Atlantic female walrus (watercolor)
Before I started this watercolor, I had been working on the sketches. The sketch is always a fundamental concept for the future illustration. In a sketch the artist is able to make mistakes and try again. My first plan was to make a separate watercolor for, the female, and the calf walrus. But then I came up with a better idea to put mother and calf together, as they usually are for two years or even longer. I tried to join them together in Adobe Photoshop in different positions and in the end I picked the last version, where the calf lies on his mother’s back, the same way they do in the wild for protection.
Sketching and searching for the position of the calf:
After the preparations were done, I transferred the sketch onto the watercolor paper in a bigger scale, so I could later scan and decrease the scale into the size of the publication to keep all details sharp. I started with light colors and added more layer by layer. I was painting the watercolor without any background as is customary in scientific illustration. I used wet watercolor for big patches of the walrus skin and almost dry watercolor for the lines and sharp details. For the last layer I used Titanium white watercolor paint to create fur on the skin and make the vibrissae. Atlantic walrus females are often more furry than Pacific walrus females, so it was very important to show the fur.
Process of the watercolor painting:
Final result of the walrus female watercolor:
Thank you for your attention!