From the article ‘Pencil Art’ which appeared in the October 2014 issue of Leisure Painter magazine:
“Learning to draw is a fundamental skill that every artist should spend time developing. Whatever style or genre you work in, being able to rely on good drawing skills can make the time you spend being creative more enjoyable as you focus more on developing a piece of artwork and working with different media.
In my enthusiasm to launch into a painting I often have to remind myself that time must first be spent observing or imagining my subject matter and planning sketches, doodles and notes should be made to prevent any major problems at a later stage. In my experience, if I skip this stage I usually end up with an issue that is hard to resolve when working on a final piece! I prefer to work tonally at this preparatory stage (black, white and half tones) without the distraction of colour.
Looking at the skin on the ears, head and trunk there are many, many shapes to identify and it is important to remember that you don’t have to copy your reference exactly. Reference is an aid and it is best to have a number of photographs, sketches and doodles to remind you of the anatomy and general shapes. If things are getting a bit complicated, leave some of the detail out.”