As I mentioned in the poem, voles are often confused with mice. Where I live they are both common pests, however there are a few key differences. Voles are rounder and fatter than mice, because mice like to squeeze through tight spaces while voles only dig shallow burrows and do not tend to need to squeeze places to get food. Voles also have shorter tails, as well as smaller eyes and ears than mice. There are also a few behavioral differences as well; voles are often found in gardens and never indoors, while mice seem to only be seen when they get into your house. I like to describe voles as a furry potato with legs, (which if you’re going abstract might give you all the information you need to draw one) but here’s how I drew it for the book.
Draw a circle, and make sure you know the diameter of this circle, as we will use it to determine the proportions of the rest of the drawing. We will call the length of the diameter 1 unit. (If you are drawing this on a background, the whole vole will only be a little bit taller than this circle, and a little more than twice as wide)
Draw a circle that has a diameter of 3/4ths of a unit, with the center at the left edge of the first circle.
Draw a circle with a diameter of 7/16ths of a unit on the lower left side of the left circle, making sure the bottom of the two circles line up.
Connect the three circles on top.
Directly below the largest circle: Draw a pair of curves, that start about 1/8th of a unit apart 1/4th of a unit below the circle. Connect them up to the circle in opposite directions, the one on the left should have to curve much more sharply.
At around a 45 degree angle, Draw another curve that connects back to the rear circle that is 1/4th of a unit in length. Draw another curve about 1/16th of a unit above that, connecting up to the rear circle. At the end of that curve, draw a straight line that is just slightly closer to horizontal than the end of the curve that is 1/16th long.
These curves make the rear legs.
Between the loose ends on the legs, draw a squiggle that goes out 4 times (to make 4 toes).
On the face (smallest circle) draw a line connecting to where that circle crosses the middle circle at the bottom, and a second line that connects to the connection between those circles on the top. Extend them till they are about to cross, then connect them with a curve.
Connect the rear circle to the front circle. Where that line crosses the chin, draw a 1/8th diameter half circle.
Use a curve to connect the middle circle with a point approximately halfway up the half circle (if you don’t do exactly halfway, make sure that you err on the side of closer to the tip of the curve rather than closer to the chin).
Slightly above the middle of the middle circle, draw a half circle with a 1/4th unit diameter that points up and slightly back.
Erase the interior parts of the rear circle, and the part of the leg that is behind the body.
At the center of the part of the edge of the larger circle that is inside the smaller circle, draw a tiny circle no more than 1/16th of a unit in diameter. This is the eye.
Erase the interior parts of the two large circles, and the lines inside the front arm.
Connected to the tip of the nose, draw a comma. This makes the nostril.
Draw a pair of soft parallel curves perpendicular to the rump that are 3/4ths of a unit long and 1/8th of a unit apart. Connect these curves to the rump with a sharper curve at the close end. The outer end will be closed with a shallow zig-zag between the loose ends to approximate a furry end.
Now to color: The majority of the creature should be tan, while the nose, paws, and center of the ear should be pink. Make sure to leave just a smidge of tan along the edge of the ear. The eye should be very dark grey.
Add shading. Make sure to reverse shading on the ear so it looks curved away not towards.
So that’s how you draw a vole!
Even mundane animals like the vole are special in many ways. That’s why I decided to add these creatures to the book. The vole page might not be the flashiest of pages, but it still brings it’s own joy and wonder to the book!