Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Pointed Hedgecock

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the seventh community draw-along event #DrawTheExtinct where I posted an image from an old block print I made with a few animal photo inspiration prompts and 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 Pointed Hedgecock. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

We started with the prompts of my original 2000's era linocut print titled 'Extinct' as well as a Spitz (American Eskimo) dog, a Hedgehog, & a Rooster. I named the creature the Pointed Hedgecock (with the German word 'Spitz' referring to 'pointed'.)

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 started drawing with mechanical pencil on a sheet of copy paper to try and reimagine the beast. I used the shape overall body shape of the Spitz, but went for a mode hedgehog face and back spines and used the comb of the rooster for the ears while making the Spitz's normally curved poofy tail a long rooster tail feather plume. I scanned in my pencil drawing, made a few quick proportion corrections, and then blocked in the color idea of the rooster's feathers as a guide. This simple color I thought would help me see where I'd need to ink delineation notes in the next step.

After I was happy enough with my above design, I printed that piece out on copy paper and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. Using a lightpad, I was able to see through the surface of the bristol as I inked the Pointed Hedgecock. I used a Copic Multiliner 0.7 SP pen to ink the art. I was still streaming this portion on Twitch, though as my end of stream time was coming up, I was nervous I wouldn't finish in time. Turned out, I went a little over-time to get the inks completely finished before I said goodbye to everyone watching and offered encouragement as they worked on their pieces over the weekend. 

Off stream I did a few white out corrections to the inks and then scanned the artwork into Photoshop to prep it for final color. First thing was to drop it into the template I have for #DrawTheExtinct pieces with the border, background, and a base shadow already established. Then I started drawing in flat colors. This part of coloring (called flatting) is just a professional digital version of coloring-in-the-lines to establish the color areas.

My color choices were already established from my color blocking back in the layout/pencils stage which were based on the rooster photos I used for reference––but as is my way, most of my greens and blues are a bit muted and warmer than real-life.

Below you can again see the final rendered colors with a border and type applied I also moved the eye a little bit closer to the nose in this final version. 

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. 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!)


Brittney McInnis (WIP)

Cortrah (WIP)

Dark (WIP)


Evil Cartoonist*

iidamariaart (WIP)


Nathan Pride






Sleepless Ninja




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