Each time I get the opportunity to talk with people about my art, one of the most common questions I get asked is how I decide what to draw. While it may seem as though this should be the easiest step, for me it is the most difficult. I find it to be a deeply personal decision that I take my time with. It's a connection to me and that animal that I am committed to getting right.
I do not look for a "perfect" photo....nature is wildly imperfect and that's its beauty and call to me.
The animal I choose to draw is taken from either single or multiple pictures. Luckily for me, I have access to a multitude of photos that either I or my friends have taken. I can literally go through hundreds of photos to find the “right” one. When able, I physically sit in the species natural habitat for hours observing its interactions, muscle definition and various movements.
There are a lot of things that I look for but here are a couple of the most important-to me: First and most importantly, while looking, does the intensity of the animal make me stop and take a second look. Looking in its eyes, can I see the intent, the focus and does it speak to me from the start. Then I take into account the rest-what are the other details that further capture this animal at this point in time. Is it in its natural element? Does the lighting create a more dramatic contrast or will I be able to alter this to bring out the main focus-always the soul, the intent, and intensity of the animal?
Although it would seem to be a simple choice to many it is the most crucial and time consuming part of my process from start to finish. I have learned through trial and error to not rush this step. I have taken weeks to find the right piece that speaks to me.
In the end for me, it is always the soul in the eyes. I ask myself, “Am I connected to the intensity, will this keep me inspired throughout the process?”
To follow along my progress on my latest piece please visit my Facebook page: Duane Frey Studios
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