Just about every major piece of art has some preliminary drawings – studies – that were undertaken in preparation for it. Tiepolo’s, da Vinci’s or Michelangelo’s notebooks (which we would probably call sketchbooks, these days) are filled with drawings that are as good or better than plenty of other artist’s masterpieces.
Sometimes, these studies are more highly developed. They get signed, framed, and sold or exhibited as art works in their own rights.
I’ve been preparing for a slightly more complex watercolor with some animal drawings. Zoological anatomy is not an area of expertise.
First, a falcon:
This guy started life as a line drawing, but it was really hard to capture the volume of the bird with cross-hatching. It just started to get too messy.
Once the gray shadows were added to round out the picture, it started to look like this piece could be a little more than just a sketch. I put more effort into getting the form right, and making it look a more ‘finished’.
Finally, a background is suggested by the light gray area on the left of the frame. It looks spontaneous enough, but it took me a few tries to get it just right.
And below is an older drawing of a different bird you may (or may not) recognize:
This was the sketch that preceded the colorful hummingbird piece from a few months back (click here). It’s more apparent from this drawing that we’re looking at the tiny bird from the underside. His miniscule claws are not present in the final work.
Nor, for that matter, is the “fluff”, indicated by the note on the left. There should also be a note specifying “adorableness”. But I forgot that. Oh well.