When sketching animals I try to capture their emotions through their body language. Looking at reference helps, but I also try to imagine interesting shapes and push the stylisation. I start with simple line art to get the general gestures down, then I move on to colour, while trying to maintain the movement of the original sketch. Studying the shape of animals can really help when creating imaginative caricatures like this. One simple way to practise is to watch a video of an animal on Youtube, pause it at a random moment, and try and sketch the exact outline of it – no matter how it looks – so you can get a feel for its shape in different positions. From doing this you can start to exaggerate an animal’s features, such as making the eyes much bigger if you’re looking to create a cute character. Draw your animal as a stick figure to begin with to position the limbs. Then on a new layer start fleshing it out with bigger brushes, adding to it with colour and texture.
Artist: Natalie Murrow