This drawing is the first drawing that i have done at this size and it was a great learning experience from start to finish.
This one is a bit bigger, actually a lot bigger than my other ones. This drawing will measure 30″x40″. Its going to be quite big and will allow me to add much more detail. Reference image by Art G.
I decided to use a grid for this one to get the tiger correctly on the paper and not have to worry about it not fitting. I have done some work on the eye. I will be adding a bit more detail to the eye once i have both eyes done. What you’re seeing in that update is just 2.5″x3.5″ of the whole drawing. Here is a shot of the whole paper so you have an idea of how large this drawing will be. It was too large to fit on the scanner so i had to take photographs. I’m still trying to figure out how i can get clear pictures. With each update the quality of the pictures will improve. Well i hope you enjoy this one and if you have any questions just leave a comment.
The paper that im using is working beautifully for the texture that i’m looking to get. It works great with the hair technique that i use. Its thick enough for the indentations to look great. I’ve been working on t his drawing for about a week and i have both eyes almost done. I don’t say completely done because as i begin to add more detail ill probably darken the right eye on your side. This side will have more shadows than the other side. I’m taking my time with the detail especially the hair. I want to have the right look and texture. The important thing with the hair technique is to be able to get the right effect of layering. Hair overlaps, and that is the effect that i try to accomplish when drawing hair. it gives the overall drawing much more depth. Being able to do this comes with understanding hair first. You have to know that hair overlaps before you can actually use it in your drawings. Again, you can’t draw what you don’t know or have never seen. With this drawing I’m constantly going back and forth looking at different reference photos, especially house cats. This lets me add fine details that will add the right amount of realism. I’m not sticking to one reference photo. From here on ill begin to add the hair under the right eye. Once i do this i will connect both eyes by adding the hair to the nose. I’m still getting used to the size of the drawing. It’s my first time working on a drawing this size, so there are times that it gets a bit uncomfortable when drawing. Well i guess if there is no pain there is no gain :). Well here is a close up of the eye that im working on at the moment. Remember that will not be the final result as ill be adding subtle details as i move along.
I have started adding a bit more detail around the right eye. I’m becoming more and more of a fan of this paper that im using. Its my first time using it and i find it that its working incredibly well with the amount of detail that i want to add. I have added the indentations for the hair and im now pulling out the details. Im adding the shadows in between the hairs. Im also making the clumps of hairs using the kneaded eraser. Its a bit tricky with white hair because the shadows should be light enough to suggest a lighter hair. I want to finish the area around both of the eyes and will then continue with the rest of the face. I do the eyes first in most of my drawings because i use them for reference. I compare whatever im drawing to the eyes so it all fits together. This helps me keep the drawing equal when it comes to value and tones. Here is another close up so you can see the detail a bit more clearly. The detail is tedious, especially with the amount of hair that tigers have, but its worth the time spent.
The eyes are coming together. You can begin to see the intensity that these animals have in their eyes. This is the reason i take my time with the eyes. If the there is no life in the eyes, the drawing just doesn’t communicate with the viewer. At the moment I’m working the hairs around the eyes. I have around 20 hours on this drawing and this is what i have so far. The reason for this, is because of the amount of detail that im adding to the hair. I want to make sure that the hair looks like hair and that it keeps that rough look that tigers have. Once i finish the area around the eyes i will move on to the area between both eyes, which will join them. From the newest update image you can the difference between both eyes. The right side has much more detail than the left eye. Once i finish adding the detail, both eyes will have that same amount of detail. For this drawing i’m using 2h,6h,4b and hb pencils. I’m also using the stylus,kneaded eraser and color shaper. These are the most common tools that i use in all my drawings. Here is a view that measures 8″x10″ so you can see the area that im working at the moment and how it compares to what i have yet to cover. Again, this drawing will measure 30″x40″, so its going to be quite a big drawing. I’m still debating whether to add Siberian forest as a background or just leave it with a white background.
I’m still working mostly on the left eye and i’ve been adding subtle details. These details are mostly small shadows which suggest the layers of hairs. You can see from the previous update how these subtle details make a difference. I also added some long black hairs on the black patches. Most people when they draw this stripes on tigers, they make them look like bands. When i draw them i make them look like layers of hairs. These black hairs overlap the next layer of lighter hair. I’m not sure if you can see these hairs, but these details are what makes a drawing so interesting to look at when they are complete. Here is a shot from a bit further away so you can see how its coming together. It doesn’t seem like huge update, but from the previous update to this one I’ve worked on it for 3 hours.
