Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - student project

Research & Thinking:

Choose scientific concept-
After finishing up my class I was procrastinating on Facebook and thanks to my college alumni, Southern Arkansas University, i.e. The Muleriders, I realized it was "National Mule Day" . With that being the case, I decided to illustrate the physical characteristics that make a mule a mule.

Gather references-
The most helpful references I found were at the links below:
https://www.ruralheritage.com
This image
http://www.buzzle.com

Sketching to Learn:

Below are the initial sketches. I'm not too terribly proud of them but as Christine mentioned, the drawing process did allow me to learn more about the subject.

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - image 1 - student project

Final Drawing:

Please excuse the horrible quality (and mis-orientation) of the "final" sketch. I use the word "final" because I realized that I had made some mistakes in the mane and tail region which I was able to re-do in the following steps.

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - image 2 - student project

Line, Value, and Color:

Below are the color studies for the mule. I actually had planned on using the red version so I'm happy that while playing around I discovered that the more "natural" burnt sienna was quite nice. ps. The color change trick was WONDERFULLY helpful. 

You will also notice that before I colored I shorted the mule's main (gave him a faux-hawk and took fullness out of his tail to make it a better representation while staying true to the non-realistic style.

I decided to keep my linework as loose/ thin/ non-continuous linework is one of the defining parts of my style.

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - image 3 - student project

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - image 4 - student project

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - image 5 - student project

Color, Texture, Hand-Drawn Type

This was my first time coloring anything in via photoshop. I consider myself a painter before an illustrator and I was hesitant to do this digitally. However, I realized that I was able to stay true to my style and really enjoyed the process. I didn't apply any texture, but will be referring back to this class in the future to make that happen as well.

Scientific Illustration + Charm : In Honor of National Mule Day - image 6 - student project

Thanks for checking out my project.

Check out my other work at:
paigemeredith.com

Paige Ray
artist + illustrator