Monday, April 14, 2008

Portrait update & new arrivals

The Artist's Father - in progress
11 x 14 graphite
copyright Jeanette Jobson

Since starting this yesterday, I've spent some time putting down the initial layers of graphite for shading. I don't want to go too dark and overpower the portrait, but don't want it to be a weak image either. I think I've knocked a few years off my father in this image, but won't know til its complete.

I was asked today if I use a grid to draw portraits or do it freehand. Mostly I draw freehand, but if something is complex or I am feeling unsure or just can't get something right then I use a grid - or partial grid. I use enough to get the main features in place, then find things fall into place from there. With this image, it was drawn freehand.

Meanwhile life on the farm churns into action for spring. The weather's warmed and the snow is rapidly melting, making all the animals a bit 'antsy'. Fighting among the geese and ducks has started, a sure sign that its spring.

The most recent arrival here has been six little piglets. This image isn't good as they were under a heat light, being only about 6 - 8 weeks old, and need a source of warmth, especially at night.
They managed to get loose overnight and were herding the ducks that are loose in the barn. Piglets are very, very difficult to catch. They sure can move fast!

Some of you may remember the pigs from last summer. They're quite intelligent creatures and more like dogs. Once they know your voice they come to see you and let you pat them, making funny grunting sounds as you do. I feel guilty when they go, but have come to terms with it, as I have with the other animals here that are food sources.

These little guys and girls will be lodgers for 16 weeks. During that time, they'll gain about 200 pounds in weight each. They eat pure vegetable protein, no hormones, no animal byproducts. They have space, light, heat, food, water music and companionship. I'm a firm believer in animal rights to live in an environment that is clean and comfortable and be transported to their final destination as quickly and comfortably as possible.

The majority of people never think of where their food comes from, whether meat or vegetable and the process of how it reaches your table. Take a moment and consider it. This is not meant to put you off meat, but to ensure you think about the animal and life behind the product, and how it was raised.

World Society for the Protection of Animals

Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals


BJK_Art said...

I really enjoy your work. I first saw it on Drawspace then found your blog. I, like you, enjoy realism and all things relating to drawing. I hope you don't mind if I include your blog site to the list on my own.

Jeanette said...

Thank you Barbara, I would love to be on your blog list. And I will link you to mine as well.

I visited your drawing blog and you've done wonderful work.

Stacy said...

Jeanette, the portrait is coming along nicely. I am sure you will get the values exactly where you want them in the end.

I had to chuckle at the piglet picture. They look so funny stepping all over each other. I couldn't help but make up a little conversation to go with the picture. Maybe it comes from living with kids and hearing them bicker. :D

Robyn said...

Your barn sounds like a cosy and lovely place to live - I'd love to see piglets herding ducks.

Your father's portrait is looking very good, Jeanette. I know what you mean about seeing the person emerge from the paper. For me this only ever happens in a graphite drawing and never ceases to thrill me

Katherine Tyrrell said...

My goodness Jeanette - some of your features are coming through in this portrait. How easy/difficult is it to draw a relative who looks like you ? This looks to me like it'll be stunner when it's finished.

Jeanette said...

The barn is unique Robyn Usually noisy, often chaotic, but always interesting. The piglets sure have personality, like little children almost.

Katherine, yes there is a resemblance and if I put a drawing of myself next to this is quite visible.

It still feels odd having him come to life under my pencil. Its an eerie feeling, especially when I see part of myself in it too.