IF Puzzled, Capybara and Crowned Crane in Copics

Green Capybara and Crowned Crane, 8x10 Copic Markers

I would have expected the capybara and the crowned crane to be equally puzzled upon meeting the other. But it turns out capybaras are rarely puzzled (or troubled) by much. The crowned crane, for her part, was not so much puzzled by meeting her first capybara, as by its peculiar coloring. Granted, it had been some years since university, but she felt strongly that no member of the rodent family came in any green shade whatsoever. Puzzling indeed.

The topic is “puzzled” at Illustration Friday. You haven’t joined yet? Why the heck not?┬áHere are some progress shots:

Capybara and Crane Sketch

Capybara and Crane Ink

Capybara and Crane Frisket

Oops! Colored his foot before I remembered to scan!

Capybara and Crane Color 1

Capybara and Crane Color 2

Capybara and Crane Color 3

I think I like this stage the most. But it felt like it was missing a bit of something and the ground seemed very unfinished.

Green Capybara and Crowned Crane, Final

Sometimes I think these progression posts are as much about what not to do, as things you can do. Not sure about those clouds. Definitely not sure about that landscape with the somewhat unfortunate green amoebas. The crane has too much tone in common with the ground, and the bright orange feathers are a tad too bright! Hrm.

There is no undo with Copics, which sometimes leads to interesting things. And sometimes not. I don’t hate it but I do need lots of landscape practice. I can say this capybara is head and shoulders above my first tragic attempt, (at the bottom of that page, with the purple emu).

Thank you for stopping by! (And don’t forget I have an IF thumbnail tutorial on the right side of this page. Make sure your thumbnail works!)

Capybara reference from this site. Crowned crane reference from this one.


28 thoughts on “IF Puzzled, Capybara and Crowned Crane in Copics

  1. Creations By Mit

    Really love that you are depicting out of the ordinary animals, & really nailing them!! Love them both, but I’m partial to capybaras. As always, love your vibrant colors, and your texture & patterns! (But you probably know that by now!! :D )

  2. Amanda Dilworth

    I love Capybaras, they remind me of giant guinea pigs. Such cute little faces, which i think you have captured with your illustration, and the fact he is green and has patterns on just makes me like him even more! :)

  3. Beth Parker

    I have never heard of a capybara, so I think green is a perfectly respectable color! This is a wonderful portrait of your two lovely creatures, Cindy.

    I have been looking at Copic markers and they are so expensive. Are they enough better to work with (over other pens) to justify the cost? I saw a video the other day and noticed Mary Engelbright uses them, too. You both certainly get beautiful results with Copics.

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      That’s a hard one to answer! Certainly I had to start with just a few and build up to all the colors I have now. But I haven’t used any other markers so it’s hard to say. They blend exceedingly well and the colors are generally quite bright, and mostly I’ve been able to avoid the streaky look markers can cause.

      On the other hand, I’ve been feeling rather limited by size and want to do some painting. For a while I thought “oils!” but now I’m thinking acrylic or maybe gouache. Or more likely, I won’t decide and therefore won’t do any of those for some time. ;)

      Thanks to all for the great comments!

  4. ALMI Art

    I love both of them, and I think that Capybara would be surprised if that Crane pecked him in the nose (which looks like something he might be considering). I think if you added a shadow under them (nothing too drastic), that might tie them into the background more, make them feel more a part of it. But I do like the landscape.

    I saw above you said you were feeling limited, have you thought about watercolors? It would be very similar to how you build up your marker drawings, so it might be your “gateway” paint. :) If you already have acrylic paint, you could water that down and play with building layers (I do!). Just a thought.

    I love that you share your process. I really should do that more often! I’ve only done it a few times, I always forget to take pictures until I’m too far along for it to be that interesting…

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      Oh my gosh, a shadow, of course! I have really little experience doing whole scenes, since I’ve been concentrating on animal faces with abstract backgrounds. Thank you for the tip/reminder!

      As for watercolors, I just don’t know! I did use acrylics a bit at one time (a million years ago), so I thought the learning curve would be *slightly* less. I do love the combination of pen and watercolor I sometimes see people doing. I just want to pick one and not have to switch after spending all the initial cash for supplies.

      1. ALMI Art

        Happy I could help! :)

        As for the supplies – I like acrylic, so when I do “watercolor” it’s really just very watery acrylics. However, if you really like the layering technique, then I think watercolors are more in that department. Check out her site: http://shirleyngbenitez.com/ I’m sure you’ve probably seen her on IF, but I look at her brilliant colors and think about the wonderful things you could do with layers and patterns! :)

        If you’re unsure, maybe just buy a few tubes and do one or two pictures with that limited pallet and see what you think.

  5. Sylvia Liu

    I love it, as usual. I like the background and I think the green works because it does bring your eye back to the capybara. I’ve always had a soft spot for crested cranes after my husband I saw a pair doing a mating dance on a safari in Zambia on our honeymoon.

    1. The Beast Tender Post author

      Thank you, Sylvia! Wow, that’s so cool you saw that! (I wonder if they played it up since you were watching, lol). ;)

  6. richard Ewing

    I like your Capybara, puts me in mind of the Nowhere Man from Yellow Submarine… I wonder now who put those flowers on him/her, and was he/she happy with the result?

    Perhaps he/she was trying to impress the crane…?

  7. Sheri McClure-Pitler

    Capybaras are so weird! Like giant guinea pigs. The surprising green color does them justice. And the Crowned Crane looks absolutely majestic. Nice job on the full-bodied critters.

  8. PiaD

    Amoebas, LOL! You shouldn’t have mentioned them, now I cannot look at the picture anymore without seeing amoebas. What would a puzzled amoeba look like, actually?
    Anyway, another great one by you and I say go for the watercolors. You can even copic over them I bet!

  9. Susanna

    Everytime i learn new kind of animals!
    Isn’t the capybara kind of big guinniepig [ i don’t know how to write those little animals] guinea pig? Or family of them? That’s what I remember reading about the capybara from the Zoo!

  10. Vicki Oliver

    Really like the capybara, the bright colours and patterns work well together. Also thank you for the nice comments you left me this week and last week! :)

  11. shirley

    I love that you tackle some of the hardest animals to illustrate! They turned out beautifully..so full of character and vibrant color! Thanks for the super kind visit recently…and yay for Wilson when the grumpies come..so glad he helps chase them away! : )

  12. Amalou

    If only real capybara’s came flowery patterned and in that beautiful shade of green. Capybara’s would be far from being described as rodents. Loving these new creatures!

  13. Leslie White

    The bird looks so eccentric! Then along comes this friendly sort of capybara. They look like unlikely friends, the “Mutt and Jeff” kind of pairing. …but who can resist that kind look you gave the capybara.

    I don’t think your illustrations require much of a landscape as it is all about the figures. And I agree! Each painting is a learning experience. :)

  14. Irina Lib

    I love the final version but prefer the clouds from step 3. I actually think the landscape came out looking very nice and complements the crane well. I agree with others on trying water color. Your technique is certainly watercolor-like.

  15. bella sinclair

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
    First rule of Flight Club is…you don’t talk about Fight Club.

    Hehehe, oh nooo, I think they are going to be best friends, actually. I mean, how cool are they? They are admiring each other. Green capybara! Hahaha! Love your imagination.

    Speaking of which — whale head and rat forest? BAHAHAHAHA! Your had me rolling on the floor!

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