Behind the lines and colors : my dolphin and MerryDay preparation

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Drawing animals is one of challenging drawing topics to me. I remember drawing an elephant on school wall in an art class when I was in high school. It was in such a wrong proportion that everyone laughed at. It was so humiliating at the time but I know now that there's nothing to be ashamed of.  Art can be unrealistic, distorted or completely different. There is no right or wrong, only opinions...

When I started my 365 days I draw,  I intended to draw animals as much as I could. Animals, backgrounds,  stories were what I thought I lacked in my drawings.  I used to draw single thing and stop. My friends told me that it looked cute but not interesting enough. I needed to give my drawings unique characters, give them actions, give them stories. It was very difficult at first but with  365 days I draw project, I gradually built up my own catalogue of animals and stories.

I 'm not satisfied with my drawing of cats or tigers yet but it's not so scary or difficult anymore. You just have to keep on drawing until you get them right.

Above is one of my Love is... drawing collection. I finished this collection just before Valentine's Day. There are 11 designs altogether, some of them are developed from my 365 days' sketches, some from my everyday doodles. Drawing animals is hard, drawing cute animals is even harder. Dolphins are always considered cute. They have such friendly faces and look smiley all the time. I tried drawing them several times and ended up using the cheating way by finding a reference photo then traced the outline :P

merry dolphin in progress

My dolphin looked in need of a companion so I added a little mermaid and I think they enjoy dancing together :) I usually work from a very rough idea and continue adding elements in the process. The caption "If you dance, I'll dance with you" just came up when I almost finished the details.

This illustration is designed for a greeting card but it suits well on a notebook cover (and other stationery items) too. And here my dolphin notebook with front and back view!

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Please note that although this drawing collection is already posted in my facebook page, it is not for sale on my etsy shop yet. I'm in the process of revamping my shop and plan to reopen it very very soon. Just want to share my working process here so you know what I'm working on. I think, in a way, sharing this publicly prevents me from slacking off too! :D