“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.





10 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 2 people

  2. Just found your site, drawn in (so to speak) by discovery of another charcoal fanatic. And also an artist who seems to know what he is doing in how to offer artworks for sale online. Your art is beautiful to see. Something I would like to learn how to do. But you seem to have a key that I lack: knowing how to choose very popular subjects.


    1. Hello! I’m very happy that you decided to stop by and have a peak. What you said was probably one of the best compliments I’ve ever received, so ‘thank you” for that. As for ‘knowing how to choose” very popular subjects…..I would just say that I see what others have on their computer wallpaper, or cellphone cover, or hanging in their house. But honestly…I think I’m just lucky when it comes to that.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You are so brilliant with nature, animals and humans. So as I was looking and reading about your ‘Perfect Timing’ I couldn’t help but wonder if you would be interested down the road in doing a few special ones for me to purchase.

    My name is Ma’iingankwe and it really is my real name. It is Anishinabee or as most people know as Chippewa or Ojibwa, Ojibwe. My name means female with wolf spirit, or woman with the spirit of the wolf. I have always wanted a picture of me and the animal I was named for.

    In addition, I would also love to have one of each of my sisters with their animals too. Their names may not be of the animal they have an affinity too, but I would love their Native names to be written on their art as well. I think it would make it even more special.

    My sister Lisa has always loved bears and now has quite a nice collection from over all of the years from all of us. Every time I see a really cool bear I will buy it and save it for her birthday or Christmas. I do the same for my sister Jenette, she loves eagles.

    Our Nindede (Dad) would buy each of us a replication of our own animals for us on special occasions or just for the heck of it. He was so cool about that, and he really had excellent taste.

    If I could send you parts that are really important to us individually and a part of our tribe, would you incorporate those in the artwork as well?

    I can send you a number of pictures of my sisters from different angles and so forth, whatever you need. I would like to get one done of one my sisters first and then move on from there, since cost would need to be incorporated as well as your time.
    Be well,

    I just think this would be an original gift for each of them and would be very special for them as well. It’s something they could pass down too.

    Please let me know if you’re interested and then we can go from there. It’s okay to say no, I will still like you and enjoy looking at your beautiful work, that will never change.


    1. The meaning behind your name is astoundingly beautiful! I love the richness of culture expressed in such names! My name is pretty boring LOL!
      YES! I would be more than happy to work with you! You can simply email me at markthimesch@gmail.com and you might want to read the tab PORTRIATS because it describes my commission and requests for doing them.

      All I would need is some kind of photo that CLEARLY shows the person you want to have drawn with the facial expression you want as well. It’s a bit difficult to put an expression or emotion into a drawing when the subject matter’s face is showing something opposite 🙂

      But PLEASE! Contact me as soon as you are ready and willing to go! I’d be so honored to do such projects and I hope that the first will lead to others!


      1. You are so on. I will go and look at your portraits tab and I will go through all of our pictures to find the perfect and yes, very clear expression to be captured.

        I was so excited I had to write this before I followed your directions. Plus, it’s going to take me a bit to go through pictures, so I just wanted to let you know as soon as possible, so you’re not left wondering. Even if I have to get one of my sisters to take close up pictures without the other knowing. If I do this, I’m hoping I can at least find at least one good close up of one and keep them in the dark. I’m rambling.

        Our clan is Makwa, the bear clan, which is the Warrior clan of our People. Our Mom’s clan is Migizi, the Eagle, but we always follow our Father’s. Eagle feathers are a big part of our celebrations and especially our ceremonies. We were also raised with Dream Catchers, but I would have to look that up to see if it comes from our People or not. I’m just putting out some ideas for you. We all love nature and would like to be placed within some type of scenario to give the feeling of it. We live with big oaks, maples, red pine, and much more. We make a lot of our bowls and so forth out of paper birch. Please know you can pick just one and I can tell you specifically if it’s a silver maple, red oak and so forth. We also do a lot of bead work with porcupine quills and we do have a very distinct style of bead work. To be honest, we can tell the area of the tribe just by the style of bead work and especially their moccasins. We are known to wear what are called, pinched moccasins, which is how the toe part is made.

        We have a good amount of rules we need to follow, but I can easily share some literature with you to help you understand us as a People better.

        For instance, our bead work is not geometrical like the plains Indians. Ours is always more rounded full of flowers and fruits of our area. Please don’t be overwhelmed because we make mistakes too. For example, our ceremonial flag for our Pow-Wows that represent us as a village have a group of purple grapes beaded on it. My Aunties helped bead it many, many years ago, and as an older child I was able to watch them bead it on the kitchen table. One of us pointed out we don’t have purple grapes, and we’ve laughed about it ever since. Every time I’m at a Pow-Wow, I always smile when I see our purple grapes. It’s only one bundle, but still, it’s not really of our People. So please don’t feel overwhelmed, I have faith that if you read about us, ideas will be flowing from you.

        Please know that when I do send you pictures of my sisters I will be laying tobacco down and saying a prayer for all of you. If this bothers you, please know I will refrain from mentioning your name. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or bring any ill will towards anyone, especially our artist.

        I don’t want a picture full of lots going on and every space filled. I just want a portrait of them and their animal and maybe some detail of what tribe we come from and what means a great deal to each one. This could be easily incorporated in their jewelry, hair and so much more. It’s all in the small things that we appreciate. Okay, hope some of this helps and I haven’t got you running to the hills just yet. Plus, I’m thinking of having one of my auntie and uncle sitting together on a rock. Our parents have crossed over and those two have brought me in and taken really good care of me as an adult. I’d like to give them something special in return.

        I think you’d become a millionaire if you did our whole family individually. There are so many of us. For now though I’d really like the two of my sisters and then my auntie and uncle and then down the road one of me.

        Okay, this evening I will look for pictures and before that read your portrait tab.

        Hope you have a fantastic day,


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