I’ve been posting about my drawings for a while now, and I also write about other things on my blog, in Dutch. Somehow that made me stumble upon another blogger, showing beautiful pictures on her blog. And when I kindly requested if I might draw one of her animal portraits, I immediately recieved a few beautiful wildlife reference photo’s. It is hard to choose which one to draw first… uhhhh…. I’ll go for an intruiging fox!

I crop the beautiful picture first, which hurts a bit, but I really want to draw those eyes from up close. The warm, but dark colours make me choose for pastel pencil on grey pastelmat. Nothing specific to discern in the background, so I can start with some panpastel colouring. Drawing lighter circles, overlapping here and there, creates a bit of a bokeh effect.

drawing fox background

Most of the face is shaded, which might become a challenge. I decide to start with a dark panpastel underlayer, to be able to create a shaded look on the fur. But I also definitely want to adopt the effect of the reflecting sunlight, so I also put in a few white spots. And then, I start working on the ear on the left with pastel pencils, so I can see if I have to darken the rest of the underlayer. Also – something I think I haven’t done before – I paint some tufts of underlayer with panpastel for the chest fur.

drawing fox

And soon, I can’t hold myself back any longer, I have to draw the first eye!

drawing fox

I’m still not sure if the underlayer will do, for the shaded effect, so I start drawing fur on different sides: on top of the head, the neck/body, the cheek, to see how it looks…

drawing fox

Drawing the eyes, it always makes a drawing come alive… so I continue with the second eye. I love the transparancy of that one. It doesn’t show, when I’drawing, but it is just a matter of a lighter circle in the eye, with a band of shadow at the top and bottom. When I’m fumbling with my pencils, it doesn’t seem to work, but from a distance… it suddenly has that transparent look.

drawing fox eye detail

And the nose, I love to draw noses! So many colours in them… I use all kinds of blues, greens, reds, pinks, greys, what did I not use on this little sniffer!

drawing fox

I keep adding layers all over the place. As the light changes during the afternoon and evening, it keeps looking different. How dark should I go? It’s hard to tell.

drawing fox

During all this layering, I actually forgot to take pictures of the progress… Somewhere halfway I did think of comparing the drawing and ref in black and white, to see how I was doing in terms of contrast. And then, adding even more layers. I even correct the eyes a little, since the ref has a softer look than mine.

drawing fox black and white comparison
…a b/w picture of the final comparison. The eye on the left is obviously too light, but I don’t want to ruin it…

And finally, adding the whiskers. A few whiskers get a tiny light sparkle of cream white with grey, pink, green or blue at the edge of that, to make them shine. Even the single hair that catches sunlight, above the eyebrow, gets a lot of fading colours, it’s anything but just a dash of white!

drawing fox nose detail
nose details… did you notice the two tiny reflecting hairs under the nose?
drawing fox hair detail
eyebrow details… one single hair can have many colours in it…

I also notice that it’s hard to take a picture in the right angle. Depending on the exact position of the camera lens of my phone or ipad, the proportions of the fox’s face change. You can see the slight difference between photos, both in terms of proportion and colour…

Well, here’s the final drawing.

drawing fox

And… the photographer is even showing my drawing on her website! I’ll probably be using one of her beautiful pictures again soon…

Thank you so much Willie Doorn Meijne!!!😍