Slowvember - Prepare for Winter

  • Had lots of ideas running through my head, lots of sketches all that I am happy with and will probably take to finish sometime but this is the one I am going to roll with. Rough sketch of a family of squirrel type creatures getting ready for winter. Any thoughts on it before I start to clean up the lines?


  • Cleaned up lines, any comments/suggestions before I begin values?


  • Hi! You have a great idea here, however, I can't fully understand what these squirrels are doing though. Are they storing wood or are they storing peanuts(or nuts in general)? I would also like to point out their hands. This is just based on my taste but they seem too thin and sharp to me as if they're claws. Another suggestion, you could also add some sort of a hole in the tree where the squirrels are storing their supplies. Perhaps you could show the hole overflowing with nuts and stuff. I hope you find this helpful.

  • Hi Chip! I like the concept but I'm confused by the three little stumps in front of the main squirrel on the left. They don't match the flow of the other branches and it doesn't appear to naturally join the trunk there. I could just nor be seeing it right, though.

  • @nyrryl-cadiz Yes i think adding a hole for the food is a great idea.

  • @jon-anderson I see what you mean about the stumps, i will try to re work that a little. I was trying to show an area where they little guys are sitting.

  • Hi @Chip-Valecek!

    Love this concept, squirrels are so cute when they prepare for winter. :3

    I have just a couple of things that might help with your piece.

    The first thing that stood out to me was the bird. I felt it was out of place, however, I think it might have just been due to his line of vision. It's taking the viewer eyes away from the piece when we follow it.

    Hope you don't mind I did a quick draw over to demonstrate what I mean.

    I felt if you changed its line of vision to maybe be looking at what they're gathering, then it will engage the bird into the piece.

    Another thing I noticed was that the squirrel parent seemed to be admiring the "food, gathering materials" for itself. Almost like Gollum from Lord of the Rings "My Precious" Haha. I felt that if the parent squirrel turned towards the babies as if it's offering it to them then it would look more like a family preparing for winter.

    This combined with all the critters line of vision, allows the viewer to understand better what is occurring within the piece.

    Awesome job, can't wait to see as this piece progresses through Slowvember! 🙂

  • @jajajulie awesome feedback! Thank you so much for taking the time to do that. I agree with all you said.

  • Here it is with the changes. What do you all think?


  • @chip-valecek big improvement, looks cool:)

  • Looks great! 🙂 @chip-valecek

  • Great thanks! Onto the next stage.

  • Here is my local values on separate layers. Helps when it comes to painting i can create clipping layers to added shadows and lights.


  • nice characters, i think if i was going to make some changes it would about the hole in the tree, with the peanuts in it.
    For the whole, i think where it touches the top of the squirrells ear. I think if you brought the whole down so it wouldnt look like it is flowing in to the ear, and the peanuts on the inside, the kinda match with the one he is holding, maybe if you twisted the one in his hand or the pile then the textures wouldnt line up so much. but shadding them different would help also.....hope this helped

    good work!

  • Next step complete and always the most time consuming for me. Next up color.


  • @chip-valecek looking good 🙂

  • After my values I use a color layer and slap on my colors.


    From here I clean up the edges and define the forms a little more. Add in some light and additional shadows and call it done.


  • FYI my kids didn't like the big ear on the bird so at the last minute I scraped it. My kids are my biggest critics LOL.

  • @chip-valecek mine too! Iam always scared to show them anything cause they don't put words in a warm blanket if they don't like smth;)

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