Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Common Toad" 7-8-08

While walking in the woods at Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga, NY, I happened upon a toad...almost stepped on the little guy (girl?) because it blended in so well with the dead leaves on the woodland floor. I took pictures, usually very hard to capture a frog or toad because the just don't sit still while you focus etc....they have other ideas! Above is a little tiny sketch I did after I caught a few pictures, noting the light stripe and other markings which helped me identify him later. There are so many toads and frogs for me to learn!
Later I sat late at night and drew this sketch above, from a photo with a micron permanent ink pen. You can see, I didn't start with pencil drawing, I just drew in a sketchy manner to block in his shape. Sometimes I like the looseness of that look, some pen lines showing at the end of the drawing. You can also hide unwanted lines by adding the dark lines for background.
Here I added a light wash in watercolor of yellow ochre + sepia, just a touch. I was careful to leave the light stripe and light areas of his body, and add more wash layers to the darker areas.
Here you can see, I added green by mixing olive green + a touch of sepia to dull it. The brown spots are sepia and permanent rose. The background is prussian blue + ultramarine blue + black. To make his bumps or warts stand out a bit, I tried to use the tip of a very small pointed brush to outline them a little with the brown. Then some spots were just painted with the watercolor, which made a softer looking wart than one that was drawn with ink. When I was finished I felt I should have made his mouth or nose, stick a out just a little more, it looks a bit short...but it's done.
These are pictures I took of the little in the woods. Hope you enjoyed looking at my little sketch and the pictures. More on that walk later....


seesue said...

Awesome ToadyArt!

Mary McAndrew said...

Thanks seesue,
I've been noticing frogs and toads lately, I really want to learn to identify them better and maybe do some finished paintings of some endangered species?