Inktober 2016 – Oct 24: The Finished Bat

102416-inktober-fruit-bat-completeThis may be my favorite artwork of Inktober so far, if not the entire year! Now I understand why Flying Foxes are so called – fruit bats all seem to have very canine faces. Some do indeed look very fox-like; this one slightly less so. They are complex and interesting creatures I’d like to know a lot more about.     

I’m still a little unclear about parts of the bat’s structure. The ref was dark and murky around the tail, so I took my best guess regarding forms there. Fascinating to realize that the spikes off the bat’s wings are appendages they use to get around. I have a much better appreciation of bat anatomy after drawing this!

This was drawn with the Kuretake #40 ink brush and a great deal of patience. I enjoyed every moment of it, after realizing a few minutes in that I’d be brushing ALL the fur with tiny little lines. Good thing I like that sort of work! The wings do have areas that are more dry-brushed with much broader strokes. This is to represent the differing texture there as well as give my ink hand a break. Color is three earth pigments: Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, and Raw Umber (all PBr7 in various brands). A few areas on the bat (particularly the wings) feature opaque paint in the form of Bleedproof White and Daniel Smith’s Buff Titanium. The latter was a better choice for the bat’s fur, which was all warm in color. The wings were reflecting sky and had some very cool areas that came across well with the bluer Bleedproof White. Finally the tree is freeform watercolor with Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna mixed on the paper.

Reference image from Wikipedia. Scan as shown is 9″ x 12″ on Strathmore Windpower 14lb CP watercolor paper.

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