[Why Nuts?]

“I’ve got all I need. Me, a paper boat and lots of nuts. So there’s nothing to be afraid of.” 

The other day I was having daydreams in my huge beanbag. I thought it would be really funny if there’s a paper boat carrying loads of nuts and a happy, chubby and greedy squirrel. By the way I have a pet hamster myself and am always amazed by how greedy it is when it comes to storing food in its tiny mouth. Anyways, I’ve always liked squirrels but they are too fast to sit down and have a cup of tea with. Sad.

After having this image and idea I began my very first draft of this piece. Little did I know it was just the beginning of a long and discouraging process.

Here’s the first draft.

squirrel draft
Draft one of Squirrel, hazelnuts and paper boat.

Looking okay. But I wanted the paper boat to be a big bigger or it looked like the boat could overturn at any second. I know it’s a fictional squirrel but I’d still like to take its wellbeing into consideration. The tail should look fluffy and its face should look content, from having so many hazelnuts of course.

After finishing the draft I began to put ink onto it.

attempt 1
Attempt One

Attempt one, however, was a major bummer. I didn’t like the tail which was not fluffy. I didn’t like the hazelnuts which looked exactly like tiny coconuts. The paper boat looked okay but something was off about it. So after this piece I decided to do a texture test on hazelnuts.

Texture Test: Hazelnuts numbered from left to right.

I applied the same technique in the first attempt on No.1. The strokes make it look like a tiny coconut instead of a happy hazelnut. No.2 is my most satisfying version where you can see patterns and shades layered out nicely. No.3 looks like a tiny bold watermelon. Not sure what happened there. No.4 looks less like a coconut but still not much like a hazelnut. After this test, I thought why not draw some peanuts? Yes, so I tried.

Texture Test: Peanuts

Why not? Because drawing peanuts seems to be very difficult. Peanuts have such irregular shapes and shades. It’s hard for me to make it look realistic. Still I didn’t give up on peanuts. So I decided to put it in my next attempt.

attempt 2
Attempt Two

I was amazed by how unrealistic that peanut was hahaha. Upon finishing the peanut I determined this attempt was another failure. I was a bit discouraged by the nuts and almost lost my marbles dotting them. So I shifted my focus to a texture test on squirrel faces.

Texture Text: Squirrel faces. Numbered by the order I drew.

You can tell the first squirrel I drew was a bit too cartoon like. I thought it was because its fur was too dense. The other three looked much better after I made the strokes less dense and paid more attention to the direction that fur grows. After all these texture tests, I worked on my third draft.

last draft.jpg
Draft three of Squirrel, hazelnuts and paper boat.

Yes, I switched back to hazelnuts. Now everything is ready. Let’s begin to dot and draw! Here are some details of the finished piece.

For a look at the final drawing, please click here. Hope you like this piece!

24 thoughts on “[Why Nuts?]

    1. I always enjoy watching people doing their artworks. So I thought it’s interesting to document mine as well.

      Creating illustrations inspired by poems is also one of the things I want to do in the near future!


      1. You can do that. After you hit the button to re-blog, go back to your dashboard and edit the post … you can add a pic or change the tags/categories, change your text, whatever you want … the only thing you can’t change is the original post.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Cool! I like how you allow yourself to stumble in search for precision. That’s what creation is about: intentional stammering and stumbling ;). Thank you for documenting this process in such an enjoyable way. Also, I love the theme of your post: nuts and a squirrel; Nuts are absolutely amazing and I like how you capured their textures and shapes: with drawings but also words.

    Liked by 1 person

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