No Room at the Couch, for Illustration Friday

No Room at the Couch, 8×10 Pencil Sketch for Illustration Friday

Marcelo, a large hound with the patience of, well, an extremely well-behaved dog, could never get a spot to himself anymore. When the stray cat came and shortly after, the kingfisher, he begrudgingly helped them settle in. And then the meerkat showed up, and he likes to argue – particularly with the llama, who simply waltzed in one day and made himself at home. By the time the koala showed up, Marcelo was resigned to living in a zoo. The bunny is the most recent addition, found by the cat as he was limping around the garden with an infected ear.

If you ask Marcelo, he will tell you they are rude, unruly and troublesome. But they all love him and call him “Poppa”. And he’s just a big softy, after all.

Holy cow, no color! Actually, I am so pleased with this sketch that I am scared to ink it. I will probably do it soon, I just didn’t want to rush it.

The word is “Space” at Illustration Friday. (Apologies for the muddy scans below. I spent some time cleaning up the final but not the others.)

Thanks for coming over! Have a great week!

Animal reference photos:

Koala, Great Dane Cleo, Russian Blue Amanda, Llama by Rusinka, Blue-banded Kingfisher.

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40 Responses to No Room at the Couch, for Illustration Friday

  1. rickitinic says:

    I love your bright colourful work, but this sketch is brilliant! It’s great to see the progression too! I think the koala is my fave! Nice work (:

  2. Alicia says:

    So nice to see a “simple” sketch from you, its so quiet, as are the expressions of the various creatures. The most animated thing is the couch they are seated on, as if it could take them for a stroll and lull they all to sleep. Beautiful! (and I love that i popped over to IF and here you are at the top of the links:)

  3. It’s a delight to behold! I don’t blame you for being cautious about adding color – it’s great the way it is. I’ve enjoyed seeing you progress from doing the faces to full-bodied critters. This drawing looks to be the crowning achievement. I love it!

  4. The dog looks a bit unhappy. But its actually a nice usage of space – on the couch and on the paper.

  5. Beth Parker says:

    Cindy, this is awesome!! I am always surprised that your art is not the pick of the week! It was so fun watching each critter get added to the mix! This is really wonderful!!! I wanna jump in and snuggle with them. :)

  6. Nice group…why don’t you color a photocopy or make a lightbox copy and colour that?

    • The Beast Tender says:

      So I have a bit of a mental block against working on a “photocopy”. A lightbox, on the other hand, may be just the thing! I shall have to look into it.

  7. Cindy, you’ve arranged this crew in a way that really tells the story of poor patient Marcelo and his new found friends. Great sketch!

  8. I really like the way you drew the dog, Maecelo. It’s my favorite of the animal postures because it’s the most complicated and intertwined.
    I don’t know if you need to color it, sometimes a really nice line drawing is a really nice line drawing!


  9. artisjokken says:

    Agree with Richard about the dog. Brilliant posture.

  10. Leslie White says:

    OMG! I love this! I see a whole series of piled up animals in the future, Cindy! They are all fantastic. They could be put together in a children’s book about bedtime or naptime. Wow…. I’m applauding this!!!!!

  11. The Beast Tender says:

    Thanks so much, everyone! I can’t tell you how many times I erased the dog’s head (you can see some of the versions in the slideshow). Same for the meerkat. I’m surprised I didn’t erase some holes into the paper.

    Leslie, I did think about more piles of animals! It was very fun.

    Really appreciate the comments! Certainly improves a sucky workday. ;)

  12. It works! good idea, I like the group

  13. Charlotte says:

    These animals are so full of life! I especially like the body language and expression of the slumbering koala. Makes me want to visit the zoo again lol!

  14. Brad Blahnik says:

    What a great sketch, I love the way you scan each section to show a process. I look forward to seeing a colored one if you decide to make one.

  15. very cool. i like the progress and the final result.

  16. Dina says:

    Beautiful illustration. Love the dog.

  17. Frances Cony says:

    Actually, I too like the pencil line drawing.

    Well done for squeezing them all in convincingly. There’s certainly not a lot of room left on that couch.

  18. Oh Cindy, this is just marvelous!! I do hope you will use a light box and make a copy to color, but I agree that the sketch alone communicates such intricacy and yet simplicity that it is wonderful as is. Bravo!

  19. Mom says:

    Fabulous-the expressions are like others have said!! OMG
    Love, Mom

  20. That’s quite the comfy-looking pile up! Looking forward to seeing the colored version! :)

  21. Anna says:

    So cute! Great idea!))

  22. Ana says:

    haha, wonderful drawing! I love the contrast expressions between the koala and the dog. Poor Marcelo!!

  23. This is a great illustration. We live in the desert where dogs run wild and one day the one we call “Dirty Snow” bought home two new born pups. They slept for months just like this, piled on top of each other.

  24. Val Myburgh says:

    This is fabulous Cindy. I agree with a previous comment that these characters would work very well in a children’s book. In fact you have many little fascinating snippets in your blog which could be cameos in various books. Well done! I really enjoy your work, thank you.

  25. Sonal Panse says:

    Hi Cindy,

    I love those animals – they remind me of my dogs, who like to cram up too.

    How about printing out the sketch and then coloring? I often don’t like to ink over the pencils either.

    Talk to you again. Bye.


  26. mardi speth says:

    Cindy, it’s perfect the way it is! It’s no small feat getting all those critters into the right position. I like the variety of emotions in this illo, especially the koala bear. Those meerkats! They’re always the troublemakers.

  27. michele says:

    wow…such great drawing skills. i miss your fabulous colour though!

  28. Betsy Patel says:

    I love Marcelo’s expression compared with the rest. Everyone else seems to not notice how crowded he is. The sketch is wonderful! I can’t wait to see how you color it.

  29. What a cast of characters!! That poor dog looks miserable! The koala, on the other hand, looks to be the happiest of the bunch! Great drawing!

  30. Jessixa says:

    This is a really sweet drawing! I like the way all the animals are posed.They have very authentic postures.

  31. this is a great illustration! The way the dog looks really beautiful. You can see him thinking shall I stay or look for a place of my own.

  32. It is, indeed, a very beautiful drawing – your rendering of all these exotic creatures (particularly in the contorted positions they find themselves unceremoniously squished into here!) is just brilliant. Marcelo is certainly a very tolerant chap (albeit out of necessity, if he’s to continue ‘enjoying’ his spot…), and I think, like another of your followers, that the koala is my favourite – he just looks so deliciously relaxed! However, I do have a soft spot for the afflicted rabbit who looks as though he’s not wholly convinced this isn’t all an elaborate charade by the cat to lure him to certain doom… Great stuff! x

  33. Sarah says:

    I love this! I can’t wait to see it in color… but no rush. It reminds me a little on The Mitten by Jan Brett.

  34. clara nilles says:

    Just adorable…..kinda like Noahs Ark. Can’t wait to see them in colors!

  35. Your drawings are so strong. I love your characters. This is a perfect representation for “Space,” or lack thereof. :-)

  36. Fantastic! Love the couch which I’m imagining is about to get up and leave them all in a heap on the floor. Great drawing too. Especially love the poor dog squished in the middle of the heap – good on him for not budging! Koala looks so comfy… x

  37. C.P.Adorio says:

    Aaaaaaaaawwww. This reminds me of my dear Daisy. Always gets pushed by Wheezy.

  38. I saw the top illustration on Monday Artday and this one with the koala is great too!

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