Brandon is a young adult reticulated giraffe at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. I photographed him while he thoughtfully munched on a branch. Watercolor, ink, and paint pen or hotpress cotton watercolor paper, 9″ x 12″.
I photographed this crow named Onyx at Dino Day at Sierra Colege. He lives at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue, where he has been blind since birth. Crows are wonderful every day, but this artwork is Halloween themed in color. I imaged Onyx as a seer who is also a bit of a trickster.
I began with a large Blick Premiere hot press watercolor block. I drew Onyx in pencil and then inked him with a Micron pen. I added lots of water to Intense blocks and create big paint washes in a spiral pattern. I added some purple washes of Inktense to show where the shadows fall on the bird’s body. I hit the brightest spots with white paint and let him dry.
Then I dove back in with my black Micron pen, hatching darkness and texture throughout. I paid particular attention to each individual feather below his neck. Finally, I built layers of pattern and texture throughout the background with my Posca paint pens.
Larry the Llama lives at Bravo Farms in Traver, CA. He will come to you if you have llama feed from the little coin-operated dispenser. He does not want you to pet him or even talk to him. In fact, he was even spitting at a couple of the kind souls who were feeding him. I love his llamatude anyway.
I began with Blick Premiere hot press watercolor block. I used plastic triangles glued and taped together to form an 8″ x 8″ square. I drew around the shape to create my image boundaries, using an 08 Micron pen, which is waterproof ink. Then, using my own photo reference of Larry, I drew in the main contour lines using a mechanical pencil.
After the pencil lines, I inked in the outlines using a Micron brush pen, which is also waterproof. I erased the pencil marks and Larry was ready to be painted!
Then it was time for the first wash on colored ink using Inktense blocks by Derwent. First, I made puddles of Inktense color in a teal, a bright green, and a yellow-green. I taped off the image boundaries with pink painter’s tape to keep the outside ink-free. Then I worked wet-on-dry onto the paper with my squirrel mop brush, starting with the lightest color and working toward the darkest. I let the very damp colors bleed into each other.