Hello all! For this In Depth Process, I am going to go over the tools and materials I used to create the piece, Cower from my Alternative Sketchbook series. For more information about what an Alternative Sketchbook is and how to prepare one, please check out my IDP for Paloma.
After I prepped the page for painting with gesso and masking tape, I sketched out everything with colored pencil. I cross referenced numerous pictures of foxes and similar animals like dogs, coyotes, and cats, to create a more anatomically correct facial expression and body positioning. I then used a different colored pencil to add some values and define my line work.
Next is the fun part: watercolor. Because I primed this page with gesso, watercolor won't absorb into it the same way it does with watercolor paper. Instead, it pools and has to evaporate the way a regular droplet of water would. This creates a really interesting texture that slightly mimics the technique I use for creating foliage in previous works. I suppose "bubbly" might be a good word to describe how it looks. Either way, I love the result!
Finally, I added some more graphic and defined leaf shapes in the bushes with another colored pencil. Also, I ended up making the fox larger than I originally had planned, so after removing the masking tape I added the part of the paw and neck that were previously cropped off.
That's it! Again, my other In Depth Process for Paloma explains what an Alternative Sketchbook is and how to start one. If you have any questions about tips and materials please feel free to comment or email me!
Sarah Bustillo is an illustrator from Los Angeles, CA. Her work delves into themes of femininity, death, and rebirth. She graduated from California State University Northridge in 2018 with a degree in Illustration and Anthropology.