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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

#003 Yellowstone Dogs: Running Fox -- no. 4 and 5

“Yellowstone dogs’ will probably hit you as an odd term, but for regular wildlife watchers in Yellowstone, it is shorthand for ‘wolves, coyotes and foxes.’ A three dog day is a great day, a fairly rare day.

For the past several years Dale and I have spent several weeks in Yellowstone during the off season. Sometimes one of my ‘Yellowstone dog’ sketches meets my expectations, but all too often I’m busy photographing and when I sketch I’m disappointed. Each year I tell myself I am going to practice, practice, practice so that some of their anatomy is stored in my head. I always get a few drawn, but just a few. By making a commitment here, I hope to do better. Nudge me if I fail.

Now is the time to start practicing. I have almost ten weeks before we arrive in Yellowstone. Laure’s guidelines include the possibility of some sketches. …. So my immediate goal is sketch at least ten ‘dogs’ each week until we go (100 sketches) , but I’ll only count one in ten towards my overall challenge. I’ll post ‘dogs’ every so often so you’ll know where I’m at. I’ll be drawing from a variety of sources, but will only post those drawn from my own photographs so that I won’t be infringing on anyone’s copyright. (We can practice draw from anything. We just can’t sell or publish someone else’s work).

My first ‘Yellowstone Dogs’ post is of a red fox running for his dear life – a little bit the way I feel right now about telling you about this commitment. I’ve scanned the original (fuzzy) photo, a sketch I noodled over for at least 20 minutes, and then one I did the next day as a very rapid sketch. I see some good things happening in that rapid sketch.


Kelly said...

I love wolves, coyotes, and foxes, so I look forward to your major "mini" challenge! I love all the action going on in that rapid sketch. I like the "noodled and fussed" sketch too, especially the legs and face... (How cool to see one of these beauties go zipping by!!)

kslaughter said...

Such an interesting post, Elva. Can't wait to see the next "dog installment" ; ) I think the rapid sketch is dead-on with this guy. Excellent photo, too.

Teri C said...

Great little sketches for something moving that fast. Good that you have this mini challenge too. And Yellowstone is such a fabulous place to find so many things to sketch. I remember my first visit there, I was so overwhelmed I could barely get an ear done on a deer.

This reminds me of a red fox I saw in Wisconsin just tearing across the field so I went home and tried to do a memory sketch. hmmm, not so good :-)

Claire M said...

What a fun idea to prepare for your trip. I think you have a great plan to get some practice in. You'll have a great adventure with this.

Laure Ferlita said...

Love the idea of a challenge within a challenge, Elva.

I love how the line work in your second drawing captures the frenetic escape the fox is making!

Krista Meister said...

I agree, great action sketches! Good for you, challenging yourself further. Can't wait to see how your project develops.