New year, new animal sketching blog

I am a designer and illustrator, with a background in theatrical design, and I have an online shop selling my own hand illustrated cards called Alex Agg Design on Etsy. I am also a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators) with a keen interest in children’s books.  I recently completed a course in Natural History Illustration and my life-long love of sketching animals has become a great way to explore interesting ideas for story characters and as inspiration for card and product designs.

I love posting on my Instagram account but I thought a blog would give me the opportunity to explain more about my what I get up to and do some focused sketch work.

Black and white birds

I planned to observe the birds in my garden for my latest sketch session and though the birds were a little illusive my trusty binoculars helped me to observe the birds from a far and I managed to catch the shapes of a few crows and jackdaws.

Afterwards I looked more closely at images of the two birds, looking at the shapes of their heads and beaks.

A Jackdaw and Carrion Crow in pencil

Whilst it is lovely to do an accurate drawing of an animal, when you are drawing from life they rarely sit still! I am interested in capturing the character of an animal with a few gestural lines and give a stylised representation which still maintains the unique idea of the animal.

A while ago I did a tutored sketching day at a local zoo which included some time in the owl section. I like that owls are one solid shape and decided to use the negative space around this snowy owl to give it its shape rather than using line.

Snowy Owl in pencil

It was great fun when I got home to play around and to create some characterful owls using a simple style. Black and white birds are very striking and which can look awesome on the page.

owl pic 004.jpg
Snowy owl illustration in brush markers and fine liner

I look forward to sharing more sketching adventures with you in the future. Watch this space for more from me and keep up to date with other happenings with: @alexaggdesign on Instagram, @alexagg on Twitter and @alexaggdesign on Facebook or take a look at my website:

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