Thursday, July 29, 2010

SF Zoo

It has been far too long since I have been able to do some sketches on the move. In preparation for the next Dreamscapes book I went to the San Francisco Zoo last week, armed with camera and sketchbook, to gather a lot of reference material. I brought my little travel sketchbook where I like to do on site ink drawings. It's always a relaxing pleasure to do these.

As opposed to sketches that I do with the intent for finished paintings, these are more like gesture drawings. I don't use pencil at all (though I've taken a liking lately to doing a light scribble with a pale grey brush pen, and also for shadows), just straight to the page with pen. Not being able to erase forces you to commit to the lines, and really try to make each mark matter.

Some neat flowers:

Also, a very lovely portrait drawing (from one of my photos) from Kyra Kramer, age 6. (Thank you Kyra, I'm honored!!!)


  1. I love your thinking... never thought of sketching with a old school yes? and your protea photos! GREAT!!! Thanks Stephanie, I love your blog!

  2. I love proteas! There's a vendor at my local farmer's market who sells bouquets of them, which was my introduction to these beautiful flowers. They look like they belong in the ocean, like delicate colorful coral!

  3. I can see, that it must be so useful to have your sketch book to refer to, for some of the little creatures that you integrate into your Artwork. The flowers are beautiful, but the prettiest one it at the top...:)

  4. Great inspiration and gesture drawings, ...and I love your guest artist as well! ;)

  5. Occasionally I use them as references, but more often it's just the actual practice of seeing and drawing animals that helps train me for when I don't have an actual animal in front of me and I want to do a critter. The experience of watching and looking at how an animal moves, and trying to catch them in a gesture drawing helps to integrate it into my mind.

    And Kort she's such a sweetie! :)

  6. I love peeking into other artist's sketchbooks! It gives me some insight into their thought process and there is just something about the rawness of the sketches.
    I like the zoo photo. Wouldn't be great if those birds gave you a ride around the zoo!

  7. Haha Yah! that would be fun!

    All they had instead was a train that have to pay $5.00 for.