April 10th, 2015

Jail Bird

Artist: Carol Lowne, United States
Artist Statement: I sketched and painted the “Jail Bird” chicken from a reference photo; it seemed fitting as I was snowbound and confined at the time to a hotel room in Pennsylvania. I love the simplicity of certain animal shapes (like the chicken here) and the brilliant color of this rooster’s comb and wattle. It seemed most appropriate for this image to draw the head with a few light pen and ink lines with a Faber-Castell Pitt pen (S) and actually draw the negative space around the bird. I kept details to a minimum, only hinting at feathers for example. The expression on this bird’s face was perfect to leave him ‘behind the bars’ of chicken wire. Also, I often write short notes to myself on the sketchbook pages to remind myself of the circumstance that prompted the drawing.

Vignette formats are a favorite of mine and I enjoy fading the edges of my sketches out, leaving them unframed — which is what I did here because the bird’s expression was my focal point and the viewer’s imagination can fill in the rest of the scene. My travel watercolor palette currently has QoR watercolors in it and I limit myself to just 12 colors plus a white gouache for occasional tinting (not used in this sketch).

As a recent student enrollee in SketchBook Skool, I have returned to sketching after a hiatus of 8 years. SketchBook Skool gave me the permission I needed to not be my own self-destructive critic, and the encouragement I needed to draw something every day….which is exactly what I have done since last July. The circulation of my sketches is quite limited at the moment but I regularly post to the SketchBook Skool Community and to my friends on social media.

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

Jail Bird


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