Gorilla art

I wanted to design a picture for my daughter’s sixth birthday showing her reading, leaning back against the warm body of a large animal: a dragon?  a bear?

The last few days  her favourite book turns out to be Anthony Browne’s Gorilla.  A little girl wants a gorilla for her birthday but is disappointed when she gets just a toy.  Then the magic happens … of course.

So she likes gorillas.  I finally got round to drawing this in the early hours of the morning.   Thanks to all the photographers whose pictures were accessible via google images – I didn’t have access to a high altitude tropical forest to work from life.

Birthday gorilla

Missus Moo

Drawing faces has never been a strength.  Now I am trying to develop this skill.  My six year old daughter is interested in the whole drawing process and will sit for me for 5-10 minutes.  In this image, her face became shrunken and dysmorphic within a massive head – later I smeared this and redrew into it from memory.  I fixed the charcoal.  My wife claims to be unable to draw.  Still, it took her about 10 seconds to work out I still had the proportions all wrong.  The fixed drawing took a second layer of charcoal very readily, allowing me to lose about half the head.  After all this adjustment, I still cannot capture my daughter’s general air of mischief and fun.

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Here are some of their experiments with drawing in chalk pastel, told to try looking at the objects not draw from their ideas alone.  I also suggested not to try to get a likeness but instead to get the patterns and colours from what they were seeing.  In the lower one, she was trying to get the sense of a twig laden with dried oak leaves (“leath” = “leaf”).

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In case you are wondering, Missus Moo is a version of Madam Monkey, one of her many names.  It’s slightly better than “King Rat” which is how my oldest son addresses his smallest brother.

 

Thick paint printing on mottled ground

I worked quickly, printing in layers with acrylic paint brushed roughly onto an aluminium plate, over the stained grounds shown in the previous post.

https://kestrelart.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/playing/

  

 

One limitation was the lack of planning – I was drawing from memory but struggled to project my mental image onto the negative plate.  Acrylic was a limited medium for printing.  It dried too quickly to print predictably but the thicker areas that stayed wet splodged and lost edges.  Some of this can be addressed by using a retarder in the mix which would allow me more time to draw negative shapes into the plate and control the thickness of the paint.  next week …

I hope to get time this weekend to go to the nature researve and do some simple drawing.