mouseover any illustration tagged "sketches" to see the original drawing






sable antelope

two versions
one a simplified graphic black-and-white:
the second with more color and pattern:




sea angel

Microscopic creature called the "sea angel", it's a pteropod. It flaps the little fins to swim and you can see through its sides to the interior organs



I don't usually draw vehicles but that makes this a challenge. Thought this old-fashioned farmer's pickup was pretty cool-looking.



I really want to get better at drawing plants. Somehow, though I love to just sit and look at them, they're not as much fun to draw.
Maybe because when I draw animals I'm always thinking of the body structure, how they move, the interesting variation of proportions, the living creature. A plant seems such a static thing in comparison. Drawing a plant is more about paying attention to leaf shape and pattern, how the foliage is arrranged and repeats itself. I'm not as good at that- drawing repeating texture on things like, a leopard's coat, used to always get dull and I would rarely finish it off.

So I need more patience and practice to draw plants. These aren't very good- but then I didn't spend much time on them. They're of my dracanea and avocado plants, respectively.



goose on a farm


snow leopard

This is another one where I particularly like the look of the artwork in different stages or pieces. The gray shades:
 The black outline and spots:
 Linework of all the shapes:



new vector illustration of an antelope with distinctive coloring (in the right light, the shoulder and thigh patches actually do look purple!)


dairy cow

Just finished this vector illustration



two sketches of a macaw parrot



baby tiger

A few days ago I sketched this little tiger cub from the Zooborns site here. I think he's a real cutie, even though the eyes are floating opposite ways and his face is not quite long enough. I'm always over-critical of my own drawings but didn't notice until I was a significant way into being finished that I'd committed a serious error here. I drew the hind legs as I saw them, distorted by the camera's single eye. One of my founding art instructors always said "you are smarter than a photograph!" and "draw what you know, not what you think you see" but I forgot, this time. Oops.

He's still a cute tiger, though.


rhino mom

sketched from a calendar photo



from that day when I drew sea turtles as infants, here are the sketches of adults:
close up of the head:



Haven't done any vector drawings lately, been busy w/other things. Nor sketching pen in hand. But I still have a backlog of sketchbooks unseen, so to keep this blog alive here's a seabird poise as it dives into the water.



I still think of this guy as the "blue kitty" because the original one was drawn with colored markers.




here's the chicken image I've been working on for the past three days (stalled by computer problems for one day, and toddler interruptions the rest of the time!)



sketched off the same program that showed me kangaroos



I created two different versions of this bison, first sketched at a very small scale with a sharpie for the outline and a felt-tip pen for the shading
One version recreated the effect of the original pen hatching-
The second version I used gradients for shading; it's my favorite.


tiger tiger

My latest vector illustration is this tiger.
I was telling someone how the vectors are done, so thought it might be interesting to show a bit of the construction process here. The vector program plots lines; basically you use the mouse (I'd rather use a stylus but don't have one yet) to put anchor points anywhere a line changes direction, then you can pull handles off the points to create or alter curves. The thickness and color of the lines, fill color and gradients can all be manipulated however you like; then there's creating and stacking shapes to make the picture. It's kind of a puzzle figuring out how to put it all together to make the final visual effect you want, and I rather enjoy it.

Well, the first step after placing my original drawing as a template (background)
is to draw the basic outline shape:
Next I create the black stripes and markings above it. The white shapes here are all drawn separately, then "cut out" from the more general black outline so this is all one path with holes in it, so to speak.
Then I add colors; the base orange color was the fill of the first outline shape, the whites and pinks were added on top of that. (Except for the nose, which had to sit above the black). The colors lie beneath the black lines, to make the final tiger.
I think this last, colors-only shape is the most fun to look at, next to the finished piece.


kangaroo joey

Young kangaroo joey, and with its mother



from this old drawing done to amuse a child
made vector artwork of a pig