White on Black

Allow me to begin by asking a question. Are zebras black with white stripes? Or are they white with black stripes?

FI ZebraWe’ll talk about zebras and their stripes a bit later, but that’s not really the point here. The point is that you knew it was a zebra. When you looked at my post and saw this fellow, yeppers, you knew exactly what it was.

For me, that’s significant. In the past, I’ve found it extremely difficult — well, let’s just say impossible — to draw animals that actually look like what they’re supposed to be.

Now, I don’t claim my zebra is perfect. But I do claim that it is a zebra, and I’m proud of it.

If you attended the most recent session of Gettin’ Sketchya timed drawing practice from The Virtual Instructor, you’ve seen this zebra, both the reference photo and the excellent drawing Matt Fussell made. You might have even drawn a zebra of your own.

The challenge was to finish the drawing within forty-five minutes. As usual, I didn’t concern myself with getting all the details exactly right, so I completed my zebra drawing in about twenty minutes and spent the rest of the session watching Matt and chatting with friends.

Yes, I do need to go in and darken the zebra’s eye a bit. You might be able to guess that this drawing was an example of reverse drawing. Instead of making dark marks on a white ground, we used white charcoal on a sheet of black drawing paper.

The materials I used were:

My paper is 12 x 18, so I cut it into quarter sheets for this drawing assignment.

I haven’t done a lot of reverse drawing, so I didn’t get the eye quite right, but overall, I was happy with my zebra drawing. I did use sighting techniques to help me achieve the proper proportions.

I had fun with the drawing, and as I’ve already mentioned, I completed it in about half the allotted time. I didn’t take it too seriously because I didn’t really expect to do very well with the project. I figured I’d end up with a wonky-looking creature with a silly look on its face. It really wasn’t until this morning that I took a good look at my striped fellow and realized that it’s not bad at all. Had I taken more time with it, I might have ended up with an excellent drawing of a zebra with more realistic-looking stripes. But then I would have missed out on the fun of casually chatting with my friends, so I guess I’m glad I didn’t push myself too much.

Now, back to today’s science question. Are zebras white with black stripes? Or are they black with white stripes?

So, now you know!


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