Colour Pencil Meerkat study

Meerkat in colour pencil by Stuart Fowle (ArtOnTheHoof)

This colour pencil meerkat study is my first use of colour pencils in quite a few years.

I own quite a collection of colour pencils that has been built up over many years. The manufactures include Berol Karismacolor, Derwent Drawing and Derwent Artists.

Sadly the Karismacolor pencils are no longer in production. Which is a shame as they are really great to use.

Anyway, back to the drawing, or is it a painting? For this drawing I used a combination of Karismacolor and the Derwent Drawing colour pencils. Both are a soft waxy lead, which lends itself to very smooth blending.

This waxy lead enabled me to produce a very realistic and pleasing rendition of the Meerkats eye and nose.

Close up of some colour pencil work on a small Meerkat study by wildlife artist Stuart Fowle.

Taking in to consideration that the paper in the sketch book is not the best quality for colour pencil work, I’m very happy happy with the eye and nose.

Any issues?

Lets talk about the problems I did have with this colour pencil Meerkat study? Well if I’m honest, and I think it shows, I struggled to draw the fur convincingly.

This was down to me trying to use the same method that I use with my graphite drawings with the waxy colour pencils. I feel I may have had better results on the fur if I had used the Derwent Artists colour pencils.

The ‘Artists’ are a harder oil based lead, which would have enabled me to get crisper fur stroke lines.

I mentioned the quality of the paper above, but another point that crossed my mind, is that I should try this on some suitable mid-toned colour paper. I found I needed to create a base colour to inject some life into the fur.

To add a bit of life to the image, it was all looking a bit beige and brown. I very lightly layered some pale light blues over the fur. This just gave it a bit more interest with the colour range.

Another use of a not expected colour was to use Karismacolor Grape in the dark areas. It is not as harsh as black, and not another brown like Burnt Umber or Sepia.

Finished colour pencil study of a Meerkat by wildlife artist Stuart Fowle.
The finished study, image size approx. 13x13cm

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