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Eagle In Polychromos
STEP 1: I only sketch light outlines with a few light reference lines inside. I double-check to make sure I’m happy with the composition and proportions before continuing.
Ria Fouche

STEP 2: I like to start with the fine and most difficult details first, which in this case is the beak (‘maxilla’). I will use mainly white, cream, browns, soft greys and Earth Green. I follow the reference as closely as possible.

STEP 3: I then continue with the area above the beak (‘cere’) and the nostril (‘nare’). Using much the same colours as previously but adding yellow and oranges. As I work on the cere, I add more yellow and shadow to the maxilla to ensure it makes a unit. I also draw in the small fine feathers next to the mandible, again making sure my highlights are in place and looking realistic. The pastel mat allows for many layers, which makes it easier to add white on top.

STEP 4: Next is the eye. I prefer working on the eye in the early stages to bring the subject to life. Here I use white, browns, orange, pale pink and greys. As you will see in the iris, I do not use a black pencil at all. I rarely use a black pencil but prefer a mix of browns, blues and greens for the darkest parts.

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Issue 48