OK...Here we go. As promised I am going to be posting some “in progress” images of Chris’ beautiful brown trout. You may recall that Chris was the winner of the drawing last month for the free Catch and Release artwork.Most of what follows may be pretty boring to those uninterested in how I do these illustrations, so my apologies. With the workload that I currently have, it may be a few weeks before there are any fishing reports or recollections seen here. I am still working on the fly illustrations for Beau Beasley’s upcoming book and I have to get started on his double truck painting also. That, and finishing up Chris’ brown is going to keep me pretty occupied in the studio.
What you see here today is the beginning stages of the artwork. I began by drawing the fishes outline and a few other details in pencil. I decided, with Chris’ OK, to do the illustration at actual size...22 inches from head to tail, and quite frankly, that is a challenge in itself. Most of my work is quite a bit smaller so takes up less space on my drawing table. The smaller pieces are easy to turn sideways and upside down as I work on various sections of the fish. That aint easy to do when working at this size.
Once I am satisfied with the general shape and size of the fish I begin work with the pens. Starting with .25 size tips I draw over the pencil work and then begin the stippling process. So what is stippling, you ask? Anyone that has ever seen an edition of The Wall Street Journal has seen stippling in one of its forms. The Journal has long had a practice of avoiding photographs...instead they rely upon the work of Randy Glass. All of the “portraits” you see in their paper are done by him.
His technique in these portraits is more akin to medical illustration. Very precise. My technique is a little different...for sure! So stippling is the application of dots of ink to show contour, depth and detail. Rather than drawing lines (such as cross-hatching) stippling uses tiny dots. It’s that simple.
So, at this point in the process I have spent four evenings working on the image, and there is a long ways to go. So far the only thing finished in the shot below is the can of beer.