The area around the eyes is almost complete and im now outlining the hair between the eyes. This hair is a bit longer than the hair on the nose. The hair on the nose is much shorter and finer so i have to make sure that they blend in nicely. I have outlined the tips of the hair as you can see from the update. This allows me to see where to add the shadows to bring out the illusion of hair. With practice i have been able to learn how to see the hair patterns, so i know where to add the shadows. It has taken me some time to get to this point but im really happy with the results so far. I want to make to make sure that i add as much detail as possible, to get the most realistic look. I always tell people that its impossible to draw hair, unless you are insane and want to sit there drawing every little hair strand. My goal with my pencil drawings is to give the illusion of hair with pencil. Just like photographs give the illusions of a scene using pixels i want to do the same with pencil and the techniques that i use. Next update the area that im working on at the moment will be complete. Again, as i move along i go back and adjust the detail in parts that i have already finished. I’m always comparing what im working on to what i have completed to either add or remove things from the drawing.
I’m starting to move my way down the nose and have connected the two eyes. The hair on the nose is much shorter, so i’m making sure that the indentations are not long. I’m adding the clumps of hair using the kneaded eraser. This will give the hair much more texture and depth. You can see from this image that its coming together. You can also see how large this drawing is going to be.
I haven’t been able to update because the camera that i had died on me. The batteries that i was using blew up and ruined the camera and now i can’t use it. I had to find an alternative and ive used a web cam.
Now for the drawing. As you can see from this update i have progressed quite a bit. I have added the hair on the nose and have added the hair on top of the hair. At the moment i’m working on the left ear and adding the long hairs that come out from inside the ear. I’m using the stylus for these hairs and i have to make sure that i make them in one single motion. These hairs are long so i want to get the right effect. On top of the ear, along the edge i still have to add single black hairs that will stick out from there. I’m adding subtle details as i go along, for example, im adding clumps of hairs as i go along. Clumps of hairs are hairs that are so close that they cast a single shadow. To get that effect all i do is use my kneaded eraser to erase and get that effect. Once i finish both ears i will begin the area under the eyes and will move to the more complicated part of the drawing, the whiskers. Why Complicated? Well, these whiskers will be floating on top of the hair below. Therefore, i have to make sure that i get the right effect so that the whiskers don’t blend into the hairs below. Here is an image of the whole sheet of paper so you can see how much i have covered so far. Again, this drawing measures 30″x40″.
Im still working on the left ear. I have the basic outline for the hairs and all im doing now is bringing out the details. Im adding the shadows that suggest that clumps of these long hairs are overlapping the hair below. Once i finish this i will thing black hairs that i will overlap the ear hairs. I still have to add the hair along the top of the ears. I will be spending quite some time on this ear until i get the right effect im going for. For the ear, all i have used is 4b and 6h pencils,kneaded eraser and stylus. Once i finish this ear i will move on to the other side and will do the same. This drawing is progressing nicely, a bit slow but its coming together.
Both ears seem to be finished, but i still have some fine details to add, to give it a bit more realism. What i have done so far has been the same that i have on previous sections. I’m not planning on how to go about drawing the whiskers. This section will be a bit challenging because the area under the whiskers will be hair from the cats body. I have to make sure that the the whiskers will not get lost within the detail below it. In other cat drawing i have first indented out the hair below first and then over that i indent the whiskers. The size of this drawing will make that a bit more challenging. I will make sure that the indented whiskers are much thicker than the hair below. I’m still thinking on how to go about doing that. At the moment im working on the left side and will finish that part off before moving to the other side. Once that’s done i will finish the area on each side of the nose. Here is a picture of the whole drawing so you can how it looks on the whole sheet. Here is a closeup of a section of the drawing. You can see the amount of detail that im adding. I don’t want to rush it and take the time necessary to get it to look like i want. The progress is not as fast as my other ones but its coming together nicely.
Here is a video i recorded of what i have so far. This way you can see how much detail im adding to it. I have a long way to go but i don’t want to rush it and what it to look like i have it pictured in my head. Im adding alot of details that i cannot see in the reference photos. For example, im making the tips of the black hairs a bit longer. This will give the drawing much more depth and it will have more texture. Well if you have any questions, please contact me or leave a comment.
