Young Rhino

Last Summer I got to see some white rhinos at the Baltimore zoo and although I have seen rhinos before, this time I was much more mesmerized watching them than ever before. Perhaps it was the overall setting, because there were ostriches and zebras in the same enclosure, so the scene felt prehistoric somehow with the huge powerful animals lumbering around while fleet footed bird monsters roamed around in packs. I still had rhinos on the brain when I got home and wound up sketching out this little guy:

Around the same time I invited a friend of mine over to show me some of her watercoloring techniques, and so I let her paint on these inks while inking a second for myself, the results of which you can see above. I’m very hesitant about working in too many layers when painting with watercolors, which is sort of the opposite of how my friend works, so this represents a tentative step forward in that area. After adding a layer of grays, I added some light pink, yellow, and orange washes in certain areas to make the colors more interesting, and I wound up really liking the results. Since then, I’ve been working on adding this technique to my work.

Shy Mouse

white mouse standing in a patch of clover, holding a clover blossom.

I was sketching a mouse one day and decided it would be interesting to have it holding a clover blossom. In the process I decided to make the mouse female, and have her sort of coyly holding the clover, possibly in an alluring way. Here is that initial sketch:

I eventually redrew this pose, and decided to make her more shy than coy. I changed her pose, I hid her face behind the clover blossom a little, and changed her tail. I also added a patch of clover as a little bit of a background:

In the final inks, I made her ears a little rounder. During the watercoloring process, I tried to add some gradual color gradients on the clover, shifting from a yellowish green at the top to a bluish green toward the bottom. I’m really pleased with the resulting effect on the clover. Thanks for reading!