Strokes of Genius | Yvonne Todd

The Raven, pen and ink, 14 x 11.

I was photographing from my car on a cold blustery day in Yellowstone National Park when a raven flew in front of me. I pulled into a parking area and it flew over to a telephone pole. It was very accommodating as it posed for more than 20 minutes, giving me a 360-degree view before it flew off. I started with a drawing of each pose on tracing paper and slid the different poses around until I liked the way they fit together. After transferring the drawing to my paper, I worked very slowly, beginning with the eyes and expanding from there, making each stroke count to keep the image fresh.

Featured in March 2012.