The forest surprises and inspires me each time I go out. Usually before I do anything with my sketchbook in the woods I sit down to make some notes about what is around to see,smell and hear.
That helps to make the “connection” to nature, to relax and to get ready for sketching. Today I was given a special gift : a doe with fawn passed by without noticing me. The wind was coming from the right direction and so the game did not recognise me. I had the opportunity to hide behind a big beech trunk and watch. The very young fawn was so fragile and the mother so caring. Again and again she would stop and come back to make sure that the young offspring would follow closely.
The ink drawing above was done with a bristle brush No16 and diluted india ink. The paper of my sketchbook is not the best for ink drawings as it tends to bleed unfortunately. By squinting I tried to narrow down the many tonalities to a few. The intention was to set up a coherent image by noting dark areas at the right place in characteristic form.
The structure of the drawing was established by the bigger trunks in light and the foreground in contrast to the darker areas with many layers of overlapping foliage and distant trunks. As soon as this grid was clear I could add brush strokes all over the sheet. Typically the leaves and trunks look almost black against the sky and I tried to represent that “effect” in the sketch.
What seemed difficult in the beginning turned out to become a relaxed fun exercise. Very soon the simple marks started to “make sense” and at the end I was wondering whether I should have stopped at one of the intermediate states already and should have continued with light color layers on top of the ink drawing. That exercise is reserved for the next visit to the woods. When I checked with photoshop elements I found out that the drawing has more than 8 different tonalities, I would guess that there are about 10 different tonalities.