Christine FisherArtworks and Crafts in Progress

Fox in progress using watercolor, colored pencil, and sgafritto

drawing of a fox looking up and to the right, unimpressed
Fox in progress in watercolors, colored pencils, and sgafritto

This little work in progress was part of Val Webb’s seasonal drawing course. It’s the first time I’ve really been shown how to properly attack my drawings with a craft knife. Not in anger or frustration, but to create the fine details over darker colors without continual care and finding some non-expired masking fluid somewhere in the mess of my desk.

This was awesome. It was like when someone finally explained how to prepare a cake pan or a bread pan so the goodies will actually come out of the pan in one piece at the end, and it was all “Ohhhhhh, so that’s how that’s supposed to work!” (Baking hint: thorough soft buttering or oiling, taking extra care at edges and corners with a basting brush, then sifting at least double the amount of flour or cocoa you’d think that you need to coat the pan and all its ridges and corners.) I’m really pleased with this piece even at this stage for that reason.

The other tail in the upper right corner is because this is my second attempt. I pencilled in three foxes, expecting to need a few tries with the lesson. I clearly live in a drier area than Val Webb, because my paint dries a lot faster than hers. Also, the first time around, I have to watch a section and then pause to follow along. It’s hectic and not having the wet paint last matters. So you’re seeing fox #2. That’s the nice thing about the visual arts vs live theater, though. You only see fox #2. 😉

I added more detailed shapes with colored pencil until my layering used up the tooth of the paper, then I added the lighter details using sgafritto. The terror of scratching too deeply and ruining hours of work was familiar in kind, if not the exact ruinous techniques. The fear a cut would rip the paper was worse.

When the paper couldn’t take any more of my nonsense, I continued polishing the image in Procreate. That’s a workflow I’m going to keep using in future. I’ve even picked up (another) online course in mixing traditional and digital media in a single project, because I apparently needed to raise the difficulty level of finishing more online courses than I acquire this year. It’s going to be close.

Then, the fox’s personality really came through. Several old YouTube-video-related jokes later, and I had a completed snarky illustration I can only call “And Then the Fox Said.” Check it out over at my RedBubble shop’s designs page.


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