Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wildlife – But Not Much of it Living

10/20/14 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-sumi ink, Canson XL 140 lb. paper
(cormorant in Port Townsend)
I had hoped for some opportunities to sketch wildlife while I was in the Olympic National Park this week, but the rain kept us out of areas where we might have seen some. We did see a few deer near the roads to and from the park, but I couldn’t get out of the car to sketch them.

My only sketch of living wildlife was a cormorant resting on some rocks that I spotted while we were lunching at Fins Coastal Cuisine in Port Townsend on our way up to the peninsula.

10/21/14 various inks, Caran d'Ache Museum water-soluble colored pencils
(dead rabbit)
The other two wildlife specimens that I sketched were, unfortunately, dead. The first was a rabbit just beneath the livingroom window of the cottage where we stayed. Although I felt sad sketching a bunny that had recently died, I enjoyed using water-soluble colored pencils to sketch it; the soft pencils are ideal for sketching the texture of fur.

The second sketch opportunity was a “Roosevelt elk,” whose head was mounted over the fireplace at the Lake Crescent Lodge. My first try was in ink, but as I’d done a couple years ago when sketching (live) reindeer, I scaled the composition wrong and couldn’t fit the full width of the elk’s impressive rack in my sketch. Somehow it doesn’t seem possible for the rack to be so huge! Anyway, I felt I had dissed the elk, so I came back the next day to try again. This time, remembering the dead bunny, I used water-soluble colored pencils, and I managed to scale it proportionally.

10/21/14 Diamine Chocolate Brown ink
(Lake Crescent Lodge, Olympic National Park)
The plaque under the elk’s head reads: “Near Record. Roosevelt Elk Taken by Chris Morganroth, Bogachiel River, 1902.”

One bit of fun I discovered was the Olympic National Park “passport” stamp, which I stamped onto my sketches done within the park. I wonder if all national parks have such stamps? I must have missed them at Yellowstone, Zion and Bryce.

10/22/14 Caran d'Ache Museum water-soluble colored
pencils, Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun ink
(Lake Crescent Lodge, Olympic National Park)


  1. Too bad the weather wasn't better so that you could see more wildlife, but the elk head is impressive. I was wondering where you were off to.

  2. Yes, it's amusing we're both on vacation in peninsulas! Too bad your weather isn't so good.... but it is a rain forest! You are still getting a lot of good sketches done!


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