The Dawn Botanist – Tears of the Poppy (Detail)

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The Dawn Botanist – Tears of the Poppy (Detail)
All images © Richard A. Kirk. Any reuse is strictly prohibited without permission of Richard A. Kirk

There is still much to be done on this new drawing, but having finished one fairly defined section I thought I’d share a work in progress (WIP). If you saw my earlier post on this piece, you’ll notice that I have added to the title. “Tears of the Poppy” is a line taken from the text of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, a book that has been occupying my reading time and weirdly, or perhaps not so weirdly, my dreams for a few weeks now. The phrase fits the theme of this work.

  • Richard

The Dawn Botanist

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Graphite Under-drawing for the Dawn Botanist (working title)
All images © Richard A. Kirk.

Here is a look at the drawing’s bones. What you see here will soon disappear under layers of ink. I find these line drawings have a beauty of their own, which is why I always take the time to make a high resolution scan of them before rendering.

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The Dawn Botanist – detail

The ink looks a bit darker here than it is in the original. This is a first pass with a uniform value. With the next pass, I’ll be deepening shadows and accentuating highlights.

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Simple tools

One of the great things about working in ink is the simplicity of of the tools. It’s amazing what you can do with a bottle of ink, some water and a brush.

Like a lot of artists, my favorite time to work is in the early morning. The house and the neighborhood are quiet, the mind is rested and not yet full of the concerns of the day. In the morning, it is possible to focus and get a different perspective on a creative project. I can’t tell you how many times I have woken up, walked down to my studio and looked at some problem that seemed intractable the night before, just to see how obvious the solution really was. I rely on this little gift of clarity. That is why I like to do the problem solving at the sketching or under-drawing stage. Once the ink is on the paper, I have to live with my mistakes and let them become part of what I have created.

  • Richard.