Thursday’s Drawing: On the Lookout, final

Apologies first.  I’m way behind in checking out everyone’s blogs – after this weekend things should settle back down and finally take some time to catch-up.

On the Lookout, a graphite drawing (12×9) was done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper – has been completed.  I did cheat and worked on the piece on and off during the week – I really couldn’t help myself.  The Heron was pure joy to work those feathers – a mindless activity and very relaxing.  Speaking of feathers the pencil values ranged from 2H all the way through to 4B, and in between I also used loose graphite to darken large sections of the feathers and then used the graphite pencils for the finer details and definitions, and the really dark areas.  A kneaded eraser was used for highlights in the water, sky and feathers.  This drawing took about 16 hours in total.

This Heron reminds of one that comes our way during summer months and sits high up in our old Oak tree – very hunched looking for food (after he cleans his feathers, of course).  He is an amazing bird and literally stays up there for several hours being very patient – just waiting and always On the Lookout!

Thank you for checking in and following along with the progress of this drawing project. Click onto the image for a larger view.

On the Lookout, final

On the Lookout, final

The reference image was from Paul2 of pmp – an incredible photographer, whose work is always remarkable.  The image was a shot he took at sunset (in color) at Kensington Gardens – London.


About Mary

Oil Pastelist
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95 Responses to Thursday’s Drawing: On the Lookout, final

  1. Wow Mary! This is really spectacular! I liked the last one, which I thought was the final, and this one is even better! Congrats on a really terrific piece!~Rita

    • Mary says:

      Hi Rita, happy new year! Thanks so much for your generous comments, it was a great scene to draw – learned a lot and had fun while I was drawing!

  2. I am not an art critic, but I know beauty when I see it. Love it, you are so talented. :o)

  3. Wow. That’s very skilled technique, Mary. I think such textures and shades must be very difficult to draw. Are they?

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Cynthia – love your question. The shades are developed by analyzing/drawing from the darkest areas to the lightest, those extremes gives the contrast and a 3d experience to the viewer. Not having the correct shading (values) can easily throw a drawing or painting off, it can be difficult to draw the subtle differences sometimes (very easy to miss when analyzing how to approach a piece). Textures are a lot of fun to incorporate into a piece, it helps to have a very sharp pencil point with a lead that is a darker shade than the background of the area that will be textured, if the area is too close to what the texture will be it won’t stand out. Probably more than what you wanted to know – thank you for such an interesting question.

  4. Simla Barki says:

    WOW!!! This is absolutely gorgeous!

  5. ladyfi says:

    Wow – this is just fabulous!!

  6. Heartafire says:

    Beautiful artwork Mary!

  7. Oh WOW! I love it!!! Well done, Mary 😀

  8. Heidi Hjort says:

    He is absolutely stunning!! Wonderful work, Mary.

  9. Some lovely variations of textures from the wood to the plumage to the background. Nice work

  10. farbvielfalt says:

    Amazing work, Mary! I like the details very much (as you may know from my pet portraits) and you did them really well and also your tonal approach is great!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Alexandria for your thoughtful comments on the drawing – appreciate your artist eye w/re the details and values. Every time I walked past the drawing I kept seeing little areas that stuck out for adjustments and refining. I’ve not drawn very many birds or animals, so this was a good learning experience on the elements for this close-up.

  11. dsaquarelles says:

    marvellous drawing! i ❤

  12. I am so happy that the heron has feet now!!! Beautiful work, Mary!! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  13. The heron looks amazingly real, sad and alone in the winter. It’s one of your best works, Mary …wonderful!

  14. Mary, this piece gave me chills and goosebumps!! No exaggeration. Haunting and breathtaking, all at once!

    And you would be an incredible pen artist. Seriously. I’ve been loving pen lately and I would love to see what you’d do with some good pens!!

    • Mary says:

      Laura you know how to make my day. Thank you for sharing your response to the piece, that means a lot. I enjoyed working this scene out and graphite was the perfect medium to do it. Thanks again, I&P medium – maybe one day, we’ll see (love your enthusiasm)!

  15. Marick says:

    Holy ****, Mary (sorry, but sometimes expletives are called for), this is just incredible!!! The fact that it’s done in pencil is all the more impressive. Really a great piece — I hope that you frame it, or display it, or do something to show it off. I can honestly say that I think this is one of the best things I’ve seen of yours… I’m really impressed. Fantastic work 😀

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Pauline, wow what a comment and much appreciated. I love pencil, gives me a whole lot more control than painting. It isn’t framed yet, but this one will probably be – thanks for your enthusiastic response to the drawing!!

  16. aFrankAngle says:

    Quite the lookout …. and I also sense a brisk wind.

  17. Really beautiful! ❤️ great work, Mary!!

  18. TimCompton says:

    awesome drawing Mary. I took a look at you work and you are very talented!

  19. Painting for Joy says:

    This is absolutely outstanding in every way Mary. You must submit this in a competition!!! It’s an award winner!

    We saw a great blue Heron sitting on the dock in the rain a few days ago. He was huge! Wish I could have got a photo.

    Have a fab weekend!!

