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



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




leaping serval

that graceful African wildcat the serval, poised leaping over tall grass. I rather like how this one came out


dancing horse

another vector illustration created a few days ago, with its original sketch (really a crayon drawing I once did to entertain my kid when she was little and constantly enthralled with what I could put on paper when she demanded: draw a cat! draw me a horse! etc -and then she would add her own lines to the drawing, as you can see)

walrus portrait


fox vectors

Finally got myself a vector program and I have been recreating some of my sketches into vector artwork. Went through old sketchbooks and pulled up some cute foxes. It turns out they translate very well into this form of graphic art (at least, I think so). And although the work can be tedious, I found the skill came back to me quite easily (from one class I took about ten years ago!). I rather enjoy the focus of making beautiful curves that communicate the shape I want, with the least number of anchors (I draw the curves by hand, no auto-plotting).

Anyways, here's some results. Original fox sketches, followed by the vector art they became:

kangaroos 2

there was a day back in 2010 when I sketched a lot of kangaroos from a tv program
here's a bunch of drawings I never posted then
this one I think the face looked real goofy


hippo 3

wide open mouth showing those large tusks



a kind of lizard from New Zealand
seen on tv


sea lion

sketched in motion, off tv


walrus mother

mama walrus with her awkward little calf
sketched off tv program


fierce beetles

antlered beetles sparring sketched from a photograph


starving dog

okay, maybe it's depressing to draw a dog on the verge of starvation- I used to watch a lot of those animal-cop shows where they're continually rescuing abused and neglected animals- that's where this came from- but it is an excellent way to view the muscle and bone structure of the animal. I should have drawn a horse, there were always plenty of skinny horses on those shows, too...


fishes 4

some fish of unknown (to me) species I sketched at the Museum once
and a crustacean of some kind
these were all in display cases, stilled and unmoving. I think they were prehistoric but failed to make more detailed notes at the time.


giraffe 4

sketched at the Museum of Natural History


turtles 5

turtle sketched from life at the local nature center (much better than last time!)
and the skeleton of an ancient species sketched at the museum


huge rodent

Mara, which has a very straight horizontal line across its rear marking a white area


first time I ever drew one
from the Museum of Natural History
I couldn't see the feet- obscured because it was posed on a shelf above my eye level- so I missed studying that most interesting feature, their toes. This animal's closest living relative is the elephant!