I did a couple of things last night. I’ve been using small paper so I can start and finish drawings quickly. Small drawings are also easier on my hand and arm and I’m not using up quite so much material in the process.

It’s a House Finch. I have no idea why they are called House Finches since they don’t live in houses, at least not any more. Maybe because once upon a time they did?

House Finches are cute. For a while, until the practice was outlawed, these pretty finches were being captured and kept in cages. When the practice of keeping wild birds in cages and sold was forbidden, pet store owner didn’t know what to do with the birds, so they let them go. As a result, a bird that was native to Arizona and the southwest now lives in almost every state except (maybe) Alaska. Nobody minds them since they are pretty and have that lovely bright red head and a lot of attitude.

And now, a new squirrel.

You might notice that I’m working on feet. This is the first squirrel I’ve drawn who has the feet I want for his character. He was really standing on a pile of seeds. I didn’t feel like spending a lot of time drawing all those seeds, so I settled on a pile of orange that could be seeds if you stretch your imagination… a lot.

According to the animation artists on Disney, the first things people look at in any picture are eyes and feet. Why? They don’t know and neither do they. I have had a serious issue with feet. Slowly but surely, I’m working on it. This is the FIRST TIME I’ve gotten feet looking more or less the way I want them to look. I’m working on the hands. Squirrels have very spidery hands that are difficult to draw. I may have to find a workaround. Some version of the hands that are easier to draw and also easier to see. At least I feel I’ve got the feet. That’s something, right?

Categories: #chipmunk, #Sketchbook, #Squirrel, Arts, Cartoons, Drawings, House Finch

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9 replies

  1. I love this squirrel!


    • Thank you so much! I like him too. With a little tweaking — making the face lighter but the eyes darker — and figuring out how to get his hands to look squirrelly but less like spiders — he might be my first character. THEN I have to figure out how to get him to “do” things rather than just standing. Although I think I can write around that part.


  2. Thanks for your sketches, especially of the birds.
    They’re so much more colourful than those in the UK.
    Here, a Goldfinch has a little stripe of Gold. Never understood why it’s called that.
    And as for Sparrows and Dunnets, how on earth does anyone tell the difference?


    • We have warblers which are called — in the Peterson bird manual which is THE manual — “warblers that all look alike.” I can’t tell one from the other even holding the book in one hand and staring at them. Such tiny differences. And since birds don’t all look the same regardless of species, what you think it a “difference” may just be particular to THAT warbler. Also, a Goldfinch in his “winter” feathers looks EXACTLY like a warbler, including a kind of olive green coloring. There’s a reason for all those bird books and bird identifiers.


  3. If there’s one thing on a squirrel that is not cute, it’s their hands and feet. Even in a photo, if you concentrate on their feet, it just doesn’t look real. The price for being able to scale tall trees….


    • I can make the feet look less spidery, but those hands are really complicated to draw and look kind of weird. They are like another creature that lives at the end of the squirrels arms. Only when they have them tucked in around a piece of food do they look sort of normal. I have to figure out how to make them simpler. Maybe use the Disney “three-fingered” approach?


  4. I think you got both the hands and feet right on this little fella!


    • I love the way the feet came out. The hands are pretty accurate, but I think I need to simplify them to make them more attractive. Maybe wider fingers and possibly FEWER fingers. If Mickey Mouse can live with three finger and a thumb, maybe so can my squirrel.

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