Sunday, July 1, 2012

The long creative process

Rabúo, Cyanopica cyanus
Oil painting on wood, 30x21 cm.

Sometimes I think I make my processes very complicated. It takes me too much time to finish a work; that´s why I´m usually working on some of them at the same time.

Making a study from life in the Islote del Moro - Cabo de Gata (Almería)

Every work of 'wildlife art' begins in nature. You have to go out and watch animals to soak up their forms, gestures, and feel them.To that end, attired with the necessary optical devices in order not to disturb these creatures, we are ready to take notes: drawings, texts, photographs or simply to watch: For me, this is the best thing, watching, enjoying the act of looking carefully the beauty of animal morphology, without any other distraction.

Some of the sketches 

Studies from life of Yellow-legged Gull
Islote del Moro - Cabo de Gata (Almeria)
Graphite pencil on paper, 30x42 cm.

Studies from life of Black-winged Stilt
Las Salinas - Cabo de Gata (Almería)
Graphite pencil on paper, 30x42 cm.

Studies of Great and Little Ringed Plovers,
"The mother of marshes" - El Rocío, Almonte (Huelva)
Graphite pencil on paper, 21x30 cm.

 Studies of Calandra Lark and Crested Lark,
Road from Tomelloso to Ossa de Montiel
Graphite pencil, watercolur and felt-tip pen on paper, 21x30 cm.


Studies and sketches for a work on Red-legged Partridge,
Road from Tomelloso to Ossa de Montiel
Graphite pencil and watercolour on A4 paper

Study of Common Coot and Marshy mare with colt 

"The mother of marshes" - El Rocío, Almonte (Huelva)
Graphite pencil on paper, 21x30 cm.

Drawing made with my left hand.

Sketch for painting of an experience lived at "The mother of marshes" 
Graphite pencil on paper, 21x30 cm.

Studies of Mallard and Moorhen 
Navaseca Lagoon - Daimiel (Ciudad Real)
Graphite pencil, felt-tip pen and watercolour on paper, 9x28 cm.

Later, with the photographs taken that day, I made a more elaborated graphite drawing which I used to make a bigger work. 

Too see the picture  click here

Studies from life of White-headed Duck and Black-headed Gull
Navaseca Lagoon - Daimiel (Ciudad Real)
Graphite pencil, watercolour, felt-tip pen and colour pencil on A4 paper

It was coloured later. 

After collecting experiences, ideas...; to sum up, inspiration, I go on with the work in the workshop.
Firstly, with all the material, I made sketches-morphological analysis of the species to portray, if it´s going to be a sculpture.
Sketches of Aphanius iberus and Chub, previous to the sculpture. 
Graphite pencil on paper and digital treatment, 21x30 cm.

Sketch of  Chasquita (Motacilla alba), previous to the sculpture.  
Graphite pencil, felt-tip pen and colour pencil on paper, 25x50 cm.

To make these sketches I use memories of previous experiences to compose the pose and studies from life and photographs I take for the details. I have also used bibliographic material for the fish. I intend to take a diving course to add these species to my works.

Then we go on with the making of the model in wax.

Wax model of White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) -in process
Real size

At the workshop, modelling in wax. 

Wax model of Woodchat Shrike 

Sketch in a previous post - Click here to see the sketch

I work with galvanized sheet, embossed and welded with tin-silver. This work is similar to the way I model in wax, though this material implies harder work.

You can see some samples of tin-silver works in previous posts.
      Alpine Swift, Apus melba
      Good and bad, equal at the mirror II

When making paintings, firstly I study the composition and make the "grisaille" in graphite, fixed before colouring it. Needless to say, before starting a work I prepare the panels by applying a primer, almost a stucco, as my way of working requires it.

Atenea´s eyes, Athene noctua - In process
Graphite pencil and oil on wood, 60x42 cm.


Disrupting dreams -In process
Graphite pencil and oil painting on wood, 60x150 cm.

Sorry for the quality of the image. 

Net, Charadrius alexandrinus - En proceso
Graphite pencil and oil painting on wood, 30x42 cm.

Once the pictures are finished (look at the image opening this post), we have to build the frames. I do it at my brother-in-law´s - Francisco M . Sánchez - workshop; it´s easier with his help.

Frames ready to be patinated and varnished.

Sculptures imply harder work. After modelling in wax, you have to build the casting tree, prepare the ceramics shell, cast... 
All this process can be watched in previous posts: 
      Course on Drawing and Bronze Sculpture, Priego 2010 (My Work)

After this we have the most boring and hardest part of the casting process: removing of the ceramics shell and polishing the piece. 

Male avocet - Waiting to be polished.
Bronze, real size

When this phase is finished the pieces have to be patinated. We mainly use very toxic substances such as acids and oxides though I´d rather use natural stuffs (citric acid=lemon juice, sugar...) and give colour by means of pigments and wax polish. 

Works with the first coat of sugar patina. 

There is the preparation of the structures for the final assembly left. 

 Assembly of  'Lapwings'

Structure for the assembly of 'The living river II' 

As you can see there is no time for resting... and with every outing,  more occasions to be incorporated to new compositions mount up. 
This summer, Lolita Paz, Andrés J. Naranjo and me are planning to cast again and I´ll try to finish some of the pictures and add some sculptures... but I need more time to do everything I want.