Sketchbook Roundup 6: The Rest of the Gang

I’m coming to the end of the hand-drawn sketchbook creatures I want to share as part of this series; tomorrow I’m going to end the series with some digital drawings I’ve been doing.

I’ve been a little stalled on my animal sketchbook lately; like many others, I’ve been in a kind of timeless bubble during this quarantine. I have been drawing cats, though, in the form of my webcomic, The Quadra Cats; this time-out without conventions or deadlines has given me the undistracted time to do some experimentation (including learning a new drawing app) and get a long-delayed story arc under way. Other than that, I have to agree with a meme I saw on Facebook today which asked “anyone who saw my motivation wandering around” to please send it home.

Enough. Here’s some art!

Yak, yak, yak — I had no idea what cool animals these were until I drew this one. I actually wanted to do a picture of one wearing a colourful Tibetan saddle, but couldn’t resist the action in this one’s pose. Ink and coloured pencil.
A Northern Flicker, one of our local woodpeckers. One thing I really like about using watercolour pencils in the sketchbook is that the sketchbook paper doesn’t really take watercolour paint well; it just soaks in and gets blotchy without spreading. The watercolour pencils enable me to spread out the “paint” first, then get it wet so that there’s better coverage. Plus they retain some of the drawing textures as well, if the water is lightly applied.
Ink and watercolour pencil.
These crazy expressions are just part of the range of the Pallas’ Cat. I have got to make one a character in a comic sometime, they are just made for it. For some reason, this page generated a sudden spike in likes on my Instagram, over double my top post before or since. I have no idea why this is; perhaps there is a secret society of Pallas’ Cat lovers out there somewhere?
Coloured pencil.
Closeup from a page of Javelinas that I did (another below). I have a friend whose yard in the southwest US is regularly visited by these guys, and I fell in love with them the first time I saw her photos and wanted to draw them (this is not from one of her photos, however).
Ink and watercolour.
This is a pretty tiny drawing, not much bigger than those sketch cards I posted yesterday. The babies are so adorable, I wanted to do bunches of them, but ran out of space on the page.
Ink and watercolour.
OK, bear with me now. I was practicing drawing black bears for a couple of different illustration projects, so I did a page of them, too. Here’s a detail.
Ink and watercolour.
Here’s the whole page, done over several days. I really like doing these kind of mish-mash pages; there’s a freedom in not having to make a finished composition, just cramming in as many little drawings as I can on one page.
Ink, watercolour, gouache, and coloured pencil.
The commission I was working on involved bear cubs in a tree, so I found as many pictures of cubs in trees as I could to practice drawing them in different positions. By the time I got to laying out the painting, I understood how they balanced and held on to seemingly impossible looking perches.
Ink over pencil sketch
And oh my, one more, why not? This was done from a photo of the replica mammoth the Royal BC Museum, Woolly. I’ve seen this guy many times (the diorama is stunning) but never twigged that it wasn’t a real stuffed mammoth — like unfrozen from the tundra or something and taxidermy-ized. Turns out there was quite a process in making it; you can read about it here.
Watercolour and a bit of ink.

That’s it for my Sketchbook Roundup series; I’ll be back tomorrow with one final animal-art post, focussing on my favourite new drawing app, Procreate!

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