I was in Edinburgh yesterday for an animation event, so I spent some time drawing in the museum on Chambers Street. I sketched a sperm whale skull and a haughty-looking llama as well as some of the visitors. The sketches are pen on paper, but the tone was added digitally.01b

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While my sister and brother-in-law were visiting, a neighbour told us where we could watch badgers. I’d always been under the impression they only ventured out at the dead of night, but he assured us that from around 7pm was a good time to see them. After one false start (we misunderstood his instructions and ended up in the wrong wood) and a wait of about half an hour my sister and I saw a family of four badgers running about, scratching, and playing. I didn’t take my sketchbook – next time I will – but I took my camera, and though my pictures weren’t great the footage I filmed worked pretty well. The sketches below are studies from the videos I recorded.

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I’m currently boarding a short idea featuring a pigeon, so I thought I’d put in some bird gesture practice! These are a mix of 30- and 60-second drawings. I want to practice wings more, and really get to grips with how they work.

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This is a little ink illustration I drew for a friend’s birthday card. I coloured it in Photoshop, but I think I prefer it in black and white.

 

I’ve been referencing horses for a project, so I’ve spent some time drawing them in order to figure out how they work. Using Line of Action I did some quick gestures, and then I searched for various images through Google to sketch in more detail.

The hooves are particularly hard to draw, especially when they’re hidden in long grass as was the case in most of the photographs …Horse_05Horse_04Horse_01Horse_02Horse_03

For the last week I’ve been in Glasgow as part of the Animation Base Camp. I’m here as a Story Artist. This week has been inspiring, challenging, and full of fun. Unfortunately I can’t really show what I’ve been working on yet, so here are a couple of designs I did for a project back in April!

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For my grandfather’s birthday, I made him a tie. The actual sewing of it was fairly simple (no complicated seams or sleeves or buttonholes!) but I had a little trouble getting my head around the repeating pattern. There were a few false starts before I got it right.

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Here’s the original pattern. All the little caricatures are based on pets my grandfather has owned. The ginger cat, Biscuit, originally smiled like the rest, but my mum thought it was uncharacteristic of him.

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And here’s the finished tie! The print and colour reproduction was actually excellent – my photographs don’t show it very well. I had the fabric printed with Bags of Love and used an excellent free tutorial and pattern from Sweet Shop Sewing.

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I spent part of yesterday afternoon sketching at the museum with a friend. I think having another person there helped me to draw much more than I do normally, alone! The animals all had great personalities and it was fun trying to bring them to life. These are all from the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

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This is my dog, Elsa. Elsa from Frozen, yes, but we didn’t name her! In reality she is more like Anna – feisty, determined and a bit nuts.
Elsa02 Elsa03 Elsa04 At first she was asleep, but then she realised I was drawing her. This is her eye upside-down – she was lying like she is in the drawing above.Elsa05 The next stage was play!Elsa07Elsa06 Eventually she moved around too much and my drawings became very quick gestures …Elsa08

Here are some 30-second animal sketches! I’m drawing a lot more very short poses and it’s fun. Plus it helps with the longer poses.Menagerie Here are some slightly longer 2-minute poses.Bird Cat Wolf

Deer

I cleaned up and inbetweened the deer over the last couple of weeks. At first the movement appeared very even, so I removed some of the inbetweens and rejigged some of the remaining drawings to get back to the feeling I wanted. Once I was happy, I coloured it, added a little more to the background, and had fun with sound effects from freeSFX.co.uk to create some atmosphere!

You can also view the first line test and the line test with breakdowns.

Bristol Museum

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I visited Bristol Museum today and sketched some of the creatures there. This tiger was shot by George V in 1911, which is some sort of distinction I suppose. It was in an amazing crouched position and at first glance appeared to be ferocious. The longer I looked at it, however, the more it looked terrified. I don’t think I’ve really captured its expression so I think I shall have to go back and draw it again.

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I’d never heard of a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, but I feel I should have. It’s so cute!Hyena copy

This hyena eyed me with a hungry expression while I drew it, and seemed to raise one side of its mouth in a “I may look somewhat friendly, but I WILL BITE YOU” way. He reminded me very much of Elsa (my Border Collie).Parrot copyThis Ground Parrot jumped out at me because he seemed so friendly. “Hey! How are you? Let’s be friends. Want to come by for some seeds?”

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