Friday, August 12, 2011

Animal Defenders International Lion Donation WIP01

Hi All,

As many of you probably already know I volunteer some of my time at Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Animal Defenders International (ADI).  If you are interested in reading more about these organizations here is a link to their websites: and  ADI was instrumental in getting a ban against animals in circus' in Bolivia.  After the ban went into effect ADI brought 4 lions from Bolivia and placed them at PAWS (as well as rescuing several others from there and placing them in other sanctuaries).  I am a docent for the four lions at PAWS.  I met the founder and Director of ADI at PAWS and promised them I would create a drawing of one of the lions from Bolivia to donate to them to do what they want with it.  I think they are going to try to do an auction on the artwork.  They recently sent me a photo of Simba to work from and that reference photo is to the left here in this post.

I started working on Simba...... this is all I have done so far.  Of course... I'm only showing a portion of the drawing at this point.  The drawing is 18" x 14" on a light beige Suede Mat board and it will be 100% colored pencil.

As you can see, I draw the grid right on the drawing and the reference photo.  This helps me keep track of where I'm at as I create the drawing.  I am still working on this area so it isn't finished yet.  You can see I need to push the values a bit more than I have at this time.  I'm also seeing I need to do a bit more with the eyes.  It's amazing how posting it the computer can make you see some of that stuff you don't see prior to posting it. 

As always.... if you should have any questions or comments let me know and above all..... keep scribbling!!!


  1. What a great cause.
    Simba makes a very majestic subject and I look forward to watching progress.

    I really should follow your example with grids ... I tend to use them only at the last minute when something is 'off' and I can't figure why!!

  2. Hi Sue,

    Yeah... it is a great cause and I just love having the opportunity to help in anyway I can.

    Also... the grids really help me keep things correct and it helps me to keep it down to small little windows of just shapes, colors, lines and so forth. That way my left brain doesn't try to take over, LOL.

  3. Love the eyes Gemma. Another winner for sure!! I need to get back to suede board and do some more experimenting with it. Have to wait for summer to end first. Can't use suedeboard in humidity. :(

    PS: What do you use to draw the grids on suede with? And how do you remove them? Suede is not very forgiving.


  4. Thanks Nancy!!

    I use graphite for the grids and I just draw, the CP right over them. I actually feel that suede is very forgiving. You can cover mistakes, grids or contour lines without an issue. It takes lots and lots of layers and all you have to do is just use a heavier hand when covering something. I never erase I only cover the mistakes or lines.

    Cheers, Gemma

  5. Wait, you don't have a problem with running out of tooth?? I guess that is probably because you use solvent. I don't use solvent on mine for the most part, and I DO reach a point where I run out of tooth and the pencil starts getting shiney on me (hard to explain). I think I'll go back and do some more on suede board when it cools down here and the humidity drops. I really like how pencil works on it.

    Love this lion too Gemma!


  6. Hi Nancy, I don't use very much solvent at all... only in the darker areas. If you do start running out of tooth, you can brush the suede with a bristle brush to gain some back.