Pajama Walrus – Pencil to Paint


The Pajama Walrus always feels sad. Even though he’s always in his jammies, no one ever invites him for a sleep-over.

Believe it or not!

Today’s postcard is done on a Hahnemühle rough watercolor postcard.

This is another animal that I draw freehand without worrying about my grid cards. A lot of the work in the drawing stage involves planning. What do I want to do with the drawing? Is it going to be an Alebrijes or other fantasy-type creation or a realistic drawing. What kind of line-work and colors will I want?

If I’m doing an Alebrijes, I want to exaggerate more. I’ll make some features a little smaller or a little larger. Here I made the head and the eye a bit smaller to emphasize the bulk of the body. I also started thinking about the patterns I wanted.

The line-work and colors question is important because when I do my pen-work, I need to know how much of it I want to show. With alebrijes, I tend to go heavier with the lines, especially the shading. With natural looking animals, I want the ink lines to show, but not be dominant.

Having said that, I decided to stay with medium lines for my Alebrije walrus.  Part of their charm is that they are sort of a big blubbery thing without much separation so I wanted to keep that.

I also decided that the reflection was going to be important, but that it would rely mostly on color.

Zebra Zensations Technical pens are my favorite because they give a consistent line, don’t dry out too fast (though I don’t keep the cap off for long) and they hold up even to rough surfaced paper. I used .03 tip this time because I was going for medium line-width.

Photo Reference Courtesy of Skeeze on Pixabay.

I’ve been playing a lot with watercolor brush pens and pencils, but I do have a preference for good old watercolor pigments. I find myself grabbing
the Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing set most often because the wide range of colors is good whether I’m painting an alebrijes or realistic animal.

The colors used were Phthalo Blue GS, Cerulean Blue Chromium, Hansa yellow Med, Phthalo Green BS, Perm Alizarin Crimson, and Quin Gold. The oranges were created by mixing Alizarin Crimson with the Hansa Yellow Medium and Quin Gold.

I used a Princeton Long round size 6, because I can get long sweeps of color with the side of the brush, and yet paint very small detail with the tip.

To finish, I used a Uniball Signo Broad White gel pen to emphasize the whiskers, add a few highlights and a gleam to the sand. I used a scribbly line for this to add a little texture to the sand. In places, I smeared the white pen as soon as I scribbled so that the gleam would be more subtle.

You can buy Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcards at these places:

You can buy Zebra Zensation Technical Pens here.

You can buy the Princeton Velvetouch mixed media brushes 6 long round here.

You can buy a Uniball Signo Broad White gel pen here.

You can buy Daniel Smith watercolor half-pans here. Pigments can also be bought separately in tubes.

Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing Half Pan set

5 comments

  1. your pajama walrus is cute as can be! thanks for sharing how you make decisions about pens and colors and lines, I almost feel like I could make one of these. one day. 🙂

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