    • Mary says:

      Wow Rhonda, thank you. It was a great drawing project to wrap the year up. Very cool that you got to see a Heron, don’t you just love the Blue Heron’s so big – love their deliberateness. If you can imagine the one that hangs around here sits up in our old Oak tree, it’s the funniest thing to see how he squishes himself (wings and all) just to have a particular perch during the blazing summer heat. Pretty cool. Have a great weekend.

  20. Nicodemas says:

    Very beautiful Mary!

  21. What a posture!. Whatever you do, Mary, you do it so well and always with your heart. 🙂 xx

  22. Resa says:

    Mary, this is incredible! It looks like an old black & white photo. Doing the feathers may have been a mindless relaxing endeavor, and they are certainly realistic.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you my friend for your beautiful comments – love reading your thoughts on the piece. I’m so glad you enjoyed it Resa, and I do have to say I’m always relaxed when I draw with granite and I can’t explain why. Have a great weekend.

  23. exiledprospero says:

    Winston is looking good.

  24. A gorgeous drawing, Mary, but then I wouldn’t expect anything less. I think it takes a most perceptive eye and great skill to work from a color photo into this beautiful black and white.

    • Mary says:

      Love reading your thoughts Cynthia and always appreciate the time you spend considering my art pieces. Thank you so much – I had a feeling with this piece before I started and could see where I wanted to take it, thank goodness it worked out. I really do enjoy graphite, many options for creating with the medium. One day I want to try ink (man, what did I just write?)!

      • Ink has its joys too. Onward and upward!

        • Mary says:

          It’s so precise though, I just don’t know if I dare do it? We’ll see – you must be laughing at all this Cynthia!

          • I’m not laughing at all, Mary, if you mean a mocking kind of laughter. I only chuckle at your reluctance to trust yourself….been there, done that. I have done pencil drawings and ink drawings and they do demand different skills (undeveloped, in my case) but it’s all fun and the urge to really “see” and record what’s true to your vision is always there and quite worthy. ( I draw only as a meditative practice, now, whatever is around, wherever I am. It quiets the mind, and actually helps with poetry!) I truly admire the way you go about what you are doing, so keep doing it!

            • Mary says:

              Oh no, pure good fun – my Gemini side is always kicking up and urging me to new directions. Your discussion on the differences and similarities of the two mediums is very interesting. I think it will be a while before I attempt ink, but I’ll leave it out there as a possibility one day. Interesting that you draw to quiet the mind, no doubt it helps with poetry, drawing kind of puts a blinder on for me w/re to everything else going on and seriously helps me relax. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. Thank you for your ever-present support with my creative energies – hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend.

      • Please, please, please try ink, Mary!! Oh, you’d be an ink magician in no time!!

        • Mary says:

          Maybe one day. It seems you need to be more precise in your initial drawing with ink, no erasing (ha) and my initial work isn’t always as precise as it probably should be. I need more time and work in this area and maybe I’ll give it a try some day down the road. Always appreciate your encouragement and support!

  25. This is beautiful…..and you have captured the feeling of the feathers so very well. Wonderful job. Enjoy the rest of the week and weekend….Janet:)

  26. Fabulous end result, Mary.

  27. A most incredible drawing Mary! Your Heron is magnificently detailed to the last feather, the set of skills you used on this bird is truly amazing, you totally captured the essence and the character of the bird. Love the minimalistic background, with it’s softness and subdued values it frames perfectly the focal point of your theme. Even do he is just sitting and waiting covered with soft feathers, the concentration and intensity of his gaze is the perfect opposite for that softness.
    I must congratulate you on what I consider one of your best work!

    • Mary says:

      Thank you so much Eva for your thoughtful feedback and analysis of the drawing, this piece was a pleasure to draw and gave me something to really sink my teeth into. Thank you for noticing the details and nuances of the scene, love how you work into the entire scene – such a pleasure to read your comments. Thank you for always being present and generous.

  28. neihtn2012 says:

    Amazing drawing, Mary! You have captured the heron in all of its natural splendor.

  29. Don says:

    It really is a marvellous piece of work Mary. The feathers are so beautifully done.

  30. I really enjoy your posts and find your tips really helpful. My work is not presentable to others, but I do enjoy the creative outlet…Have a wonderful holiday season.

    • Mary says:

      Such a compliment Charlie, thank you very much for your feedback and comments. Awesome that you create – it is a great outlet especially drawing, you can virtually do it anywhere. Have a great holiday!

  31. debiriley says:

    your drawing is superb!! well drawn with spirit 🙂 its amazing how you handle the graphite Mary, lovely.

    • Mary says:

      Thank you Debi for your kind comment. I have a great time working with graphite, it is a relaxing medium that allows me to just enjoy the whole creative process.

  32. Oh how amazing, Mary! The feather detail is incredible. He’s perfect. 🙂

  33. Stance captured beautifully and love those darks and lights.

  34. Amy says:

    A fabulous painting, Mary. The details of feathers are remarkable, like a close up photo. It must take enormous time to paint it. Love it. ❤

  35. Yowza! Mary, this is incredible! I hope everyone clicks on the photo to enlarge.Well done!

  36. anna77dennis says:

    Beautifully drawn and I especially like the way you have captured his feathers.

  37. Your Heron is majestic, Mary. All the details in the feathers is amazing. Your joy comes through. Hope all is well!

  38. Arts & Rhymes says:

    Very lovely, looks like a black and white photo! 🙂

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