I thought I’d share the steps I go through when creating a graphite drawing from start to finish, as I haven’t shared this in quite a while now. In this example, I chose for my subject, one of the many Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (woodpecker) that live in the woods around my house. They are noisy, active neighbors but fun to watch, and so accustomed to my presence, I can take photos without too much effort needed on my part. When I’m working in graphite, I like subjects or an arrangement that has strong black and white contrasts. Woodpeckers and birch trees are great for this. The older, more aged the birch tree, the better! Apparently the woodpeckers think so too since they frequent the same trees on a regular basis. This also makes it easy for me to know where to look for them! In the top image, I worked up the initial sketch and modified things a bit to fit the composition I had in my mind. In the second image, you can see I’ve completed most of the tree and background branches. In addition to a dynamic and balanced composition, I also wanted this artwork to show how well birds use their environment to camouflage themselves. This artwork, titled “Hidden #5”, will be one of several with this “camouflage” theme in my upcoming graphite art exhibit, “Drawn To Nature” at The Backroom Gallery in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. See the previous post for more news on this event!