Meerkats playing croquet

My wife is full of good ideas. Often when I’m having trouble coming up with an idea for a new illustration I will ask her for suggestions, and this is one of her ideas. I have no idea what prompted ‘meerkats playing croquet’ in her mind, but I liked the suggestion. It took me a while to draw this group, but here is my pencil sketch:

There were a lot of details here and it was time consuming, but I carefully inked this group on hot press watercolor paper with a brush pen:

Painting was tricky because I had to try to fit the grass around a lot of strange shapes. Because I knew it was going to be difficult, I started with the grass first. Here is an in-progress shot of the painting.

Once the grass was done, I painted the rest of the background and then moved on to the meerkats and croquet equipment. My final step was to water down some white ink which I used to create the clouds. I think that overall it turned out really well. Thanks for reading!