Fox Project Complete for Now

collage of three drawings of foxes. The dog fox in the middle, a cub on the left and the vixen on the right.

I have now completed for the time being my fox project.

It started with noticing a number of foxes living in the woodland at the back of the garden. From there some photographs were taken.

Collage of nine images showing local foxes
Local foxes

These were a bit shaky as I was only using a small compact camera.

Not put off… I decided to sketch some of the images using charcoal.

Collage of four images showing different members of a fox family.
Different members of a fox family.

From there I have selected two from which to create colour drawings. For the third drawing of the Dog fox, which is shown below in the centre, I decided to just use the colour image as reference. The reference can be seen in the centre of the collage of nine images at the top. You will see in that photograph he is pictured with a cub. Maybe I should have drawn father and cub… but no matter that can wait for another time.

collage of three drawings of foxes. The dog fox in the middle, a cub on the left and the vixen on the right.
Meet the Fox family.

For now the drawing of foxes will be put to one side. I have really enjoyed photographing and drawing the fox family but my attention is turning to other subjects and different techniques.

One subject I would like to have another go at is butterflies but this time using pastels rather than colour pencils. Then there is also a desire to do more work with charcoal as I really enjoy using it. Oh decisions, decisions….

Spring Gallery

A wolf collage consisting of a head portrait and a snoozing wolf.

Now into the fourth month of a new year it is time to take stock of what I have completed this year.

There were a couple of wolf studies. The head portrait I would describe as my favorite.

A wolf collage consisting of a head portrait and a snoozing wolf.
A wolf collage consisting of a head portrait and a snoozing wolf.

A large amount of time was also spent on the big cats study that started with charcoal drawings and then progressed on to color drawings. I have no favorite as they are all different.

A Collage of four big cats rendered in charcoal and in colour pencil.
A Collage of four big cats rendered in charcoal and in colour pencil.

Lately I have concentrated on wildlife local to me. The latest piece to be finished is the roe deer. Again I find it hard to choose a favorite.

A collage consisting of a roe deer, red squirrel, red fox, and a hare
A collage consisting of a roe deer, red squirrel, red fox, and a hare

Still got drawings to finish such as the Pine Marten and the Orangutan. I will not rush them but I may need to revisit the Pine Marten. He is not turning out the way I would like!

Big Cats from Charcoal to Color

My latest project involved taking four sketches of big cats that were drawn using charcoal: a tiger. a lion, a leopard, and a cheetah and redoing them in color. Here are the charcoal cats and here are the cats in color.

Do I have a favorite?

The answer is no as they all have different expressions and characteristics. The tiger looks chilled, the lioness looks as if it is thinking about something important, the cheetah is clearly on a mission and the leopard still looks as though he is startled!

I really enjoyed drawing them!

But what next!

As using shades of orange for the tiger was new to me in contrast to the usual of using browns, blacks, and greys, I think I will now go and explore the color orange.

The Complete Wolf

Portrait of Wolf

I have really enjoyed doing this wolf. The drawing was an interpretation of an image supplied by Wildlife Reference Photos. It was completed using pan pastel and color pencil on pastel mat paper.

Portrait of Wolf
Portrait of Wolf

I really liked the way the Caran d’ Ache Pablo color pencils and the pan pastels blended together in the creation of this piece.

In my view, all pencils can have a part to play.  Each brand has different properties and offers something different. It is up to you to get to know how your materials work.



Here are some of the work in progress shots for the wolf portrait.

wolf construction

As it was still the holidays, it was a nice change to be able to do just a little bit of drawing at a time and not feel pressurized to finish it within a given timescale.

Mind you, I did not have much choice as at this time of year the light levels make it nearly impossible to do any serious drawing after about 4pm in the afternoon.

However, on the plus side, it does leave plenty of time to study the reference image carefully to make sure you are capturing the details correctly.

But now the shortest day has passed and with each passing day, the available light is slowly increasing.

Comparing this wolf with the arty wolf below is difficult. I have no preference as they are both different. In the above project, the combination of pan pastel and color pencil was really good. But in the arty wolf, the inks do have a vibrancy that is worth exploring further and I will do that.

Portrait of a Wolf using Windsor and Newton inks
Portrait of a Wolf using Windsor and Newton inks

In the meantime, most of my work will continue to be done in pencil and pan pastel.

Having now completed my Wolf… what next?

Big cats, I think!

Favorites from Last Year

Here is a selection of what I consider to be my highlights from last year.

Happy New Year


My Gorilla Preference and a Cheery Robin

I have now completed my second Gorilla. In the first drawing, I used Pierre Noire pencils on Canson paper and this produced a good texture but it was a bit sketchy. Therefore I started a second drawing on Pastelmat using pan pastel and color pencils.


The first drawing on the left, I described the Gorilla as looking mournful and this second gorilla on the right, I would describe as having a secret that he is not willing to share. It is hard to state a preference, but I guess I am going to go with the second drawing of the Gorilla. He is a bit more refined looking even if he is not willing to share his secret!

I am in awe of Gorillas ever since I watched David Attenburgh on the BBC Natural History program ‘Life on Earth’  sitting right in amongst them. They were quite tolerant of his presence and that of the accompanying film crew!

This was then followed up by reading the book ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ by Dian Fossey. I remember being inspired by her fight to focus attention on the plight of the Gorillas.

All the hardships she endured which tragically culminated in her own death was quite a powerful story. If it was not for her and the dedicated work of others, would we know as much about Gorillas as we do now and would there be any Gorillas left?

When I downloaded the initial reference image from Wildlife Reference Photos it described the Gorilla as a Lowland Gorilla.

My researches have revealed that current thinking suggests that there are two species of Gorilla each with their own subspecies. The two species are the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla. Whichever species my Gorilla is, whether he inhabits East Africa or West Africa, all Gorillas are critically endangered.

In the wild Gorillas face ongoing habitat loss, a constant threat of disease, being hunted for bushmeat and body parts being sold as trophies for the wildlife trade.

Unfortunately, with their habitat in a part of the world that faces many social and environmental challenges, it does not make the conservation of Gorillas easy.

For more information visit:

RobinwbOn a more cheerful note, I have included my Robin to brighten life up because if you live in the part of the world where I do, then this time of year is rather dreary.

Also, I would like to thank you for reading my blog and best wishes for the year ahead.