Kodiak skull drawn in pencil during my "Drawing Skulls" class
For five weeks I was privileged to be one of four students allowed into the Zoology Collection Department of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for a class on drawing skulls. We each chose a skull to be our project. The choices were: seal, lion, giraffe, babirusa and Kodiak bear. I chose the bear. An artist who has worked at the museum for 12 years guided us through some of the techniques of rendering once we had gotten the figure on paper in proper proportions.
It had been a number of years since I had worked in gray scale and I had never worked in such fine detail. It took the entire 10 hours of class time to produce the skull above. Personally it is more detailed and time-consuming than I like to be. Usually my art is more process-oriented than product producing. It is--like journaling for me--a time-out, a release of external pressures of world tensions to become absorbed in something interior for a while. That said, I am really proud of my skull and am not sorry I took the class. One true thing about art is that before one can capture something tangible on paper, one must truely "see" it, study it and know it. I feel I now "know" this skull.