Updated Jul, 7th 2016
Originally, I was thinking of doing a raccoon or a fox, but when I saw the picture of the woodchuck that was it!
My sketch. I used the photo on the right hand side for reference.
I haven't worked in gouache very often so Romica's tip to keep the brush strokes in the same direction of the fur was very helpful!
I changed the stick he was holding to a small apple for color, and purposefully kept it tiny so it wouldn't overpower him/her. I enjoyed the painting so much, I decided to do a background. I'd read that woodchucks really like berries so I got reference material, but ended up stylizing them so they would balance out with the detail of his/her fur.
I painted the background separate for more flexibility.
Then I scanned in both the woodchuck and background and combined them in Photoshop.