“PERFECT TIMING” – charcoal, carbon, graphite drawing

The title of this drawing came about as a bit of irony, which I was pondering one day while watching fish eat flies and bugs from the surface of a nearby pond.  How the idea came into my head…..I have no idea. 

The entire concept was to have a fish jumping out of the water to catch a dragon fly. At the moment the fish is about to devour the dragon fly, little does it know that directly behind and above it, is a hungry bald eagle, ready with talons outstretched, to snatch it up for dinner…or whatever meal the eagle was going to have.

For some strange reason, I can’t seem to find the photos I took from the very start and am afraid they may have been deleted. Oh well. I’ll just describe the process and post the photos I have. Again, my apologies because the photos are very poor quality but you can at least see the detail.

I chose charcoal for the eagle as I wanted to create the soft texture of feathers and to give myself a wide range of darks. Feathers are not simply a single color, but in fact, shades, tones, and variations of a single base color. Using charcoal allows me to create those subtle shifts in value that are common with feathers.

Carbon was my “go to” choice for doing the large mouth bass, as carbon (when layered correctly) can create a shine that is unlike graphite. It can give the appearance of “wetness” instead of a glare. So carbon was my choice for the fish.

While I am not a huge fan of graphite, it does have its uses. In this particular drawing – it was great for the concept of splashing water. However, now that I have developed a new method of drawing splashing water, I wish I could go back and alter this drawing, as I think the current “splash” is rather hokey, myself.

The main body of water is a combination of charcoal, carbon, and graphite. Now I know some will argue that you can not possibly layer carbon on top of graphite and that charcoal doesn’t layer well on top of graphite. Well, “yes” but for this situation, it fit perfectly for what I wanted to achieve.


The above photograph simply shows the drawing as a “base”. I have not added the extra layers of drawing media that will help darken all the subjects. What you see above is basically a “body” of the work.  Below are photos of the drawing as it progressed with added media to enhance and create greater contrast.



If you liked my drawing, please click on the “like” button below. The more “likes” I get, the greater the recognition I get from wordpress. Also, if you have any comments or criticisms, please feel free to state them below. I appreciate any and all input.





4 thoughts on ““PERFECT TIMING” – charcoal, carbon, graphite drawing

  1. Birds are very difficult to draw and you did a great job with this eagle.

    I am looking for parrot, raptor or songbird drawings but I’m not a fan of hunter/prey images.

    Your other work is good, too. I especially like Summer Storm and the horses.

    The fantasy figures are also beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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