Category Archives: Unusual Animals

Steampunk Anteater, a Cautionary Tale (with Progress Photos!)

Steampunk Anteater has issues.  I was planning to tell you up front, but instead I am going to post the progression photos and you get to guess the problems! (And let’s be clear, asking why I don’t do illustration digitally – thereby bypassing many of the problems to which you will shortly be witness – is not worth any points.) And now without further ado (I am actually quite fond of ado):

Tree Anteater by Maladjusted-Platypus at deviantART

Steampunk Anteater sketch

Some questionable moves up front. But that often happens! It was going to be a male but I did a male horse last. This one didn’t *have* to have hair but it does, in certain cases, help a great deal in matters of gender identity. (Also, I liked the hair on the llama and kangaroo. Used to similar purpose.)

Steampunk Anteater ink

Steampunk Anteater color 1


Steampunk Anteater color 2

Steampunk Anteater color 3

Steampunk Anteater Final (?)

Oh, here are two versions with simple digital backgrounds that I tried in the hopes it would improve my appreciate of this poor anteater:

Steampunk Anteater, Mustard Background

Steampunk Anteater, Purple Gradient

I do think the backgrounds improve the overall drawing, but not enough. So. Did you spot the problems? Ugh, so many:

1. Not enough attention paid to gadgetry. Not sure why I lost focus there. 2. Muddying of colors. I’m just not happy with some of the color combinations, and part of that is because I tried to change the palette partway through. 3. An eyepiece without a lens.  Yikes.  I really needed to decide on the design of the lens instead of initially coloring the eye as if it wasn’t covered by anything. 4. The body color and hat were too close in color all the way up to the end – changing the hat to red was the last thing I did. 5. The brown I used to swirl shadows on the yellow/mustard was a really bad choice, too dark, wrong family.  Arrrgh! 5. The dark stripes on the upper body look a bit like a shrug or stole.  Actually, I guess I don’t mind that. But I was hoping those stripes would help identify this  beast as an anteater.   6. Hair color – not sure this was the best choice. 7. I am not sure she has a lot of life to her.  Sure, she may be the quiet, brooding type, but a hint of personality is always nice.

And so concludes tonight’s cautionary tale.  tl;dr* – here is what we’ve learned:

Take your time. Plan ahead, at least a little. Try not to change colors midstream. Test color combinations before muddying things up! Take your time – it’s worth mentioning twice!  I know deadlines can be killer but in the end, you want to be happy your name is on the thing, right?

Thank you for visiting – bonus points if you read that whole damn thing. :o)

*tl;dr – acronym for “too long, didn’t read”, i.e. here is a summary of all the preceding text that you didn’t read. [Most of you already know this, which is why I put it away from the action, in a footnote. But some of you did not know, and it is to you I direct this note. I know I appreciate it when things of which I am ignorant are spelled out, instead of the norm – which seems to say unless you know these obvious things your opinion doesn’t matter.  Well listen, your opinion DOES matter.  (And so concludes your positive affirmation for today.)