My ink drawing for Day 8 of Inktober is of a Green Iguana. They are vegetarian lizards with high intelligence and a beautiful form and colour. It was a bit of a challenge to refrain from colouring this ink drawing. Several times I reached for my watercolour box to put in “Just a little green wash” which would have spiralled out of control to a full painting. But I’m glad I kept just the inks in the end because I am so enchanted with colour that I don’t always see the beauty of a creature’s form if it has a vibrant colour.
I suspect that this might happen to lots of artists; sometimes a specific colour, in the sky, or a leaf, or a car paint job, will just stop me dead. It’s like the colour reaches through my eyes and grabs that deeply hidden bit of the brain which fills a person with wonder. It is partly this arresting quality of some colours in certain light and surroundings which captivates me with some artists.
My other artistic love is of light, of reflections and refractions and the way light dances under trees in a breeze. Again, when I see these things I feel captivated by it and full of joy. I have watched them for hours. I think that’s why I like fishing, it’s a good excuse to stare at the reflections on the water for a whole day!
In space, the way light moves is laid bare, simpler because of the lack of other objects around whatever you’re looking at and the lack of atmosphere. So frequently shadows have no reflected light in them at all and the light has a different quality. When I drew my Day 9 ink drawing I considered drawing Apollo 11 like that with pure blacks and whites and no reflected light in the shadows but it was already going to be a very complex shape and I couldn’t find any reference for what the spacecraft would really have looked like in those conditions. So I used normal earth light on it. If I manage to get hold of some gold ink I might add the gold bits of the spacecraft. I think they would make a good addition to the drawing. Here it is…
This was drawn across a two page spread in my sketchbook, so you might notice a slight gap in the drawing at the very centre where I went from one page to another.