Wolf-Girl

Here’s the painting I’m showing for the annual members’ show at my studio/gallery cooperative, Xchanges. I don’t want to part with it, so I’ve listed it as NFS (not for sale), but I’m offering to take orders for prints. It’s one of the book covers I did for Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, for a collection of her short stories with the theme of shapeshifting. This young lady is an Alaskan werewolf!

Note that if you hide the bottom half of her face, she’s all wolf, and if you hide the top part, she’s all girl! I made a lot of sketches for this piece, trying to get the handle on the transformation, and finally settled on this. It works. She’s mostly coloured pencil, with watercolour for the background overlaid with more coloured pencil.

"The Big Bad Wolf Was Framed!" — watercolour, coloured pencil on paper, approximately 7x10 inches

“The Big Bad Wolf Was Framed!” — watercolour, coloured pencil on paper, approximately 7×10 inches

Here are some of the concept sketches:

This is a sort of before-and-after; I was trying to get the idea of change across with the shimmery stuff. Didn't work. Looks like a girl and her dog.

This is a sort of before-and-after; I was trying to get the idea of change across with the shimmery stuff. Didn’t work. Looks like a girl and her dog.

Next I tried a girly-looking wolf. The long eyelashes, right? No? *sigh* This one didn't work either.

Next I tried a girly-looking wolf. The long eyelashes, right? No? *sigh* This one didn’t work either.

I tried one where she is half-and half; but no self-respecting shapeshifter would change from one side to the other! Besides, it looks weird. What? What's weird about a girl turning into a wolf? Happens all the time in stories.

I tried one where she is half-and half; but no self-respecting shapeshifter would change from one side to the other! Besides, it looks weird. What? What’s weird about a girl turning into a wolf? Happens all the time in stories.

Getting a bit closer; sort of like the Cheshire cat, her mouth is the last thing to go when she changes. Still... not quite.

Getting a bit closer; sort of like the Cheshire cat, her mouth is the last thing to go when she changes. Still… not quite.

Bingo. A better balance of girl and wolf.

Bingo. A better balance of girl and wolf.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at my illustration process!

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