Red Fox Detailed Drawing – Part 2 : The finished product

Finishing a drawing in pencil

I went over the rough drawing I made yesterday, adding detail and deepening shading and indications of colour (since it’s a greyscale image).  It was fun to do but I enjoyed it a little less than finishing an ink drawing because the pencil doesn’t dry like ink and keeps on smudging which makes working on it harder.  I thought of spraying some fixative on at various stages but that would ruin things if I needed, at the end, to touch up some highlights with my putty eraser. (This is something I normally do.)  So, after having to clean up some smudges I got it finished.

Pencil hardness grades

I did try the 8B pencil but it was less dark than the 4B and the 4B looked rough, like crayon.  So I used the 4B only where it wanted a textured background and didn’t bother with the 8B at all.  Perhaps I need to do some research on pencil grades and types because I don’t understand properly how to use them. My most used pencils were HB, B and 2B.  For the first time I thought about rooting through my study to find an H for the light hairs but I’m still not properly well from the illness I have so I decided to let that go this time. Otherwise my temperature might go up again and I can’t think straight when that happens – my thoughts go weird and jumbled up.

Importing to a Digital Format

Once the image was finished it was quite difficult to transfer to a digital medium.  I didn’t want to use my rather rubbish phone camera as most of the detail I’d drawn would be lost but my A3 drawing was too big for my scanner. Soooo… I scanned it twice, once for each area of the picture, and then matched them up in Photoshop 6.  It is the first time since I got Manga Studio that I’ve found something Photoshop does better than Manga Studio – matching up and cleaning pencil images.

So here it is… I hope you like it.  🙂

fox_FIN_WEBBy the way, the original digital image is approx 3000 by 4000 pixels – this one is significantly scaled down for the web.  I tend to do this for all the images I publish here as it saves on filespace.

So tomorrow I’m going to look at designing a ‘Game of Thrones’ style flag for my family – The Foxes of East Anglia.    😀

As an aside, I’ve been advised to put a copyright notice on all my pages (what a pain!) so here it is:

(All Images unless otherwise explicitly stated are © Jo Fox, 2015)


4 thoughts on “Red Fox Detailed Drawing – Part 2 : The finished product

  1. Absolutely. One of the aspects of autism which a lot of folk on the spectrum seem to show is a fixation with parts of things rather than wholes. When I watch a film it is the details which I enjoy, for instance, in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ (by Peter Jackson), at the beginning of the extended cut there is a sequence with Bilbo writing his book. I could watch him in the act of writing a thousand times over – the sound of it and the way it reminds me of the act of putting ink on paper I find just exquisite. I also like some films because there is maybe one 45 second sequence which I love, e.g. in the ‘Time Traveller’s Wife’, I adore this scene where he is in a big library helping people with some really rare books. The rest of the film I don’t care about.
    The difficulty with this, I think, is that the things which I fixate on are not the things which normally interest people who don’t have autism and so to write I have to try to write for them and not for me which is kind of soul destroying because I have to continually cut of the details which I love and see clearly, in favour of a whole (argument, narrative, whatever it is) which I only see in a murky way. As with all art, I think the ‘seeing’ comes first and then we try to capture that in words or images or whatever. My ability to see is not broken but it is very different. It can seem broken when I try to look as a neurotypical person (person without autism) looks but it is perfectly clear when I look for myself in my own way – it’s just that different things are ‘in focus’ for me.

    Another problem I have with writing because of my autism is a compulsive need to be accurate which makes for frequent long and complex sentences expaining something so that there is no ambiguity or limited ambiguity. I guess it would work for a lawyer but not for a writer.

    The need to be real and immediate and concrete can be a difficulty too because although I can now figure out metaphors I find them hard to use. For me it feels like bending the truth and, when, in the past, I didn’t understand them I used to feel sick. It used to feel like all the uprights in a building suddenly looked bendy and twisted and I could count on nothing. I now really enjoy good metaphorical writing which others have written to the point where I will underline (in pencil – it feels like a crime to use a pen in a book) the best bits. Sometimes I feel ‘transported’ by someone’s words and I can kind of taste them. It lights up my mind in an almost painful way.

    The third way this desire for truth makes writing difficult is that I have a sense that all language is a lie because it never seems to be able to explain something absolutely exactly. This was much worse in the past. Now I see language as being something which can provide an approximation to reality, in the same way a map is an approximation of the shape of a real piece of land.

    The only writing I’ve ever done professionally is technical writing – ‘User Instructions’ for software and ‘Quality Documents’ for software development. However, with this writing attention to detail, a lack of ambiguity and concrete, specific descriptions are all essential rather than a weakness.

    Thanks for your interesting question! 🙂


  2. This is really impressive. I was always attracted to the visual arts, but was never very good at drawing or painting. Maybe it’s just because I got frustrated easily and so never progressed very far. I was into photography for a while in high school and college, because I was able to create visual art without having to rely on my inferior motor skills 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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