Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making Hay

The field is the base on which the truck sits. Drawing the grass can be tedious but is an important element of the final illustration. Sometimes grass and other background items can be rendered in a loose, suggestive style. But I decided for this drawing that I would include as much detail as I could. The first image shows grass that is closeup and near the body of the truck. I try to draw pen strokes that are similar in direction and texture to those I see in the original photo. Of course I don't draw every blade of grass and the end result is still a suggestion of grass, but I believe it is quite effective.

I draw the grass quickly, yet I have to be careful to keep it from looking like a mass of scribbles. As I move along, I begin to "find" or discover some of the individual grass blades. I liken this to a sculpture in which the object resides in the block of stone until it is carved out. In a similar fashion, I use the negative space around some of the items I draw to define the object I am interested in. In this case, the grass seems to grow as I add strokes. In the picture above, the grass nearer to the wheel has more dark and shading in the negative space due to the truck's shadow.

The same shadow is present in the next picture where the truck shadow spreads out across the grass due to the angle of the ambient light. Also in this picture, some of the dark grass near the back of the truck stands out against the lighter field further in the distance. The texture of the grass begins to change as more distance is represented behind the truck.

The picture below moves even further back into the field. I assume the type of grass is the same throughout most of the field, yet distance dictates a different set of strokes to represent the grass. I use light and shadow to represent either a path or an old road through the grass.

Here is another example of "finding" the grass. The forest in the background is darker, and I needed to leave individual pieces of grass sticking up in the foreground.

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