Shoebill and Squirrel Share a Secret, for IF

Shoebill and Squirrel, 8×10 Copic Markers, digital text & background

[Quick Note:  If you are subscribed to my blog (thank you very much!) it turns out the notices are going into spam. They were doing that for a bit but I thought I fixed it. Apologies for the trouble and I shall continue to try to find a solution. Arrrgh!]

The word is Secret at Illustration Friday.

I was working with the pink background for a while but in fooling with the hue slider in Paint.NET I settled on this ecru. And actually, I don’t have too much in the way of critical comments on this one. I think I reached a good stopping place (and actually stopped!) before over-doing the swirly bits. Hooray!

Thank you so much for stopping by! You are the coolest. ;P

*Shoebill: Otherwise known as a shoebill stork or whalehead (or whale-headed) stork.  Some consider the shoebill a missing link between the pelican and the stork, and they are the last living species of the family Balaenicipitidae. Shoebills live mostly in eastern Africa and are endangered due to loss of habitat. They can be as tall as four feet and are mostly solitary creatures.

Beauty or Beast Shoebill by SKSfoto at DeviantART;  Gray Squirrel Hanging Upside Down photo reference. The font is Ugly Qua.

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This entry was posted in Copic Markers, Illustration Friday, Inked Birds, Progression Photos, sketches, Unusual Animals and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Shoebill and Squirrel Share a Secret, for IF

  1. The squirrel is fun but I LOVE Harriet! Her beautiful colours and her VERY skeptical look make her a wonderful charcter.

  2. I like the Shoebill and wonder what-the-heck made you think to pair these two up, but I’m enamored of the squirrel. I love the whole upside-down aspect, the just right stretched out lean look of his body, his cute little rodent face, his clever hands and great coloring. I think you should do more squirrels.

  3. Lee Lee says:

    Beautifully done!

  4. Nice work Cindy…the composition is great!

  5. This makes me smile :) Great expressions!

  6. Cathy Holtom says:

    Great characters and expressions!

  7. khwhitaker says:

    Oh, this is fabulous! that squirrel is too cute!!!

  8. Missy says:

    This is great. I like the pink background – vivid!

  9. This one totally rocks! I agree that you stopped at just the right place. I love the shadows under Harriett’s feathers and they both have such lively eyes! Squirrel’s hands cupping H’s head for attention and H’s LOOK just speaks volumes. SO well done!

  10. TMartin says:

    Fabulous! They have such great expressions–and their colors are–as always–lovely–luminous and textured.

  11. Really Cool! The color choices on the Shoebill are perfect… The tidbits of info are pretty neat too!

  12. What absolutely makes it for me for this illo is that the way the squirrel is grabbing the bird’s head. SO much character! Your secret mission has been accomplished ;)

  13. vfm4 says:

    such a cute illo, love it! :-)

  14. Laurel says:

    Secrets about food are definitely the best kind of secret! I love the narrative aspect and the characters and I really loved seeing your step by step process!

  15. angel says:

    Oh my gosh, this is my absolute favorite so far! I know I’ve said that before but seriously, this is crazy awesome. Love their expressions and colors and pose. Fantastic!

  16. Nice work. As always, I like your textures and characters.

  17. sharon says:

    Lovely illustration (as always!) and equally lovely story to go with it…

  18. Superb piece with such an expressive characters! Love Shoebill’s look and the squirrel being upside down!And your textures are always awesome!

  19. The Beast Tender says:

    Thanks so much, everyone! I must say this is a personal favorite, too. Often the expressions happen by accident and only then do I know what their story is. Which may be a tad backwards, but who said everyone had to travel in the same direction? ;)

  20. Sally Taylor says:

    Beautiful Characters, Colors, and Textures. The Text also fits in nicely. Very Nice!

  21. tallulah says:

    This is lovely! I really like the swirls as a way of adding texture / extra depth to the illustration. What an excellent secret that squirrel has as well…

  22. I bet the secret is where his hidden nut stash is. If he can remember anyway. Thanks for following me over on pinterest. I added your shouting fox to my art board. I love that one!

  23. Love this!! The ecru background sets off your animals beautifully. I love the way they’re positioned on the page as well as how the text is laid out. Beautiful piece.

  24. This is by far my favorite you have done

  25. Hannah says:

    How beautiful. I love the composition :)

  26. paula says:

    Wow! Great job and thanks for sharing all the work leading up to the final. I can tell you’re loving it. :)

  27. nancydrewit says:

    Hi Cindy–I really like this; I love the warm background color and the page composition is really quite nice. Way to go!

  28. Beth Parker says:

    Cindy, this is so wonderful!!! I love that the squirrel is upside down and he appears to be very amused by the secret he is telling! I really love this one!!!

  29. crotchety comics says:

    Oh boy! All the latest forest dirt from Mr. Squirrel. I love it!

  30. Terrific as always. I particularly enjoy the dots on the storks head. They bring the two creatures together and harmonize them very well in your composition.

  31. Gay McKinnon says:

    This one is a beauty, Cindy! I love the squirrel’s expression and pose and the eye-to-eye … reminds me of that kiss in ‘Spiderman’. The lettering looks great too. You MUST do a book.

  32. Ana says:

    They look so happy I want to know that secret too!!
    I didn’t know about shoebills, I had to google them. They look like prehistoric animals and their plumage color is really beautiful…
    I’m watching this now:
    When they open their wings is beautiful and scary at the same time… Harriet looks friendlier :)

    • The Beast Tender says:

      Cool video! It never occurred to me to look for a video. Wow, they look so huge. Amazing they can fly (though maybe not as graceful as some.) Had to mute the sound though, yikes! (Harriet is friendly unless she’s in a bad mood.) :)

  33. Tanja says:

    Wow – that is incredible. I really like your work and feel insprired by it …

  34. I visit every week,and this piece is my absolute favorite from you so far!!! As always, the patterns & colors are great, but I think its how the expressions on these guys really shine through! Love it!!!

  35. Really love the composition of this and Harriet’s beautiful blue feathers

  36. clara n. says:

    Love it… the shoebill…..

  37. I love your work! It’s so vibrant and colourful! Beautiful!!! I also love how you post images of the progression in your work…it’s so inspiring!

  38. nicky linzey says:

    So beautiful, the colours, the creatures ..

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