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Red Panda

So I decided on the red panda. They are from south-western China, around the Himilayas and are a vulnerable species. 

What I love most about them is their cheekiness. Whilst they're not my favourite animal, I really like their behaviour: I see lots of images of them jumping about and playing, and I thought that would be really intereting to capture through illustration. 

They also have a really distinctive striped tail, which I thought would provide some nice colour and texture to play with in my lettering. 

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Brainstorming

I started off with otters and red pandas, both of which I thought were fun and unusual animals who love play. I began simply by entering each animal in a Google image search, gathering together photos and drawings (both illustrative, and scientific). I ended up picking the red panda over the otter because I preferred the colours and patterns it offered as a subject. 

I use a Mac program called Ember to collect my inspiration, as I like how it's taggable and filterable. 

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Starting

I always find that starting is the hardest part, so I put aside about 45 mins today to just start drawing. 

I'm using Paper by Fifty Three, as I find it easier to fit in sketching here and there when I have the time. Having to carry around lots of pens, pencils, and notebooks etc doesn't really work for me (as my backpack is already a travelling office) so I'm finding simply having my iPad mini and my Pencil (also by Fifty Three) is a great option for me, as this gives me a huge range of "mediums" to work with digitally.  

I went with incorporating elements of the red panda into the lettering. 

What I'm happy with:

  • Doesn't suck as much as I expected!
  • My first attempt at drawing a red panda's face was kindof okay!
  • I managed to turn around a concept in a short space of time

What I'm looking to improve upon:

  • More concepts! 
  • The red panda's head is meant to look like a lower case 'd', which I don't think it does very effectively
  • My lettering itself actually isn't great — I think I started too small in Paper, so even when using the zoom tool, it was hard to get the quality I wanted. I will start bigger next time, and try to work on creating more polished letterforms. 

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