Charcoal and Pastel on Paper
22" x 30"
My daily commute along IH 10 from Winnie to Baytown where I teach takes me past the Old and Lost Rivers and the marshes and wetlands that make up the area. I often stop for a quick photo as the first rays of sun at dawn cast their warm glow along the water and the reeds and grasses near the bridges. This morning as I passed I caught sight of a heron, not necessarily an unusual sight in Southeast Texas. White herons seem to be nearly as plentiful as people where I live, but this blue heron captured my attention with its striking contrast of red and blue and it's Karate Kid like pose. I snapped a couple of quick photos with my phone and drew a quick pen sketch and continued on to work.
I recently grabbed a few sheets of Canson printmaking paper on a clearance sale at Michael's, so at lunch I grabbed a sheet out of the trunk of my car and started this drawing. Most of the drawing was completed with a bit of Conte crayon and a Ritmo charcoal pencil. After getting the bird in place I smudged it around and used a kneaded eraser to pull out some of the lighter edges of the feathers. I used a few soft pastels to add just a hint of color.
When I first saw this bird he looked to me like he was about to kick the daylight out of someone or something. I tried to play up the angry bird aspect in his eye and in my rougher handling of the charcoal.