Shadow was a welcome return to graphite for me, after some time using pastels for more colourful artworks. As with anything you haven’t done for a while it took a little time to get back into the groove with my trusty pencils. My approach with pencil, pastel and coloured pencil is always to build layers gradually which allows me plenty of opportunities to adjust as I go, and as I worked on this horse and studied the image I was able to see more and more nuances in the tones.
Much like a musician will hear things in a piece of music that I am not attuned to, visual art has trained me to see more subtleties than many would notice. This skill comes with years of really looking, and allows me to accurately represent the musculature of, in this case a horse. As I learn the way the light falls and the hair grows it informs the true shapes and form. This is a big part of the adventure of drawing for me, it is like detective work, piecing together lots of different information points to create a whole.