Penguins, okapi, zebras, fruit bats, kangaroo at London Zoo Sketching Saturday
A3 and A5
We began with the penguins and Tim, the artist leading the day, encouraged us to use blue pencils as early Disney animators would have done. This page show my journey from never having drawn a penguin to trying to represent some of the form – quite hard as they did tend to move a lot! Sitting for an extended period we could see that the Penguins would often return to similar poses so I think that staying there for a long time would be the best approach.
We next went into the Fruit bat building and sat in the darkness trying to convey the impression of these rapidly moving creatures! Again, sustained observation meant that we could see the contract between the leathery wings and furry bodies. It was quite liberating to draw and make marks without really being able to see the paper.
A page that began with an okapi who was so shy that she went inside and so I moved on the the zebras. It was challenging to try to use the stripes to show the form of the zebra. These zebra had interesting markings that were not straight up and down black stripes on white.
Finally we went to see the kangaroos There was just one sitting on the grass – it eventually got up and stood at the water bath for quite some time. Such a lovely form with a deceptively simple shape but hard to show on paper.
After the sketching day was finished we continued to enjoy the zoo and sure enough couldn’t leave before drawing again! This time we looked at the Pelicans – such amazing birds. They were mainly still or grooming following a repeated set of movements.
This was a great opportunity organised by ZSL and Talita and Tim. I have rarely drawn animals (except cats) but I enjoyed the challenge and found it many features in common with life drawing, especially life drawing where models move.