Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Brockball Bruin

Last Friday (New Year's Day) I started a monthly community draw-along event called #DrawTheExtinct where I posted an image from an old block print I made with a few animal photo inspiration prompts with the idea to create an imaginary extinct animal. I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on Monday we shared our finished pieces. 

Here is my finished Brockball Bruin. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

We started with the prompts of my original linocut print from a piece titled 'Extinct' as well as a brown bear cub, a badger, and a pangolin. I named the creature 'The Brockball Bruin'. I told the viewers that they could use any combination of the inspiration prompts––they could make their version as cute and cuddly as a pocket pet stray kitten, as monstrous and deadly as a giant kaiju destroying cities, or anything in between. I also wanted this to be an excuse to get their pencils moving. I invited all skill levels, because I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to be good at something or pursuing mastery of it to just simply enjoy the act of it...and art is no exception.

On the Friday stream I drew out my pencil sketch on a sheet of regular copy paper with a mechanical pencil and a HB lead. I tried to get some of that rolly-polly feel of a Pangolin, but without really using the armor so it still had the badger and bear fur, but in tufts that echoed scales. 

Once the pencils were done, I scanned the drawing as a back-up. I also tinted the drawing red, and I enlarged it a bit bigger when I printed it out to help on the next step.

Still on the Friday stream I inked the beast. I taped the above printout of my pencil drawing and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 bristol. On my Huion lightpad, I was able to ink the piece on the bristol while still able to see the printout below to use as a guide. There were some dark areas I didn't know how I was going to ink from the pencils––to fill them in, do hatching, some texture, or leave them open for a dark color tone...the eye mask area is where this came into play the most. I ended up just inking it fairly dark only leaving some thin open areas for color and texture.

After the stream ended I scanned the inks and started prepping the piece for final colors over the weekend. I have a stock parchment that I'll use for this series' background. So, it was just about adding flat colors to the Brockball Bruin before starting the final rendering. I originally thought I'd use this warm brown/cream palate for the fur and underbelly and slightly desaturated and muted colors for the paw-pads and nose. When I got to rendering it I switched to cooler fur and warmer skin.

Below you can again see the final rendered colors with a border and type applied.

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord (some are works-in-progress I've been told). I awarded a prize and we voted together on a few more (prize winners marked with *) on Monday's Twitch stream and we all enjoyed seeing what each other had done. I hope we get even more participants next month (first Friday!)



Bunce *


The Illustrator


Au Tiger *





Sarah Crumb

Nate Pride


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