Friday, December 3, 2010

Presenting "Keystone King"


Graphite pencil, 6 x 10

I finished this drawing up early this week, sealed it, matted it and got it into its frame. This drawing is slated to go to Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma in March for my Solo exhibit and painting demonstration, ironically the reference for this piece came from my visit to the gallery last year.

I have not created a graphite drawing in awhile and it was nice to do so, as you'll read below as soon as I saw the reference for this piece I knew it had to be a black and white piece. I really wanted the extreme white of the pelican to pop off of the paper so I had to push the background back some to accomplish this. I did that by making the water darker than it was and taking away all highlights in the water.

Off to start the next piece!

In March 2010, I was visiting Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a painting demonstration and was fortunate enough to take a drive through the countryside. One of the patrons visiting the gallery said bald eagles had been spotted at Keystone Dam just outside the city. Always eager to capture new photographic references of these majestic birds of prey, I got up early one morning and drove to the dam for a look-see. I didn’t see any eagles but spotted a few great blue herons and several white pelicans. I had never seen white pelicans in the wild and was very excited that they were there. If memory serves me right, I think there were five pelicans at the base of the dam. They would fly up to the spillway, land in the water and then float down with the current as they fished for breakfast.

It was pretty cold that morning but I wasn’t about to relinquish this opportunity, so I hunkered down (for about three hours) and shot hundreds of photos of the pelicans and herons. When I returned to the hotel and downloaded the images to my laptop, the reference for this piece immediately struck me as a strong graphite contender. Combined with the pelican’s regal posture, the drawing could only be “Keystone King.”

 "Keystone King" in its frame!


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