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Red Squirrel by jinkies36 Red Squirrel by jinkies36
Larger version now available here: [link]

This digital painting of a red squirrel on a branch was drawn for my grandmother's birthday card (the card used a version at 5.5 hours work).

It took about seven hours work to complete. I used the software AutoDesk SketchBook Pro 2009 (new version!) on a Tablet PC, painting with the airbrush tool of only.

I changed my method slightly here; rather than drawing a sketch layer with the pen tool then flat colouring under it with the paint tool, I instead worked entirely with the airbrush, simply changing the flow rate and size when needed. It turns out that the airbrush is quite suited to roughly sketching out the proportions of an object.

When I'd fully sketched out the image I continued to develop the body I'd already drawn. I erased the tail and branch and eventually drew these on different layers behind and in front of the body.

I'm quite happy with how this turned out, although I could probably spend more time on it - I rushed completing it for the Moonpig 2pm postage deadline and may already be a day late depending on the speed of first class post from Guernsey.

Update: Now with an extra one and a half hours work including redrawing the eye and front paws, and adding more fine detail and highlights. I'm now considering it finished.

Update 29th of December: Added my signature and adjusted the background size and position to allow the image to benefit from the 'rule of thirds'. Thanks to !Awfulsouls for the tip!

Eight step 'making of' image here [link]

Larger version now available here: [link]
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:iconbenn-prettin:
Benn-Prettin Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow, superb
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:iconmarkpwhitaker:
markpwhitaker Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012   Traditional Artist
Wow I love this!
Reply
:icondiagn0s3dind1g0:
Diagn0s3dInd1g0 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2009
I'm under the understanding that all squirrels are evil... did it presumably devour your camera?
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2009
That was why I had to draw it instead ;)
Reply
:iconwindestaenzerin:
Windestaenzerin Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When I saw the thumb, I thought it's a photo. Then I clicked it and now I'm like this :omg:
And it's cute, too!
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2009
Heh thanks, I wonder how many views I lose because people think it's a photo ;)
Reply
:iconwindestaenzerin:
Windestaenzerin Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well it would still be pretty good if it were only a photo :nod:
Reply
:iconjmillart:
jmillart Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! :jawdrop: Do you have a tutorial for this?
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009
There's a step by step here [link]
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:iconjmillart:
jmillart Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconmaneschijn367:
Maneschijn367 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
Fantastic work
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
Thank you!
Reply
:iconrej-74:
REJ-74 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2009
That is awesomely good - photorealistic. Well done - your granny must have been well pleased.
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009
Thanks very much! And yes, my gran loved it :)
Reply
:icontimedancer:
Timedancer Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2009
Beautiful! I like the softness in the rendering. I've never tried digital art. It can't be an easy medium to use, especially airbrush!
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2009
Thank you so much for the kind comments!

I personally find digital art easier than traditional art, but only with a tablet PC where I can draw directly on the screen (I have hand-eye coordination problems with ordinary tablets) - it's extremely helpful being able to undo, move, resize and zoom in to work on details. Layers are pretty vital to my process too and the airbrush is pretty intuitive with pressure sensitivity...

There's a step by step showing the process of drawing the squirrel here BTW [link]
Reply
:iconinjectvibrancy:
InjectVibrancy Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2009   Traditional Artist
This
is
AMAZING!
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2009
Wow thank you! :D
Reply
:iconkatakana1:
Katakana1 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2009
So cute ^^
Reply
:iconannabelleroks11:
Annabelleroks11 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2009
ANOTHER awesome picture!
You're amazing with these pieces of work, great job.
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
Thank you for the encouraging comments! :)
Reply
:iconannabelleroks11:
Annabelleroks11 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
Anytime ^^
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
:)
Reply
:iconneonduck:
NeonDuck Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
that looks like a photo in places! quite amazing!
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2009
Thanks, glad you like it :)
Reply
:iconf-22araptor:
F-22ARaptor Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice.
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009
Thanks :)
Reply
:iconf-22araptor:
F-22ARaptor Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Welcome.
Reply
:iconawfulsouls:
Awfulsouls Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2008
You're welcome again :)
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2008
I reviewed various other pieces I've done and noticed that most of my favourites happened to follow the rule, so I must have been subconsciously following it when selecting source images...
Reply
:iconawfulsouls:
Awfulsouls Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2008
Some artists and photographers have it naturally, while others don't.
So it's very possible that you were going along that line anyway without being aware of it. It's all based on what we think looks good.
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2008
I've been told in the past that I frame my fan art well, so that may be the case :)
Reply
:iconhauntedvisions:
HauntedVisions Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008  Hobbyist Writer
Great job!
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2008
Glad you like :)
Reply
:icondanlat:
Danlat Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
a lot of compliments to you!!! =D
I like it sooo much! :flirty:
:+fav:
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
Wow thanks, really glad you like it so much :)
Reply
:icondanlat:
Danlat Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009
my pleasure!!! :)
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009
:)
Reply
:iconteeceeoh:
Teeceeoh Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008
I always favoured reds to greys. There's some on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. It's not that far from where I live.
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2008
The reds are the natives, the greys are American invaders. You're lucky to have reds nearby, they're endangered in mainland UK these days...
Reply
:iconontv:
ONTV Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
This is absolutely beautiful, I love it! The colour, the detail: every aspect of this is breath-taking :)
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2008
Wow thanks, really glad you like it! :)
Reply
:iconontv:
ONTV Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2008
I do, I really do!
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2008
:)
Reply
:iconseawhisper:
SeaWhisper Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
nice, where did you take reference from ? :)
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
Thanks :)

I've managed to lose the reference image now, I'm pretty sure it was a photo on a news website which may or may not have been stock. Having mostly been a fan artist I got into the bad habit of using Google Image Search and working with the first appropriate image I found...

I've since resolved to only use explicit stock images or creative commons derivatives allowed images for reference with my non-fan art, and to always link to the original and give attribution.
Reply
:iconseawhisper:
SeaWhisper Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
Ah I see. Btw if you like squirrels check :iconsquirrelhollow: :)
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
Oh thanks :D
Reply
:iconfirestorm07:
FireStorm07 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
This picture is incredible 8D I've always stumbled across your work on this site, nearly ever time I visit the place, actually xD, and there's one thing I've noticed throughout all of your pictures - You have a real knack of getting down all the colours and textures just like it would actually be in the real object, but giving them all your unique artistic twist. It really gives your work that much more depth and realism, yet at the same time, creating a style that identifies it immediately as yours.
I especially like the glint in the eye of the squirrel.
I'm not sure whether that made sense or not. Long story short, I love it. T'was really worth the amount of time you spent 8D
Reply
:iconjinkies36:
jinkies36 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2008
Thank you! That may be the best comment I've ever received :)
Reply
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