Doodling Shapes and Colors

I played around with shapes and colors just to keep the art journal going. I had a spectacularly shi**y day at work and wasn’t feeling super inspired.


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Foxy Drawing from Reference Photo

I decided to attempt drawing from a reference photo since I took such an easy out for my first art journal entry.

Reference Photo

fox reference photo
Source Image

The Sketch

preliminary sketch
I started by sketching the general layout and shapes. I should have measured the width and height of original image so that my drawing started with the correct proportions. Since I missed this crucial step, my drawing ended up taller than it should have been. This caused my fox head to be longer than the fox head in the reference photo.

Watercolor Base

water color base
I then tried to color the fox using my Zig Clean Clear Real Brush markers. I struggled a bit with getting the detail I wanted. I also realized a little too late that I had the color way too orange. I started to get frustrated and had to put everything down and take a break.

When I returned, the watercolor had dried so I thought I’d try a different tactic. I grabbed my cheap ass Rose Art colored pencils and went back to work.

Colored Pencil Details

color pencil details
This is what I ended up with. As mentioned previously, the proportion of the head is a bit off. I also struggled with the shape and coloring of the eye. I forgot the light reflection on the eyeball until it was too late to include which I think makes it look a bit flat. Overall though, I think I did a pretty good job for my first attempt drawing from a reference photo. I already have some ideas on how I can improve and hope to try the grid method for my next attempt.

Final Comparison

Here are the 2 images side by side so you can easily compare.
fox reference photo colored pencil detail


What were your beginner struggles? I’d love to hear your tips on improving proportion, creating realistic eyes, and getting better detail and definition using watercolor!

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A Bit of Artist in Me?

My Dad, The Artist

Among all the things my father did well, he was an accomplished artist. He employed a variety of mediums including charcoal, pastels, and oil. My favorites were the simple sketches he made for me.

“Dad, draw me a dog.”
He drew me a dog.

“Dad, draw me a horse.”
He drew me a horse.

“Dad, pleeeaaassse draw me the Alamo on this poster board for my 6th grade Texas History assignment. I forgot it was due tomorrow!”
He drew me the Alamo and we received an A on the assignment 🙂

Now that I’m older, I regret not asking him to TEACH me how to draw a dog, a horse, and the Alamo. I could have learned so much, not only about art and drawing, but also about the artist in my dad.

The Artist in Me

Last weekend I purchased my first art journal. It arrived on Wednesday and sat on my desk, daring me to grace it’s 100 blank pages with art of my own. I will admit it’s daunting. I’ve never really attempted to draw, much less paint anything in my 45 years of life.

artist tools

Today I sat down with my new journal. I painted color swatches for the 24 Zig Clean Color markers I received from my Secret Santa. I’d opened the package, but hadn’t had the courage to use them yet. I wanted my first journal entry to be a positive experience. Drawing has never been easy for me, but I figured filling in rectangles with color would be a good, easy starter project.

artist color swatches

I must admit that I am pleasantly surprised with the results, despite my trepidation and fear of failure. Maybe my dad DID pass on a few creative genes!

artist color swatches

I hope over time I can find and develop a little bit of artist in me…

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