If you are looking for my review of Alice Hendon’s Tangle All Around the World you can find it here.
- Inktober – Wild
- Doodlewash – Squirrel
This painting is what is known as a ‘line and wash’ because it is drawn in pen first and then painted with watercolor.
Before You Start
There is a series of commercials where a squirrel sits in the road, causing a car to swerve and crash. Afterwards, he slaps hands with another squirrel and it’s obvious they planned the crash. The moral being that squirrels are EVIL! Well, actually, the moral was supposed to be that you should buy something, but I don’t even remember what.
To me, the squirrel in the reference photo had an evil expression and I wanted to capture that feeling that he was hatching mischief. The background in the reference was blurred, so I decided to add more color to create something soft and contrasting to the evil squirrel.
(This scan is darkened so you can see the pencil lines. You should pencil lines in lightly)
I decided to keep the detail limited – I wanted the focus to be on the facial expression.
Not sure if you’re up to drawing this? Art Tutor has a great grid program that will help by applying a grid to your uploaded photo. You can also crop and adjust color and value.
Except for some texture added to the tree trunks, I just penned in the outlines and minimal detail. Even at that, I felt I’d added too much so I addressed that in the last step.
Monte Amiata Natural Sienna with a touch of Rose of Ultramarine were used for the squirrel. Wisteria, Rose of Ultramarine, Cascade Green and a touch of Monte Amiata were used for the background. If you don’t have these Daniel Smith colors, a Raw Sienna, red violet, red violet & white, and a blue-green would give similar results.
Notice that there is a roughly circular flow to the colors in the background and the most contrast is along the lower branch, leading you to the squirrel’s face. The sharpest detail is in that face.
As mentioned in the step above, I felt I’d penned in too much line detail, so now I grabbed a white signo pen and added highlights to the fur along the back and blended some of the ink into the yellow behind. I used it, smoothing out the gel ink with a finger, along the other two branches so the light would again lead the eye toward the face.
Did it all work?
Today is the 16th day of Inktober, where anyone who is interested is challenged to do an ink drawing every day! There are prompts: Jake Parker (founder of Inktober) has an official list, but many others have put out lists as well, including the usual set of prompts from Doodlewash.com.
The official Inktober Prompt List.
And the Doodlewash prompt list for the month.
Zebra Pen is joining the fun with a month-long challenge, giving you the chance to win $250 dollars worth of pen products! Just follow zebrapen_us and zebrapen_canada on Instagram, and when you post your Inktober drawing there, use the hashtags #zensationschallenge #Inktober2019 and #Inktober.