Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Zen & sketchy day at Artis ; Amsterdam’s Zoo


Zen & sketchy day at Artis ; Amsterdam’s Zoo

on September 13th, 2009, by Deevad

016-sketch-zoo-artis_revoyI took my saturday freetime to visit Artis , the big Zoo of Amsterdam ; more precisely to enjoy a sketch session in the zoo , and spend time with animals. I worked on my sketchpad ( around 21cmx15cm , A5ย  bristol paperย  , I don’t advice it to beginner cause it will block you to have a “too precious” paper – prefer a paper that you can “waste” without any trouble โ€ฆ btw, I can waste bristol without any trouble ). My pencil is a large 2B and dark sketching pencil from Derwent, but any “soft” black marking pencil are good for this. I use too a soft kneaded eraser , cause sometime I miss a Ctrl+Z feature to my sketching workflow ๐Ÿ™‚

I have some advices if you want to start sketching from life :

  • For beginners , prefer to draw simple things, target simple goal at first.
  • Take your time. If your model move ; start another sketch ( or finish it by memory )
  • Find the main lines of the “essence” of your model. Draw them thick & strong.
  • Don’t focus on details at first. Add them at the end. Draw them thin & light
  • Understand your model (muscle, light, volume, material, expression)
  • Gray shade (when it’s necessary) at the end, do it softly.

Of course , that’s more easy to say , than to do ; here are my zoo sketchesย  :
– David

PS: I found a cool gang of tux in the zoo , and some zen gnu .

21 Responses to “Zen & sketchy day at Artis ; Amsterdam’s Zoo”

  1. asanchezr Says:

    Nice! =). How long did it take to do the sketches?

  2. Reece Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. This with the other work you have shown is truely inspiring. Please keep them comming!

  3. Grafixsuz Says:

    It is good to be able to go somewhere where you can get a lot of visual stimulation for your projects. And by observing nature to sketch, fauna, flora etc. you are can truly feel the beauty of the artist who created it.

    I guess you will be using various elements you studied from the iguanas, lizards, crocodiles etc for the Dragon right? I recently got some good photographs and samples from the local zoo here, just out of personal interest and it is amazing the textures of the skin of some of these fellows. I would dread to have a 30 foot version of one of them looking down on me.

    BTW, I hate not having ctrl+z on my sketch pad too.

    Nice to hear from you, your have real skill there. “Of course” I can hear everyone say!

    Have a great day to you and the rest of the readers on this blog. From sunny Japan.

  4. kenden Says:

    I just saw this 10 minutes after registering to a drawing class… pure motivation, merci!

  5. -jay- Says:

    +1 on using low grade paper- you spend less time worrying about wasting paper and more time on being loose and letting things happen. Nice drawings, looks like a fun day!

  6. Satish 'iluvblender' Goda Says:

    Very nice… Nature is our pivotal reference..

  7. TheANIMAL (marcus) Says:

    Great sketches, you capture expressions really well.

    1500 pre-orders and rising!

  8. deltawing Says:

    David…thnks for your great pointers and visual examples of sketching. Nice and simple to follow with inspiring results!

  9. HizaRo Says:

    Nice, good sketch. May be added to make it more catchy style and not just a realist ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. teo_greengage Says:

    this is helping me alot , as i am a 3d modeler striving to learn some drawing skillz, you guys should post more of this!

  11. panzi Says:

    Nice sketches! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Wahooney Says:

    I have a couple of those animals living wild near me (<50km radius) ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Wahooney Says:

    Cool sketches, btw ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜›

  14. BlendNMix Says:

    So,what will be the style on this anime?

    Heroรฏc fantasy? Final Fantasy (it’s a style on its own ๐Ÿ™‚ )?

  15. Jeroen Mank Says:

    truly a nice example of Natura Artis Magistra

  16. Tim De Graeve Says:

    Great work David. It’s really a good idea to get out and draw animals at the Zoo or in the wild.
    Maybe for those who are not living near a Zoo or any other place to watch wild animals is maybe this site worth checking out.
    It’s more a site containing documentaries but it got HD quality video footage which is nice as reference.

  17. Tobin Says:

    I dunno why but i find it funny that you scanned your sketchbook and and pencil and eraser! ha, nice sketches too, thinking about making a trip to amsterdam in october, unfortunately it has to be right after the blender conference, but seeing all the things you guys are getting up to is making my list of things to see bigger ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Martin Says:

    hey guys, the next time you present a 3d-character here, i would appreciate such a presentation like in this posting:


  19. Alex Barbulescu Says:

    haha someone who like what we do ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Learn To Draw Dogs Says:

    Wow! what an arty idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing

  21. Paulette Says:

    I went to amsterdam for 5 days for the cannabis cup. I stayed at the Quentin Arrive On this street i cant pernounce right now something like harrleeemstrat. ( is the best site to get info!). Go there 2 grea coffe shops i loved barkneys n if u walk donw alot mre tere r other greet ones like grey area and greenSeed. I went to the Anne Frank house. visited alot fo coffe shops and museums and also went to the heineken factory. The experience was closed so that sucked…. Otherwise no matter were you were everyone was so nice and respectful….Traffic is fucking crazy with bikes and trains n cars in different lanes and lights but you get used to it. It was just a great experience the ngiht life is rediculous but you already no… I wishi was there right now…I want to go back and own property later on in my life…..GO TO AMSTERDAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!