Sometimes my projects go better than expected (such as my recent colored pencil zebra drawing). Other times, I think a piece is going along splendidly, but somehow in the end the whole thing just ends up being a bit off.
Take for example the giraffe drawing/painting I completed last week. The inspiration came from this darling photo by Gary Jones of a mother giraffe and her baby. I mean, you just can’t help but go, “Awwww” when you see it:
I started by adjusting the photo a little bit to bring Mom’s body (at the right) a tad bit closer to Baby. First, this helped me fit the image into a more standard paper size. And second, I wanted to give the youngster a better frame and make it look more like mom was protecting her baby in a big giraffe-y circle of love.
A couple years ago I did a giraffe in graphite, but I’ve never tried one in colored pencil. Still, after my luck with Mr. Zebra, I figured the techniques I’d just been having a great time with would translate perfectly to creating the furry texture of the giraffe duo.
Things started out well. Although I had a little trouble getting the dark color on Mom’s horns right, her fur and eye and spots were turning out great.
The trouble began with Baby. He’s a lighter, more orange-y color than Mom, but I didn’t want his color to overwhelm the drawing. I worked in more brown and it didn’t look too bad, but at this point (besides the fact that Baby had no head)I had a feeling this wasn’t coming out right.
But what can you do? The show must go on, right? I finished Baby’s head hoping it might come out as well as Mom’s had. Nope. Baby ended up with a weird expression that looks more like “Leave me alone” than “Oh, I feel so loved and protected.” Sigh.
Besides Baby’s goofy expression, there’s just something not quite right about this whole image. I’m not sure if the background needs darkened, if the empty space above Baby’s head is just too empty, or if maybe I need to play with cropping it a bit, but something is off. Of course, being colored pencil piece, I can’t change things or experiment too much (colored pencil can be difficult to erase), but I feel like (hope) this can be saved.
So, here’s where you get to play artistic advisor!
What do you feel is “off” about this piece? Is there hope for it? Or am I just being too critical of myself? Any suggestions, comments, criticisms will be most welcome.
Thanks everyone and have a great rest of your week. I’ll be back Friday with another installment of The Vacation.