How doth the little crocodile

  Improve his shining tail
And pour the waters of the Nile
  On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin
  How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
  With gently smiling jaws!

Thought I’d ring in my first post for the new year with an old-fashioned demo!

Like many of you, I sometimes struggle with juggling client projects and commissions with my own personal work. And more often than not I make things worse for myself by adding new personal projects (of varying sizes) to my plate! One of which, currently, is illustrating the poems from Lewis Carroll’s Alice books.

It’s a side project I’m tinkering with here and there. I’ve got things loosely sketched out and when I’m able to do it, I fit one in my schedule and take on another character or poem.

Let’s got to it! First I go from my thumbnail scribbles and quickly plan out the figure.




Once I’m satisfied with the direction, it’s on to the actual drawing. Almost always beginning with a brown Col-erase pencil.

And now we move into the painting stage.

First, a flat color shape underneath the drawing.

Next, some local color. Still under the line art itself.

Continuing highlight work. At last working on top of the drawing. At this stage I’m working mainly with layers of Screen and Lighten.

The first serious pass at highlights and detailing the scales. For this stage I let the drawing suggest where to add the scales.

Next come further refinements and a few washes of shadows.

…And the little crocodile at last!

Here’s to your schedule! Hoping that your 2021 is filled plenty of time to do the work that you want to do.