The making of…

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Final drawing: “The Girl and Her Guardian.” 36″ x 24″. Pencil on paper.


In this pic it’s difficult to see all of the fine detail within this drawing so I’ll have to post a close-up later.
This is one of my favorite drawings because the concept came from my daughter. She wanted a drawing of herself with her favorite animal: a panther.


Prints: unfortunately, no prints are available for this piece.


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The protector. 😾
Only the tail left to finish… ✏️.

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Getting close to finishing this piece! Still pulling out all the smallest details within the panther’s hair, and then will go back through the entire drawing one last time to add the finishing touches.

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Building up more and more layers of shading to really give the panther’s hair a sense of depth, texture and shine. Watch out! This cat bites!

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I want to capture each hair on the panther, and there are two ways that I’m trying to do this:


1) build up layers of graphite to render the “dark” hair


2) use the eraser to remove graphite to capture the light/shiny hair.


Occasionally my eraser will remove too much graphite so I’ll go back in and add more shading to further carve out each hair.

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I’m gonna make this the fiercest cat you’ve ever seen! ✏️😼
If you have ever drawn any type of animal then you know how *fun* it is to draw the animal’s hair! 😐 Haha. Actually I’m looking forward to the challenge. To juxtapose my daughter’s soft skin with the texture of panther’s hair should make a pretty cool composition.

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Carving out those little toes! ✏️👣


Now you can see the compositional layout of this piece. I want my daughter to be strong, confident, and fearless and her body posture and facial expression reflect this attitude. After all wouldn’t you be all of those qualities too if you had a fierce black panther guarding you?! Haha 😸

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Hands are always challenging – particularly the fingernails because there are rarely “hard” lines that make up the nail itself. Instead, very light layers of shading make up the majority of the nail with a slightly darker line/shade you separate the nail from the skin.

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One of the best parts about getting back into drawing again is seeing my daughter also get excited about art. Every day she brings home new drawings to show me, and it’s awesome to see all of her practice resulting in clear improvements each day.


I drew a picture of my wife, and I noticed that my daughter was taking a particular interest in that piece. I could tell she really wanted a drawing of/for herself but was too shy to ask.


I asked her directly if she’d like me to draw a picture of her, and her reaction was priceless! She was excited!
But I’d only draw the picture if she came up with the concept.


Interestingly, she already knew what she wanted: a picture of her with a Panther.


That’s all I needed to hear!


So, the lesson is: when your daughter wants a drawing, you drop everything and create something special just for her! 🙂

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