OkeeKat
10-05-2008, 06:55 PM
WOW this is awesome!! Cant believe how this looks sooo realistic!!
and this is just with graphite pencils??

SparrowHawk7
10-05-2008, 08:05 PM
Thank you for such kind words, Kathie. Just graphite .. that's it ... and time ... lots of time ... :p :eek: :)

Wes Hyde
10-05-2008, 09:45 PM
Ken, this is an excellent excellent rendering.

Personally, I'd love to see it left right where it is now, fading off into abstraction, but I'm certain I'll be equally impressed with however far you take this.

Wes

PS. Excellent

SparrowHawk7
10-05-2008, 10:04 PM
Thank you Wes. I want to finish the face first before I figure out how to stop. But I should be there soon enough.

Thanks again,

SparrowHawk7
10-11-2008, 04:07 PM
Well, I've reached the crossroads with this now. I am intending to enter this in a graphite contest and am a little unsure as to whether I should leave this unfinished as it is or complete it entirely. Judges sometimes are prejudiced against too much photorealism so leaving a few construction lines alleviates that. But I want it to look finished at the same time so perhaps completing the right side would be indicated. :confused:

Comments and thoughts welcome ...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Oct-2008/61266-Casper2_12.jpg

Thanks for looking,

PatrickHedges
10-13-2008, 08:29 PM
Ken, I'd go with your desire, not the judges. If they disagree, sod them. Satisfy your own artistic sensibility first. Your work is so good, I'd hate you to compromise.

(mind you, this is coming from someone who has no particular desire to get into juried shows so don't necessarily listen to me :lol: )

SparrowHawk7
10-13-2008, 10:10 PM
Thank you Patrick. I have decided to just what you suggest .. I have to follow my own artistic desires. The only reason I'm considering doing the show is to get a little exposure.

Thanks for looking,

Garbonzo
10-14-2008, 12:27 AM
I've always admired a good pencil artist more than anything else in the artworld and your work definitely reinforces that for me. Beautiful stuff.

SparrowHawk7
10-14-2008, 04:14 AM
Thank you for such kind words, Harold. For years I was unable to draw anything that brought me any satisfaction but it was always something I really wanted to do because, as you, it was something I admired greatly in others. 3 years ago I took a basic drawing class as my last ditch effort to learn and the proverbial light bulb went off.

Thanks for watching,

Incidentally, I enjoyed going through your web site. :cool:

SparrowHawk7
10-19-2008, 05:30 PM
Pretty close to done now ... I want to let it sit for a few days and then examine it in close detail to be sure the details are right. Somehow so many of us manage to photograph the work and post it and then mention that we saw at least a few things to fix after it was up. So I intend to let my eyes rest for a short time and then see if I'm reasonably happy with what I've done.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Oct-2008/61266-Casper2_13.jpg

Thanks for looking,