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I’ve been working on this as much as possible. It doesn’t look like progressing but just the amount of detail that im adding i can tell you that each update is a major one. What im keeping in mind with this drawing and all the tiger drawings that i do, is that the hair gets longer as you get to the edge of the face. I started working on the other side of the face and added the basic outline of the stripes. I will go in and work work this area, bringing out the highlights and the clumps of hair that will give it much more realism. Another thing that you may notice is the shaded area on the top left side. This drawing was suppose to be just the tiger, but as i progressed i was contemplating on whether i should add a background or not. Well, i finally decided that a background will compliment the tiger nicely. What is the background going to be? I decided to add a background of the Altai Mountains in Siberia. What you see is the basic outline of the mountains and the top part is the sky. The mountains will also be visible on the right side of the tiger. There will be trees on the bottom part and a lake will also be visible. It will be more work but im confident that it will only improve the whole drawing. If you don’t know what the Altai Mountains look like, here is a pictures.
The background will be like a completely different drawing, but for now im going to focus on the tiger and will move on to the background once i finish the cub.
Ive been putting in around 6 hours of drawing each day. Its progressing slow but im staring to see it come together. Im working on the right side as you can see from this update. I mentioned before that the hair on the edge of the face is much longer than the hair on the middle of the face. To get the effect of flowing finer hair i will use my knead erase to blur out the tips of the hair in this area. I will do this once i have finished adding the rest of the details. I haven’t done anything different from the last updates. The detail that im adding to the hair is the main reason why its taking me so long to progress. I hope to finish it soon but i don’t want to rush it. I want to dedicate the amount that it needs for it to look like i want. You can also watch this sped up video of a 3 hour drawing session.
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I’m now working on both eyes and will complete the area below them. The hair under the eyes is much shorter to so i have to make sure to make the indentations shorter. Once i complete these areas i will start outlining the whiskers. On my smaller drawings i usually make random indentations to make the whiskers. This drawing is much larger so i have to make sure that the indentations are smooth and curve nicely. I will outline the whiskers first with a pencil lightly and then will indent the hair that will be below the whiskers. Once i finish that i will start indenting the whiskers making sure that those indentations are much thicker so they don’t get lost with the lines below. It always help to plan out ahead of time so that it looks they way you want it. The head is beginning to look much more solid as more sections are added.
I will now start to work on the area around the whiskers. This is the section that will be somewhat tricky. As you can see i have outlined them with pencil. I will now begin to indent the hair that will be below the whiskers. Once that is done i will indent the whiskers and make sure that they are much thicker. After indenting, i will begin to add the shadows to the hairs below and slowly the whiskers will become more visible. This section will be divided into 3 layers. The whiskers, the hair below and then the shadows that the hair below will have. You may also notice that i have outlined the rest of the tigers body. Its just rough outline and i will slowly add detail as i move along. At the moment my main focus is on the face, i will not pay attention to the rest of the body until im done with that part. I will take my time on the whiskers so i make sure that they are done correctly.
This is where i start to get excited, when i begin to see it come together. In my opinion, the most important part of any animal drawing are the eyes. Its the part of the drawing that communicates and makes contact with the viewer. With this drawing you can feel the tiger looking at you, waiting patiently to be brought to life. The difference between an eye and an eye that has life is the subtle details that are put into it. I’m really happy with the way the eyes turned out on this one because the tiger looks like its staring right at you.
I will now start to work on the area around the mouth. I have already indented the area on the left side and will then move to the right side. Once i have that i will begin to indent the individual whiskers. The reason i indent the hair below first and not the whiskers is because i would have to do double the work. I would have to indent the whiskers, then indent the bottom hair and by doing that i would go over the whiskers. Then, to bring out the whiskers again i would have re-indent them. So, its much easier to indent them once i have done the area below. Once i have done all that i will begin to add the detail, which includes the shadows and highlights. As i progress with this detail the whiskers will begin to be visible. There is quite a bit more work to be done on this drawing but i feel that im progressing quite nicely. I’m drawing about 5 hours each day and making sure that the amount of detail is equal in all parts of the drawing.
