Left: Notes and a sketch from the Bell in an 8 x 8 inch (approx.) handmade journal containing Saunders Waterford 90 lb. High White Hot Press watercolor paper. Staedtler Pigment Liner and Daniel Smith watercolors applied with a Niji waterbrush. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
I wasn't very productive at the last sketch night at the Bell. I chatted when I first arrived to friends and to new folks I hadn't met before. Then I listened to Don Luce's brief but entertaining talk about how he teaches nature drawing and why he follows the approach he does. (Don is the director of curations at the Bell, and you really should watch for his extension course through the University of Minnesota, he knows his stuff.)
After his brief talk Don shared some of his own work in pencil, pen, and also scratchboard. It was great fun.
And then I had time to sketch this pouncing mountain lion (I actually started sketching him during Don's talk because he was right behind Don's head). Too soon it was time to go home.
This is the first time I've sketched this mountain lion (on the wall in the Touch and See Room). I was intent on capturing him on this day because, like many other denizens of the Touch and See Room he was sporting a party hat in celebration of the Bell Museum's 140th birthday. (Cake and refreshments!) (Actually I didn't check if he was a he, so that's something to do on another day.)
Focus on his head meant that I missed out on getting his lovely balancing rudder of a tail on to the page. But you'll see that if you visit. Also interesting to me were the wonderful shadows on and off him.
April 5, 2012, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. is the next sketch night. At 7 p.m. I'll be the presenter. The topic is "sketching moving animals," but right now it's reptiles, because that's what they have at the Bell that's moving. Regardless of your actual life model, I'll have some tips, suggestions, and stategies for capturing them in your journal pages. (One great way to capture live animals is of course to practice sketching from the Bell dioramas, so you might want to get over there before my talk as well!)