|| Drawing animals in an expressive style ||

Following my decision to make a book for children, I wanted the book to be related to animals of my choosing, such as sloths and emus. Below are pictures of images I’ve created by drawing out outlines then colouring in the lines using an expressive style.     This painting above is the base I used to create the image below. I painted the body of the sloth neatly using inks and detailing with the paintbrush, the red in the background (appears more pink here) was done quickly using ink and a large paintbrush and putting the paint down wildly without any planning ahead as to where I want the paint to go.   

Another animal I did was this emu above and below. I used different textures such as taking a dry paintbrush with a small amount of ink and stippling the paint on to create the texture on the body and face of the bird. Using only black ink and watering it down sometimes and other times using it without mixing anything with it. Below I experimented with masking tape to see how it oils look if this emu was maybe the villain of the story and was locked up behind bars. I got this idea because of the shadow being cast making the painting look like a mug shot photograph and played on that idea.

Taking inspiration from artists who work with multiple mediums in the same piece of art, I used the quick painting technique to throw down some paint in the shape of a sloth and use different materials to create texture and give the art depth. I used a material that had lots of little holes in it to make uniform small dots over the image in different areas; I also put paint on a piece of corrugated cardboard that I peeled the top layer off of, and used it as a stamp, stamping even red lines over the top of the body. I think the colours I have used are quite morbid in that they are dark and there is not much variation in colour. So the painting is not colourful and the red possibly gives the painting negative connotations, such as blood or death. Out of all the pieces I have displayed in this post, this is my least favourite, purely because it is not in a style that I would generally enjoy to look at; the messiness of the brush strokes and overall discombobulated vibe the image emits makes me strongly dislike it. However I do understand that a child may enjoy this image, if it were maybe more colourful. I think they would like this art because they would be able to relate to the art style, in that it looks like a small child was given the sloth outline below the paint and different materials and created this. I can see how this would maybe suit a children’s book with a story if it were completely done with this kind of child-like drawn style.

This final image below is definitely my favourite of all the pieces shown here. I drew this from reference of a picture of a real life sloth. I prefer this one over all the others because it is more to my personal preference art style. In my opinion, this is a cute drawing, but this could possibly be only because I think the animal in general is cute, for someone who does not think the same, would think this drawing is far from cute. However if it was maybe more child-like and included features we perceive to be cute, it would possibly appeal to a wider audience. I do, however, realise that this would probably not be the best style to do a children’s book in because I do not see it being quite appealing to children, because of the life-like quality to the drawing, the child would maybe not be as interested in the drawing as if it was more colourful and stranger, and generally more interesting to look at.

So what I learnt over this session was that the more wild and creative looking the art is, it is more probable that the child looking at it, finds it interesting and would keep looking at it. When something looks out of the ordinary, a child would be more drawn to it because they are more attracted to brighter colours.

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