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King of the Mustelidae - Process

Olivia Beaumont

 I'm excited to write about drawing as part of the painting process because I've worked hard all year in this area. I've been trying to combat my impatient nature about sketching. Think about it, do you want to cover a surface with a little tiny pencil point that you have to sharpen every minute or a nice wide brush?! But, no! You can't think like that unless you want your poor draftsmanship to show up later. How are you going to answer when your worst critic (self) asks, "Did you fudge that right there?" Maybe I just have issues with pencils because I have no problem painting with a one-hair brush for five hours. 

Ok, enough, let's see some pictures!

1. Thumbnail: This is the "seed"of the visual idea. Some artists (the good ones who took second year illustration) spend time on thumbnails. Then you have me. This took all of two seconds to draw.  It was more of a "write it down so you don't forget it" moment.

2. Gesture. The gesture is my favorite part because I get to scribble and draw movement. I don't have to commit yet and I don't have to sharpen the pencil much. Plus, look at those adorable Winnie-the-Pooh arms. 

3. Solidify the drawing but don't loose the gesture. However tempting to spend an hour on an eyeball, don't. See how there's weight to the arm and the  belly by using a thick line at the bottom and using the eraser to carve your scribbles into a thin line everywhere else. 

4. Allow the drawing to tell you what it needs. The weasel on the shoulder was planned, but I didn't know I needed the other two characters until I got this far. 

There are infinite ways to solve the negative space, but think gesture first. See how I used simple curved lines behind the Otter King to show what kind of movement and direction the drawing needed before I decided what to put there? 

5. Continue until you feel you've covered all the bases with a good balance of detail and gesture. Here's the final 11x14" drawing which took me around 8 hours including mustelidae research time.


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