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Red Panda Animal Mark

Hello fellow classmates!

I'm looking forward to trying out the techniques that George introduced to us in his videos.

I decided to create a red panda animal mark because, well, quite frankly, they're adorable. After searching around a while for some good images, here is the mood board I came up with:

I really love the red pandas curled up in a ball, but after some quick sketches it was easy to see I wouldn't be able to make it work for this project. I ended up going with the very top image because it's incredibly clear and captures the lazy sort of saunter of the red panda, but his head is up and alert.

The best part is, I didn't have any tracing paper or a lightboard on hand, so I ended up sketching over the original images using the screen in my window. Crazy, I know. But at least there was a light breeze.

I decided to break away from the strict outline of the silhouette and instead emphasize some of the "trademark" elements of the red panda, like his big bushy tail. I was also having a hard time with his "back feet" not fitting in, but then I realized I might be mis-reading the original image. I watched some red panda videos to see how they walk (and also to squeal a little bit), and I realised his foremost paw could be "farther" from the camera. So I switched it up on my last sketches (on the bottom right) and I think it balances it out better. I'm still trying to figure out if I should add a third darker element, and where it should go.

I'm still trying to decide where to go from here, so any feedback would be much appreciated! I think I like the head of the top right silhouette best, but I'm not sure if I should go with the more styalized feet of the middle right, or go more realistic like the bottom right. Thoughts?
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UPDATE: I started vectorizing a couple of combinations of the silhouette forms I was sketching yesterday. Still trying to decide how I feel about the arrangement of legs (which are in back, which are in front). Also, thoughts on the tail shadow?

I can't help but feel like something is missing. Ideas?

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