I haven’t done a wildlife illustration in quite a while, so I thought I’d share this one I’m pretty happy with from earlier last month. This was a custom illustration of a screech owl and black bear for a friend. The medium is graphite on 11 x 14 Bristol board. This is a rather hastily taken mobile phone photograph, so it’s not the greatest quality, but it gets the idea across.
My pencil of choice for graphite illustration is actually just one of those plastic mechanical pencils. I like not having to stop and sharpen it, and it stays nice and pointy, which is particularly handy when drawing fur and feather details. I coat the drawing in a fixative spray, usually about half way through to prevent excessive smudging, and then at the end to prevent smudging and fix the graphite and protect it from fading.
Self-critically, the proportions are off a bit, particularly for the bear, and drawing that much fur is always a bit painstaking and sometimes I get lazy. For the owl, again, it was the details in the feathers and maybe it could be a bit more detailed, but I think that part of my style across the board is never to be hyper realistic, and maybe just a bit stylized. So, overall I am happy with the results, especially since it had been a long time since I had done a wildlife illustration. (I’ll put up a wildlife illustration page on the site soon, so you can see some older works still available as prints).