Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Journey After Gurney

Dinotopia creator James Gurney writes a blog that I make sure to read every day. And several times a week, he shares his sketchbook drawings, which are very often watercolor pencil sketches of animals.  Knowing that I'd have a little time "off" at the farm this weekend, since only the one tractor is outfitted with the mower, I brought along my watercolor pencils and my sketchbook. I've had the pencils for a good, long time, but colored pencils are not one of my top favorites. And I have tried them as they are meant to be used--along with water--maybe...once.

But, inspired by James Gurney's animal sketches, I dragged a plastic lawn chair over to the chicken coop and had fun. Here are some results.  

Chicken on the left is as drawn in pencil, and left alone. Rooster on the right was pencil-drawn and then revisited with water and a brush. This demonstrates why I didn't get interested enough in my colored pencils to use them more: without the water, they don't make for a very bold sketch. I can't wait to play with this system some more! 

While I'm sort of on the subject of James Gurney and his blog and his Dinotopia, I have to add that I just bought his "Imaginitive Realism", for my nephew. My nephew draws all the time, and I thought he'd like it. I LIKE IT, TOO. I thought I'd scan through it before I wrapped it, and I ended up reading it, cover-to-cover, over the course of a whole afternoon, and I think I'm going to order one up for myself, now. Great reference material. Great inspiration. Great instruction. Gurney generously shares his insights and methods and knowledge in this book. Every artist ought to have it on their bookshelf. Or...left out and propped open and handy! 

Thanks, James Gurney.


  1. Good for you Suzy. You have a wonderful start here with your feathered friends.

  2. Thanks! I just have to keep allowing myself to push some of the other stuff (commitments, committees, etc.) aside so that I can put nice, relaxing, sketching time to the forefront.