Sketchbook Roundup 3: They Come in All Sizes

This is Day Three of my Earth Week special series, of animals I’ve drawn in the past year in my sketchbook (and occasionally on random pieces of paper). Today’s post is a collection of creatures from very small to very large (though not the smallest or the largest), celebrating the diversity of forms of the animals on our planet.

The Clouded Leopard is an amazing acrobat! They live in the Himalayan foothills, southeast Asia, and southern China, and are very endangered. They are very secretive, and are one of the best climbers of all the cats. Coloured Pencil.
Strictly speaking, this Egret in breeding plumage is not in my sketchbook; it’s on black watercolour paper. I wanted to try painting light on dark, because the bird shows up so dramatically against a dark background. It’s mostly in gouache (opaque watercolour) with the feathers being drawn in with a gel pen.
Some creatures look simple and turn out to be more complicated than one could imagine. Grasshoppers are intricate marvels, and although this one also had wonderfully coloured markings, I couldn’t bring myself to go any further with this drawing for fear of messing it up. Perhaps I’ll do it digitally sometime. Coloured Pencil.
Guinea Pigs are another one of those simple-at-first-glance types. In fact, I was tempted to just draw a tribble-like ball of fur when we had this prompt for Zooly, but I looked at a lot of photos and realized they have quite a lot of personality. Those cute little noses and adorable pink “hands” cured me of ever again thinking guinea pigs were boring! Ink and Watercolour Pencil.
Sometimes I draw something and just know that it could have been better. (OK, I admit it, a lot of times I feel that way. Maybe most times.) Sometimes I try again. Sometimes I pop them into a digital program or app and play with them some more, just to see what happens. That’s what I did with this one:
I liked the basic composition of these orcas, but thought the original (Ink and Coloured Pencil) was kind of ho-hum (well, it was just a sketch). So I played with it in Photoshop, then put that version through Prisma, an app I have on my phone. I did a whole bunch of versions which I won’t bore you with, but this was my favourite out of the bunch. It was fun, and the process gave me some ideas for things I might try in a future painted version.

That’s it for Day Three! See you tomorrow!

2 responses to “Sketchbook Roundup 3: They Come in All Sizes

  1. I think the whale sketch comparison is really interesting. I keep saying I want to learn more about digital art and keep putting it off. Maybe this was the inspiration I needed. Thanks for sharing your work.


    • Thanks, Elese, I’m glad to have given you some inspiration! There are all kinds of ways to do digital art — I’ve lately started using an app called Procreate on my iPad, which is so amazingly intuitive, and there are lots of good video tutorials online. I’ll be posting some of my drawings on that in a few days, so stay tuned. There are also some categories in my category cloud (way down the right-hand column on the blog), digital drawing and digital colouring, that you might find interesting; not a lot of tutorial-like stuff there, but if you click on them there’s a lot from my early days when I was just starting out with digital (oldest stuff at the bottom).


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