Monday, February 18, 2008

The Zoo

Went to the zoo here Saturday morning with the goal of doing people (and some animal) drawing. Well, did more animal than people, which was still enjoyable, but not my intended goal. The drawings are good, but nothing worth posting. A few things made the trip a bit of a challenge.

1. There aren't many places to sit undisturbed to draw. Trying to stand and hold my small sketchbook and draw was a bit hard. When I did sit, a lot of people would stand in front of me, obstructing my view of the animal I was drawing.

2. It was a beautiful day, so needless to say, the zoo was packed. This may seem like a good thing; so many people to draw. However, when most of them aren't still for more than 15 seconds while viewing the animals, it was hard to get a decent outline. I managed to find two places where the people stayed still long enough to draw them.

3. Drawing for more than an hour and a half outside becomes tiresome (I was there three hours), and as I was finding it more difficult to draw my intended subject, I decided to call it a day.

The neatest thing that day was watching the elephants spray themselves with mud. The best part was this guy (above), who would suck water out of the pond and spit it in to the dirt to make more mud. I know they say elephants are smart, but I would have never imaged one mixing the mud himself!

The day wasn't a total bust. I tried to really study the people as they passed, especially the children. The animals, of course, were cool, and just walking through the gardens throughout the park was relaxing. And I did get one compliment on my drawings from one of the visitors! I will definitely go back, as drawing the animals from life was a fun challenge. And watching people, how they interact with each other, is fun and a good study.


Alicia Padrón said...

I'm glad you had fun Tom. It is hard to try and sketch people when they are moving all the time. How wonderful that you got a fan at the zoo :o)
Love the story of this elephant. I adore elephants they have the most noble and pleasant faces...Don't you think so? How cute is that?! he was making his own mud!

Jeanette said...

Public places are wonderful to draw people in, despite the drawbacks of constant movement and interruptions in sight lines.

I find all animals a treat to watch, but zoos always make me rather sad. I know they started with the best of intentions, but the captive animals, especially the large ones whose territories are huge in nature have such mental stress I find it upsetting to see them sometimes.

I know that I would not have the opportunity to see these animals up close without the benefit of a zoo, so I try to temper my judgment through that.

Tom Barrett said...

Alicia: it was fun but a challenge. Another funny thing about the elephants was when I began to draw one, it's like he saw me watching him, so he moved out of sight! :)

Jeanette: I often think about that as well, especially when you see some of the animals (mostly the big cats) pacing back and forth. But then that may be a natural behavior.

sketched out said...

Hee hee, I do know what you mean about the challenge of drawing people real-time. It's great exercise though, no matter what the outcome!

Your photo is wonderful. Are you a photographer? Very impressive.

Tom Barrett said...

Linda: I guess my biggest frustration was finding a place to sit and comfortably draw, not the people moving. And thanks for the compliment on the photo. I minored in photography in college, but am not a professional, though I do try and shoot like one!