Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Bears...

Well, no lions or tigers. But I have a bear!

Got up early (painfully early) for a trip to the zoo to sketch the animals. I had my heart all set on drawing lions and tigers, but none of them would oblige me. There was one lion lounging way too far away to draw, and the tigers were not to be found. But I found the cheetahs.

Interestingly enough, right next door to the cheetahs were... zebras.

Why they would put prey right next door to predator, I don't know.
Fortunately, they keep the free-ranging monkeys far away from the carnivores...
I didn't get to draw any of the free-ranging monkeys, since they were all hiding in the trees, but I got a nice view of some gibbons that were chilling (literally) next to a fan in their pen.

But the most fun I had all day was sketching the flamingos and cranes.

So now that my hands are stained black from doing ink drawings all day, I've decided that I definitely prefer the brush to the pen. (That could be why I only did two drawings in pen during the whole day...) The brush is lighter, easier to use, and its strokes are smoother and more nuanced. Being a painter to begin with might also have something to do with my preference.

I used two sketchbooks today - a medium-sized Strathmore and a medium-sized, hard-bound Canson. I like the Canson better than the Strathmore, since the paper is slightly heavier, the pages are easier to turn, and it generally lasts longer. But it's also more expensive, so I tend to go with Strathmore sketchbooks. I used a #1 round Princeton watercolor brush and Higgins Black India Ink.

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