I've had a lot of distractions lately and have not had time to participate in my first passion, rug hooking. Well yesterday I dug out some photos I took last fall while in Virginia. My husband and I took a long weekend and went exploring some of the historic sites there. We took in The D-Day memorial in Bedford, Appomatox Courthouse, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and James Monroe's Ashlawn Highland. We really had a great time. Of course all the while I was on the lookout for animals that are willing to be put into a hooking. James Monroe came through for me. They have Romney sheep at Ashlawn Highland! I took more sheep pictures than anything else. It usually takes about 50 pictures to get one or two that I can work from. Just when you think you've got a good pose, and your ready to snap the picture, the animal flings his head away from you and all you're left with is a blur. So yesterday after sorting through my pictures I found one I could work from. I cropped it, played with it a bit in photoshop to enhance the values and set to work drawing up my pattern and digging around for some wools I could use.
The eye of the animal is where I always start as it is the focal point of the piece. Next, I'll move to the nose and then I'll place in highlights and shadows and then fill in with the middle values. This method always works the best for me.