Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by frogs. Their bulging eyes and cool coloration made them stand out to me, along with my inability to catch them. I caught plenty of toads, but frogs were scarce, making them all the more interesting and desirable.They are also remarkably hard to draw convincingly and I did plenty of bad frog drawings in my life before sort of getting a handle on the finer points of frog anatomy. I’m sure that my inability to catch as many frogs as a child as I would have liked played into the idea for this image of a young girl who has caught a massive bullfrog. Here’s my initial sketch:
As you can see, I wasn’t sure whether to have the frog’s mouth open or closed, but overall, I stayed with this basic composition through to the finished image. Next, I added more details, figured out what the frog should look like, what the little girl should be wearing, and all that good stuff:
In my mind I saw this girl sort of as a little farm girl whose front adult teeth have just come in, so they’re very prominent. I also decided she’d be wearing overalls instead of a dress, but would be barefoot. After sitting on the image for a little while, I decided to give her teeth less definition, and make the frog’s head smaller. I also added some wrinkles to the frog’s neck where the girls hands are pressing into it, which help to give the frog a sense of weight and helps to sell idea that these two characters are interacting. Here is the finalized pencil sketch:
Now satisfied with my pencil sketch, I inked the image and made some color choices. I decided to give the girl red hair, and at the last minute gave her a bunch of freckles. The standard “shorthand” in illustrating for freckles is three dots on the cheek and maybe one on the nose, but the people I know with freckles have many, many more than that, and I wanted to try to incorporate that into this image:
Unfortunately, she looked like she had chicken pox or something. I was bummed. It was also clear that I had over-inked her hair, so the red wasn’t really showing through. I decided to re-ink the image and start over, ending up with the image at the top of the post. I made sure not to ink her hair so much, and to not make the line for the frog’s mouth so thick, and then gave her fewer freckles and made her hair a brighter shade or orange. Over all, I think the image is better for it. Well, that’s the story of this image…thanks for stopping by!