Alas at times the omnipresent sketchbook is nowhere to be found and one is forced to resort to unorthodox solutions and use the resources at hand. More specifically in this instance is a box from East Ramp Wood-Fired Pizza serving as a repository of inspiration. The magic moment happened while watching waterfowl at one of our favorite birding spots as well as a hotspot in our creative community (and the annual Wild Arts Walk/Quick Draw: see 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017... and keep an eye out for an upcoming post about the as-yet unuploaded recap about the 2023 event). A fellow artist (Dee Carpenter Originals) was also on the platform, along with a whole flock of professional & amateur photographers.
When it came time to work up the initial doodle my sketch revealed a common weakness: hands. So I called upon a custodian in the art department to double as an impromptu model. Which in turn made it painfully apparent it was an area of special attention and hence painstakingly overworked.
This particular panel was also one of the better demos done in front of a class as they got to see the entire process from start to finish, conception to completion, doodle to the printed page. And unlike many other professionals and professors I don't have the slightest problem showcasing my mistakes, as they are part of what makes the work unique. Indeed that is a defining attribute of life - the mistakes make it mine as much as the relative successes.