Just a bit of background on how I illustrate a few pieces of my work, some of which are reproduced on gift items and giclee prints – hope you find it interesting.
With this picture, and as with a couple of other elephant illustrations, I decided to try something a bit different, just to see how it would work.
Using a pencil I lightly sketched out the composition first, then with a rotoring pen I worked back into it using a cross hatch effect. For the most part this texturing was similar in size, with perhaps a little variation but generally I tried to draw to whatever fit the form and shape of the elephants best. I gradually built up layers of cross hatching so the illustration had a feeling of depth, leaving areas blank indicating where the light would be coming from, overlapping more and more hatching in some places so it became dense enough to almost be a solid black. This shaped texture along with the light and shade giving depth, helps the image stand out from the page.
Slowly I added detail such as wrinkles and features in the face to give a sense of character. The hatching creates a really interesting effect, which reflects the elephants craggy and often mud and dust covered skin.
I was quite pleased with how this pen & ink style turned out, so I tried it with a couple of rhino illustrations too.