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Western and cowboy artists usually have some western background. My western and cowboy pencil drawings stem from growing up on my grandfathers ranch in Wyoming. Ranching is an extremely difficult occupation, and it didn't take long for me to realize that it wasn't the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I have a tremendous respect for the real cowboys that choose that life style but I decided along time ago that I would rather draw pictures of cowboys than be one. I'm too soft to be a real cowboy!
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Some of these western drawings I call Cowboy Close-ups. This is where I zoom in and render just enough of the subject to tell the story. This extreme cropping allows me to draw the selected portion of the image much larger and include more details. Black and white images produced by artists always seem to remind everyone of the old west. The absence of color also forces the viewer concentrate on the light, shadow, and texture of the artwork. In my opinion this makes western subjects perfect for charcoal and pencil drawing. There are so many wonderful textures associated with cowboys and the west. Cracked leather chaps, old boots, and even an old ranchers hands can be used to illustrate the lifestyle of these modern day pioneers.
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