Otter Art, new illustration and some favorites
New Otter Art Print
My newest illustration is of a swimming River Otter, an animal I especially love. The Weasel family, which includes otters, have been a favorite of mine since learning about them in elementary school.
This was made from a doodle i drew last October. The illustration features a Otter floating in a river and includes an underwater dimension, a stone lined river bank, icicles, and falling snow.
Sometimes these drawings seem to take a lot of work, studying the animals and figuring out how to convey them in simple lines and shapes. Sometimes it takes multiple sketches, altering and redoing drawings (this Pine Marten comes to mind) and sometimes, like this otter, they come together easily in one quick go.
I have prints up in the shop, which you can find here: River Otter Art Print
Favorite Otter Art
While I'm on the subject I thought I'd talk about some of the otter art I enjoy. Below are a few of my favorites. Included are different otter species, and a range of styles from different artists.
" features a sea otter painted in his distinctive geometric, graphic style. The otter is floating on it's back, an arm wrapped around a piece of kelp, and chewing on a sand dollar. On it's belly are some other favorite sea otter foods: an orange star fish and sea urchin. This piece is pretty typical of his work, which illustrated wild animals and their behavior, often in interesting and/or humorous ways.
Like many others, I'm quite fond of the unique way he simplified animals and the natural world, especially the sea urchin in this piece. I think this is such a clever way of depicting a difficult subject. The pattern is interesting, fun, and immediately recognizable.
Above, Tom Frost's otter stamp screen print
. Part of his series of birds and animals of the British Isles, in stamp form! A fun use of geometric pattern and shapes. This is the Eurasian otter, Lutra lutra,
which swims in both fresh and salt water and is found throughout Europe and Asia. The otter mug, shown on the right, is available here
"Along the Water's Edge" by Rebecca Green Gouache and Colored Pencil
Rebecca Green's whimsical narrative paintings often feature animals and interesting girl characters. Along the Water's Edge is an imaginative scene that features one such character, along with swimming river otters, and an egret. I love the soft muted colors in her work. I'm also a sucker for interesting texture and keep coming back to stare at the rich layers, marks, and brushstrokes in her paintings. You can find more of her art here: myblankpaper.com
The gestural ink drawing of the otter above is by Sophie Neville
. This and her other sketches are drawn from observation of otters she and her family raises. Her drawings capture the otters in their distinctive poses and movements. Its fairly evident from these drawings she's spent a good deal of time observing them and learning about their anatomy. She has some interesting notes on drawing such a tricky subject on her blog, and I would recommend checking it out. You can find the article here
."Drawing otters is tricky, firstly because they don't stay still for a moment and secondly because our tame otters are so affectionate and inquisitive that they continually want to see what you are doing. The paw prints on the sketch above are not made with paint but with mud from a wet creature who would have made the paper all soggy, given half a chance"
Above, a little excerpt from Sophie's impressions of drawing otters and the muddy sketch she refers to. You can read more about the otters she raises here
(one of her otters painted and had an exhibition!).
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