Henry Moore- Sheep Drawings

In her report from assignment 2, my tutor has suggested that I look at Henry More’s sheep sketches

I can really see why she suggested this.

I am currently getting too bogged down with heavy laboured outlines and also getting overly tight with detail.  These sheep sketches are wonderful- they are fluid and expressive, whilst capturing the very essence of the sheep.  I notice how there are few actual outlines-Moore – rarely started his sketches by outlining his sheep, but started shading straight away.  He relied on varying the tone to capture light and shadow, form (the round solidity of a sheep) and shape (insinuating the shape of the nail’s body beneath the fleece).  Texture is captured also- the curly fleece, the hard short hair on their heads…. I really like the way that the lines vary in direction and pressure.

henry  Moore sheep 1972 2 henry  Moore sheep 1972_0 henry  Moore sheep 1972

in 1972 Henry Morre’s studio looked out over fields from where he drew these sheep- that would come right up to his window.  As a sculpture he was interested in form and texture and in spite of using just biro and felt tip the sketches are animated, interesting and individual.  He would make a loud noise to capture the sheep’s attention while he caught their captivated gaze..   Zig-zags and rushed ball point pen lines dominate the drawings, thicker and more panicked scratches where there is less light and softer yet vigorous marks on the brighter parts of the scene.

He captures the sheep’s energy and sudden vigorous movement as well as their repose and calm thoughtfulness. (Do sheep think?)

In making each sketch so individual and tender he captures his audience.  It is more than just a picture of a sheep- it communicates mood , atmosphere and the character of the animals.

I want to be inspired by these lovely drawings to let go of my fear of getting it wrong and allow spontaneity, energy and fluidity into my drawings.  Concentrating on tone and texture rather than line!


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