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.

Badgers

Today I attempted some gesture drawing from an episode of The Life of Birds. As I reached the end of Planet Earth II last year I realised I really should have had my sketchbook out. It’s good training for cafe gesture drawing, which I’m normally pretty hopeless at. As soon as people or animals are actually moving my drawing speed seems to slow down.

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I stuck my headphones in and ended up listening to the episode too, which was perhaps a mistake – I was definitely distracted at points. But it was fascinating learning more about the birds, particularly the New Zealand birds. I liked drawing the Kiwi but it was the flightless parrot, the Kakapo, which was my favourite. I especially like how the males inflate like a balloon in order to make their calls travel further.

After the episode had finished I looked up a few images online and did a slightly more detailed study of a Kakapo.

I had great fun but I think I need to work at drawing birds in flight, and practice colour more – I’ve been drawing in black and white so much I’m a bit rusty.

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If you haven’t seen my previous storyboards from the Animation Base Camp, you may want to start here or here.

The story revolves around odd-couple animals at a therapist’s office. The scene below, featuring a bee, was worked on by several different people throughout the Base Camp.

I’d recommend looking at Erin’s version – she’s the one who came up with the bee/flower gag in the first place, and developed the bee’s wonderfully pathetic character.

The background of the alleyway was a sketch of Hajnalka Szanto’s beautiful design.

Haven’t drawn much in the last few days, so I spent some of my morning doing timed sketches from artists.pixelovely.com – a great site for gesture practice. These were 30 second drawings.

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If you haven’t seen my previous storyboards from the Animation Base Camp, you may want to start here.

The story revolves around odd-couple animals at a therapist’s office. Throughout the camp I worked on several different versions of a scene involving a shark.

Here’s my first, rough, pass:

A cleaned up version with a different take:

The final version, from the animatic:

In the final version the shark became female, the length of the scene was condensed considerably, and a lot of the humour came from the audio rather than the visuals. (Imagine the shark’s line read in a strong Glaswegian accent.) Given the overall pacing of the story it was the right way to go, but I missed the fun I had drawing the therapist’s reactions.

During the Animation Base Camp we had opportunities to come up with additional gags which were, in some cases, added to the story. Here are some of my shark ones:

See another board from the Base Camp here!

Yesterday I had a wander around Glasgow’s West End with some friends from the course. While they had a look round the various exhibits at Kelvingrove I sat and drew some of the stuffed animals. Here are some of the best / least creepy sketches … I think the penguins and the leopard have the most character.Cheetah

Penguins

Monkey

Leopard

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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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

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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