“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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!