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The area that I’m working on at the moment is divided into two sections. The first part are the whiskers and the second part is the area below the whiskers. I remember when i first started drawing big cats, i always had a problem with whiskers. I would outline each whisker and would draw the details that were suppose to be behind them. I now use the stylus to make things less complicated, but don’t get me wrong there is still work involved. The best way to tackle a drawing is to plan ahead and come up with ideas. Test these ideas on a separate sheet of paper and once you know what you want, transfer those ideas to the actual drawing. Again the problem with whiskers is how to draw the detail behind them and it doesn’t help that most of that detail happens to be more hair. The technique that i have used for a while now has been to indent the area below and over that indent the whiskers. On this update you can see the whiskers that i have indented but before doing that i worked on the hair below it. Once i finished making the whiskers i picked up the pencil and started adding the detail below. As i progress the hair below the whiskers will slowly begin to reveal themselves. For the whiskers i had to make sure that the indentations were thicker than the hair below. This technique is a good way to add realism and depth to the drawing. I have not yet finished all the whiskers on that side. Once i finish that side i will begin on the other. There is still so much more work to do but I’m really happy with the way its turning out. Here is a close up of the area that I’m working on at the moment. Once i have finished the detail below i will clean up the whiskers to even them out. I have darkened some of the whiskers because not all of them will be hit directly by light.
Here is another 3 hour session. Im taking my time working on the whiskers and the area below it to get the right effect that im looking for.
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The face is about 80% complete. There are minor details that i will add once i have the background ready. For example the fine hairs around the edge of the face. By overlapping over the background they will create some depth and realism. I will be darkening some sections as i go along as well until it looks like the way it want it to. I need to keep in mind that the right side has more shadow so this area needs to be a bit darker than the other side. I finished the mouth and chin. I used the same technique that i explained in this tutorial. At the moment im indenting the area that is below the chin and will then move on to the two front legs. I’m dedicating more hours on this drawing and i believe the hardest part of the drawing has been completed. The rest of the drawing will just take time.
As you can see i have progressed quite a bit from the previous update. At them moment i’m working on the left paw, adding the detail. Im darkening by layers and adding the highlights as i go along. Using the kneaded eraser i create clumps of hairs. On the right side i have outlined the flow of hair that i will be indenting. This is the part that takes the longes, its a large area so it will take time to add the right indentations. Once i have done that i will begin to add the details like on the left side. Once i finis the two legs i will move my way onto the body which will be the last of the tiger. The video below shows the amount of detail that im adding to this drawing.
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The legs are almost complete and will then move on to the body. At the moment im working on getting the correct texture for the hair by following the contours of the legs. This will give the two legs much more depth and realism and they wont look flat. This can be achieved by adding shadows and highlights in the right areas. The body will be the last part for the tiger and will then move on to the background. I want to completely finish or at least have most of it done before starting the background because i will be using different techniques for each section. The background will have water,some grass,trees and clouds. These will require me to use techniques that i have not used on the tiger. Click on the image below to watch a short video of what have so far.
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Well the tiger seems to be complete but there are still things that i need to add once i complete the background. I need to add the fine hairs around the edge of the body which will overlap over the background. This will give the drawing much more depth and will also soften up the edges, especially around the head. I have started to outline the grass on the bottom right corner. Once i have outlined and filled in the empty space with pencil i will use an eraser to add finer grass blades. Once i do that i will then fill in the detail for the grass blades that i have now. It might just be grass but im really taking my time on it. I’ve been studying photographs with grass to get an idea of how to go about adding the detail. I have drawn grass before but its always a good idea to refresh your memory looking at reference material. It will make things much easier and in the end will always look much better. Once i finish that corner i will move on to the left side and will start on the mountains. I will be working from the furthest point, the mountains, and will work my way towards the closest area. Once i finish the mountains i will add the trees that will be in front of the mountain. Again, this will add much more depth and texture. This is the point where i get excited and i can begin to see how it will look in the end.
I have finished adding the grass on the bottom right corner and have outlined the grass on the bottom left corner. I have started working on the mountains. The mountains will be covered in snow so the challenge for that section will be to get that effect. I want to make sure that the snow is visible and the rocks are too. Im using the negative drawing technique to bring out the snow. I started from the top and will move my way down until i reach the grass below. The mountains will be made up of 3 basic tones. Black,white and something in between those two. The middle tone will be used for the shadows that will be cast by the mountain over the snow. The bottom section of mountain will have a bit more snow. There will be some trees that will overlap the mountain and will give depth to the drawing.
I can now begin to see the end for this drawing. I have only the mountains and lake to go and that will be it for this drawing. I’m concentrating on the fine details on the mountains to get the right look of a mountain. I don’t want to rush it even though i’m close to the end. This is where people can fall into that trap of rushing the last bit of it. I just focus on the section im working on and try not to think about the end.
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