Chipmunk In Graphite

The Chipmunk

This adorable chipmunk showed up in our Maple Tree at the front porch and it drove the dogs mad!  They would not do anything else but sit and stare at that tiny little guy for days.

Can you see his tail hanging down on the right side of the photo? His body is hidden by the leaves, but you can see his little face peeking through... There was a second one as well - you may be able to see it almost center toward the top.

The Guard Dogs

Cooper, our Australian Shepherd, and Sugar Baby, our Westie, would not leave from this place on the porch until finally the little guy got annoyed with them and found another tree to live in...

But not before I was able to get some closer photos of him. I was hoping to get close enough to see some detail for a possible graphite portrait.  It worked!

A Graphite Portrait of a Chipmunk

Once I had quite a few photos, I got out my sketchbook and began drawing some gestural sketches which are simple and quick sketches of movement and shapes - since typically your subject would be moving about.

He was so tiny - about 8.3 inches from head to tip of tail!


From here, I picked the pose I liked the best and using the photos I had taken and the hatching technique, I began to fill in some areas on his beautiful head. Just look at those eyes...

I kept working until I had him pretty well shaded and toned the way I wanted and then I added some color with colored pencil.

I also did a bit of another pose in my sketchbook...


Here's a comparison - As you can see, I could still spend much more time on him.  He has so many great features and the contrast between the darks and lights can make this a very striking portrait.  But this will be it for now.  I might revisit him someday. I love how he turned out. 


"Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind:
cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth,
each according to its kind”;
and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth
according to its kind,
cattle according to its kind,
and everything that creeps on the earth
according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:24-25