Why sketch animals from life and not from a photo? I suppose one is trying to capture some particular things that one is seeing at that particular moment in time. Photo references are very helpful but sketching from life is exhilarating.
If a animal is doing an action, there is no way you can sketch it all as it is happening. To help with that, when sketching from life, I employ two different methods. One is to sketch bits at a time and as the animal comes repeatedly back to a similar pose, add another portion of the drawing. The other is to capture the image in one's mind and then put pen to paper.
|Sketching at the Creston, BC, Dog Park|
|Using the Sketches for further Art Work|
Two of the sketches were combined in the hand painted textile piece. It is painted with Procion fibre-reactive dyes on mercerized cotton material.
|Beginning the Free-motion Stitching|
|Orientating the Sketch|
When stitching from the bottom to the top, I find it easiest to turn the sketch around too.
|Completed Textile Card Top|
With a glue stick, the art work is attached to heavy card stock. This piece doesn't have a lot of detail but those outstretched legs of the dog and the girl who is standing almost disinterested (she actually was scrolling through her cell phone) is what I was wanting to depict.
|Grampa and Grandson Walking the Dog|
|Textile card 5" X 7"|
What I liked about the scene was the brisk movement of the three participants. The man, 'grandpa', slightly bent forward and wearing a plaid jacket were additional details I paid attention to. Otherwise much of the landscape was invented.
Hopefully you are inspired to get out sketching.