Dancing Gator

This dancing alligator started with me doodling some random shapes in my sketchbook. I just started moving my pencil around , and after a few shapes I tried to determine if the shapes looked like anything, in the same way that we look for shapes in the clouds. In this case, the shapes started looking like an alligator, and I began moving the sketch in that direction, settling on this dancing gator with a cane and top hat:

Before inking, I made a few small changes, such as closing his eyes, making the cane topper a duck instead of a fish, and adding an old fashioned Victrola record player:

I messed up my first attempt at painting by, on a whim, adding music notes to the background despite the fact that I know basically nothing about music. I re-inked the image and looked up sheet music for a song I like so that I could reproduce a sequence of actual notes. The result was much better, and I really like the result. I think this image has a very New Orleans feel to it, which was exactly what I was going for.

Waltzing penguins

dancing penguins fb
I was watching Planet Earth 2 around the beginning of the year, and was struck a segment involving a huge colony of penguins living on a big frozen lake. For some reason, later that evening the image of a penguin couple waltzing around on that frozen lake popped into my head and I thought it would be fun to paint. Here is my page of sketches:
I liked the lake that I drew, but wasn’t satisfied with the initial sketch because instead of looking like the male was dipping the female, it looked like he was keeping her from falling down. I decided to rework the pose so that it looked more like dancing. Here is my refined sketch, combining the best parts of my initial sketches:
You can see that I refined the shapes of arms and legs, and clarified their expressions. I am really pleased with how this image turned out; this penguin couple looks like they are having a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by!