Goat Perspectives Are Important

Work continues on my new goat book. At the moment most of it is on the illustrations. For these I need some goat perspectives.

There may be artists who can draw from memory. I’m not one of them. I’m not really an artist or even an illustrator. I need references.

My references of choice are photographs. These have several advantages chief among them is their permanence. The goats don’t move.

Nubian goat perspectives
Goat heads really show differences between the breeds. No goat owner should mistake the Roman nose and pendulous ears of a Nubian for an Alpine’s sharp upright ears and straight to dished face or a LaMancha’s tiny ears and straight face.

Over the many years I’ve raised goats, I’ve taken lots of photographs. They tend to be much the same views of the goats: left or right side, broadside. This would not only be monotonous, but not suitable for all of the stories, tongue twisters and other goat texts in the book.

Out comes the camera. Off I go stalking goats. And goats, my goats anyway, are notoriously camera shy.

I need pictures of goats in motion. They make sure to go too fast and blur the picture.

goat walking changes goat perspectives
I’m not sure how typical my Nubian buck Augustus’ walking stance is right now. He spends much of his time pacing the fence calling to does in heat. He is a fast walker. Notice how far back his ears are. Details are so important.

I need pictures of goats looking at me. They look the other way. Or they make some face like sticking their tongues out or exaggeratedly chewing their cud.

I need pictures from the front. They face the other way.

The last ploy is to disappear up into the hills and not come down until sunset. Cameras do need light to take pictures. And shadows are immense close to sunset. And colors are yellowed near sunset.

Yes, most of the illustrations will be Nubians. I raise Nubians and am most familiar with them.

standing Nubian buck
Does seem much better proportioned than mature bucks. My Nubian buck Augustus seems to have a head too small for his body. The torso is more squared off than the body of a doe. Such details are important in my sketches as some are of bucks and some of does.

While working on “Goat Games,” I took pictures, many more than I used in the book, of other breeds. And I did have Alpines in my herd for many years.

Once I have pictures of different goat perspectives, I can do the sketches. These outlines are in pencil and act as guides for the ink and watercolor. The outlines can be tweaked. That is where erasers come in handy.

My lack of experience shows when I add ink and watercolor. That is what computers are for: fixing my mistakes. Erase those ink blots!