Mandrill – Pencil Drawing


One of my favourite books of all time is a Dorling Kindersley book called “Animal  A Definitive Visual Guide”.

I’ve got an older edition…


I find it endlessly fascinating to look through and actually keep it on the floor next to my bed (it’s too big for the bed-side table) so I can dip into it on a daily basis.

The picture on the front of this edition is of a Mandrill.  I find it really startling.  So one night I sketched it in pencil and then coloured it also in pencil (using Prisma Color).  The only issue I had was that I was working in my watercolour sketchbook so the paper was too bumpy for the smooth fine detail finish I wanted.

When I get some time and energy I’d like to redo this picture on bristol board.  I think it would really make it work.

Here’s the sketch with the beginning of of the colour…

Because the picture I was using as reference was only a partial shot of the face of the Mandrill I also used other reference material to make this sketch.

Here’s the final coloured drawing.  You can see how the grain of the paper interferes with the detail of the picture.  It was very enjoyable to draw though!



Working with pencils instead of paint gave me a lot more control of each stroke as even my finest brush won’t make a mark as thin as a pencil can.  That said my control of colour was limited to the colours I had in my set and my ability to blend them.  I think I still prefer paint overall but maybe mixed media might be something I could try with some paint and some pencil.

8 thoughts on “Mandrill – Pencil Drawing

  1. Beautiful work! Great job blending the colors! I love doing close ups on animal eyes. One of my personal favorites. You did a beautiful job on a unique choice of creature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow – thanks – I will do that! I’ve been taking a scalpel to my brushes to try to make something which will give me a fine line.


  3. If you’re serious about making fine lines with paint, next time you’re in an art supply store take a look at the rigger (sometimes called “script”) brushes. The smallest ones will make highly controlled super fine lines that will amaze you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Many thanks! I think it’s interesting that the tooth of the paper gave me problems but you and Earthbalm both liked it. It’s funny how these things strike different people in different ways. Thanks again. 🙂


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