The elusive Wild Image is difficult to capture in its native habitat. It requires the proper setting, light, equipment, and mood, with just a dash of Luck.
- Hunt your prey. I find the best time for subject matter is in early morning or late evening, when the light is horizontal. Overcast days often provide soft, even light, and fog or mist makes everything beautiful.
- Once you've shot a bunch of pictures, sort through them to find a just the right potential drawing. The perfect image is often hiding in a nest of potential candidates, and it's not always easy to spot. You may have to retouch or correct an image, adding or removing elements for the right composition.
- Transfer the image to substrate and mask it for a clean edge. I love Strathmore Bristol board, but it's not big enough for some of the pictures I want to create. I've been experimenting with other paper lately.
- Get the reference images up on the screen, turn on the music, and draw!
- Be patient. Drawings often become recalcitrant halfway through—they don't cooperate, they contradict you, they become unaccountably unattractive. Keep at it.
- When it's mostly finished, hang it up on the mirror and let it sit a few days. Ask your wife—she often has insights you never thought of.
- Finish up, spray with fixative, and take it to Ward for framing. And get a picture up for your fans!