Otter eating pizza

cheesy otter colors 3 fb
As I mentioned in my previous post about the goat with the watering can, a couple of months ago I came up with a couple of lists, one list of subjects and the other items and actions, and then paired words from both lists in interesting ways, such as ‘otter eating pizza.’ I immediately saw in my mind an otter struggling to get an exceptionally cheesy bite of pizza to separate from the main slice, with his very flexible back arched but his sort arms not allowing him much room for separation. I quickly jotted this idea down as a rough sketch:
I then refined this idea, focusing on otter facial characteristics, the otter’s overall expression, and the details of the slice of pizza, and generally finalizing the details of his pose, fur and whiskers:
Now satisfied with my pencil drawing, I inked this guy and started coloring. My first attempt was too dark, due to indecision on my part about how dark I wanted to make him. I kept going back over the figure with darker and darker paint, and wound up horribly overworking the image. I also forgot to leave a strip of white at the top of his nose to indicate the gleam of the light on his wet nose. Here it is:
On my next attempt, I wound up making a mistake while inking the bottom of his tummy, and the lines got really dark. I wasn’t sure it was bad enough to start over, so I went ahead and added colors. I overworked his midsection again, but it’s not that noticeable in the scan. However, I decided that my inking mistake stood out too much and that I would start agian. Here’s my second attempt:
On my third attempt, seen at the top of this post, my inks were better, my colors were comparable to my second attempt, and I didn’t overwork any areas of the color. It is a pain to ink the same image over and over, but ultimately I’m glad I stuck with it because I really like the concept of the image, and it’s very satisfying to have a completed version of that concept. Thanks for stopping by!

One thought on “Otter eating pizza”

  1. Hi Eli,

    I love love love this illustration, and I was trying to make a t-shirt for an upcoming trip of mine. I am going to go live out my dream in San Diego, which is swimming with otters and I was trying to make matching tank tops for myself and my boyfriend. I have attached the link to the design that we were going to use for the shirt, and I was wondering if you minded if we used your otter?! It is so difficult to find a cute cartoon of one and I am obsessed with pizza being from Chicago so this was so perfect! If you would like us to add your name somewhere on there I would have no problem doing that as well!

    Thanks so much for your time and consideration!


    Christa Roome

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