Animals and colour are interesting, because many animals have such extremely strong colour combinations that you can really start to enjoy yourself in representing them accurately. Of course in northern climates you get a lot of rather subdued colour, but in more tropical zones, colour is often quite extravagant. So look around for the most interesting animals that you can find and learn to put in your colour with confidence and enjoyment.

If you have access to a natural history display, find a range of mounted moths and butterflies to draw at your leisure. The example shown here is a Monarch butterfly, which I have produced by first laying down an area of yellow-orange watercolour and then drawing over the top of it in black ink. Because the shape presents itself with a flat surface, there is no problem of representing depth, which gives you an easier start.

The next example is from the bird kingdom, showing the characteristic shape of the drake mallard. It can be kept as a silhouette without any need to show depth. The patches of colour are well defined and the whole drawing has a very clear pattern and decorative feel to it. You simply draw in each area of colour with the brush and fit them together like a neatly slotting puzzle.

Now we look at two more bird drawings - done in coloured pencil -of a goldfinch and a rainbow parakeet. Once again, thanks to their colour patterning, you do not need to pay much attention to the solidity of the creatures. Keep the areas of colour fairly flat and the combination of brilliant colour and design will be sufficient to give a very attractive impression of the types of bird that you have drawn.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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