Wolves in the Snow

I made this piece as a gift for some friends’ wedding, but didn’t get a chance to properly scan it, so I figured I’d just show some photos and write about the process that went into making it.

wolves1

First I start with some very rough pencils based off a sketch and some reference forest landscapes. Then I tend to go through it in sections, tightening up the pencils and inking as I go (which is probably not the best habit, but it feels like I finished something if I’ve done some inking during a drawing session.)

process1

In the corner you can see some of the reference images I was drawing from. I try not to copy from them directly, mostly using them to get the anatomy and proportions right (ok, maybe a little copying, everybody does it!) ┬áNow it’s time to tighten up those wolves.

process2

Uh oh, looks like there’s a pig running with this wolf pack. There’s a lot of erasing and redrawing at this stage.

process3

That’s better! Just to let you know, I used brushes and sumi ink on watercolour paper. I’m still experimenting with different inks and papers to figure out what works the best, I had to go over most of it with ink twice to get a rich black. Almost done, but something’s still missing…

process4

Snow! I created the falling snow effect by spraying on white gouache with a toothbrush. I’ve been experimenting with this technique lately to create snow and star patterns (and… um… blood splatters.) It can create a neat effect, but it’s really messy, so be careful with it.

And that’s all there is to it, folks.

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