Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Constricting Lines

Drawing a Boa Constrictor

Prints, posters and signed fine art reproductions are available 
for purchase in my Etys shop at: 

Boa Constrictor. 11x17" Ballpoint Pen and Ink wash

I've always been fascinated by snakes. Behind the house that I grew up in as a child, in Maryland, was a large area of woods that my brother Tony and I would go searching for snakes to catch and keep as pets. Garter snakes, Rat snakes, Ringneck snakes, and Black snakes were some of the species we would find. We would rarely come across a copperhead, a poisonous snake, but would keep our distance knowing how dangerous it was. We would then bring our catches home and raise them in terrariums and add them to our large collection of found pets. I still can't believe our mother let us do this. Teenagers with a room full of turtles, snakes and fish. A friend of ours had a Boa Constrictor as a pet, and I'll never forget handling it for the first time. Watching its movements as it wrapped around my arm. Studying it complicated patterns and coloring.

The detail and complex patterns of snakes scales and coloring has always intrigued me, and drawing them has always been something I've enjoyed. But this time I wanted to challenge myself even more by not only drawing all of the intricate scales, but doing it on a subject that was twisted and wrapped. What amazed me as I drew it was the complex geometric patterns that a snakes scales create. Below are pictures I took as I drew the Boa. You can see that I literally skinned the snake from head to tail in a grid of lines. And my drawing doesn't come close to the detail of a snakes true skin. Mine is merely a representation. As always, Thank you so much for visiting my blog.


Here are some photos taken during my drawing process





















Prints, posters and signed fine art reproductions are available 
for purchase in my Etys shop at: 




10 comments:

  1. Good morning, Tim! I love your art - and I would appreciate some advice from you. When I'm fiddling around with my art, I'm having trouble getting my backgrounds truly black. I can still see my brush strokes. When I look at the progression of one of your sketches, I see brush strokes in the background also. As the work progresses, the background turns completely black with no brush strokes. How do you accomplish this? What advice can you give me? Thank you in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your very kind words about my artwork. I achieve my black backgrounds by applying layers of ink and each time in different directions. And working fast to eliminate lines between dry and wet sections. My originals still have some brush stokes so I do my best at eliminate them with lighting during Photography. I hope this helps. And happy drawing! Best, Tim

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, Tim, for your advice on opaque backgrounds. I'm gonna give that a whirl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anytime! Glad I could help. And thanks again for writing.

      Delete
  4. Hey Tim - I love your pen and ink drawings. In fact, I have a question about the wash technique. What do you use as a wash for the shading portion of your drawings? Thank you for any help you can give me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much! For the background washes I use ProArt India Ink. It's the darkest india ink I have found so far. It goes on really think and heavy which I like. I usually put down 2-3 coats to make it even. Hope that helps, and thanks again for looking and writing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey again Tim - regarding the washes, my question is regarding the shading on your art - like the ripples on your seahorse. Do you use a wash in these areas to darken them? If so, what wash do use?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Anonymous. All the shading within the creature or animal is done with ballpoint pen. I can get extremely light to dark effects with crosshatching. and if you work in a circular patterns you can get shading without lines. I use Uni-Ball Powertank pens. They come in a variety of weights. Glad to be of any help. And please feel free to ask any more questions you have. Take Care, Tim

    ReplyDelete