A new direction with the blog!

Hello everyone! We’ve made it through all the animals in the book and why I chose to write poems about them, so I’ve decided to take the blog in a new direction. I drew each of the animals in the book myself, which was one of the most fun parts of writing the book. So I thought people might enjoy drawing these animals too! My next set of blog posts will be going through the various animals and giving a tutorial on how to draw each of them. I drew all of the animals with a digital drawing pad, but I’ll do the tutorials in such a way that you can use whatever your preferred drawing utensil is because the shapes and ideas are always the same no matter what media you use. In learning to draw these animals I learned a lot about what makes them unique, so I hope you’re as excited as I am for this next leg of the adventure!

Here’s how to use the how to draw portion of this blog:

  • Drawing the outlines:
    • When drawing the outlines, the pictures accompanying the instructions will be color coded to help you know what to do:
      • Blue lines indicate the new lines drawn this step.
      • Red lines indicate lines to be erased this step.
      • Black lines indicate pre-existing lines.
      • Yellow or orange lines are used to show measurements, and probably shouldn’t be drawn, unless you plan to erase them once you’re done with them.
      • Green lines are sometimes used to indicate measurements of angles, they probably shouldn’t be drawn unless you plan to erase them either.
    • When I say to “Connect” shapes or lines, this indicates that the line or curve drawn should be tangent to the shapes or lines they connect. (In other words it should sprout off the line/curve they’re connected to as if it is a continuation of the same line/curve.)
    • Don’t be afraid to re-draw the lines a few times till they look right.
  • Digital vs Hand drawn:
    • I drew these drawings using a digital drawing program, however most of the concepts can be applied to pencil drawing as well. There are only two things to look out for if you use a pencil:
      • DRAW LIGHTLY AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD ERASER! The primary advantages of digital drawing is the ability to completely erase lines easily, and for lefties like myself digital drawing eliminates the dreaded hand smudge. However these two issues with hand drawing can be lessened or even eliminated by not pressing down very hard on the pencil when drawing. Make sure your eraser doesn’t smudge, and be sure to brush off those pesky eraser shavings.
      • Coloring/shading may be different depending on what you use to color. For digital drawings it’s pretty simple, just follow the tutorial exactly. However there are so many ways to color on paper which all have different limitations and advantages, that it’s hard to account for them all. Oil pastels (sometimes called Craypas) behave similarly to digital painting because of how adding white effects shading and how they give you the option to blend or keep colors separate. However they are messy, and sometimes difficult to work with. So I’d recommend using whatever medium you’re most comfortable with, skipping to the last step, and using the picture as a reference image rather than sweating the details.
  • Measuring tip:
    • There are many points where we have to measure the proportions of a drawing. So that you can make your drawing whatever size you want, all measurements are indicated in “Units” (a length determined at the start of each drawing). There are two good ways I can think of to measure this.
      1. Pick a length on a ruler (real or digital), and do the math to find out how long 1/4th, 1/8th, and (occasionally) 1/16th or 1/3rd of that length is.
      2. Create what my Grandpa likes to call a story stick:
        • Physical: Cut a strip of paper off the edge of a sheet of paper. At one end of that strip on the straight side, mark the length that is 1 unit. Cut it off the rest of the strip. Look ahead in the instructions and mark off whatever fractions you need, you can do this easily by folding the paper in half for halves, folding it in half twice for fourths, three times for eighths, and so on. For thirds fold it into thirds. Unfold and use like a measuring stick.
        • Digital: Because you can zoom in and out on a digital drawing, a paper story stick is not very useful. What I like to do instead is draw a story stick on a second layer. If you are bad at doing fractions by eye, you can make a physical one and copy it onto the layer before you zoom, otherwise just do it by eye. Then when you need to use the ruler, either move or copy/cut and paste the ruler to whatever place and angle you need it (Just be careful not to resize it while you move, keep the size at 100%). This is the method I used.

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