Praying Mantis Character Illustration Work: From Initial Contour Drawing to Final Illustrations

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.

I’ve finally had the chance to properly view my finished illustrations in mixed media (Oils and pencil – so it took a while for them to dry) that came from a rough contour sketch of a praying manta character in a sketchbook that I drew years ago. A lot of my drawing / illustration work starts with the technique of contour drawing to capture the essence of whatever I am trying to depict, as well as letting my natural visual style / language shine through. It also allows for drawing that surprises you. I thought I’d show you the rough and some final work for this praying mantis character who still without a name – if you have any suggestions please comment below. 

Praying Mantis character rough / sketch illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2005
‘Praying Mantis’ character rough by Gillian Hebblewhite 2005. Pencil on paper. Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
‘Praying Mantis’ final piece by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

I thought it would be great to have the praying mantis making a fly cocktail / smoothie by following recipe instructions

Praying Mantis character making a fly cocktail, with ingredients, illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022
Praying Mantis character making a fly cocktail, with ingredients, illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Chillies for a fly cocktail / smoothie illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022
Chillies for a fly cocktail / smoothie illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Praying Mantis character cutting up a chilli for a fly cocktail, illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022
Praying Mantis character cutting up a chilli for a fly cocktail, illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Praying Mantis character making a fly cocktail illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022
Praying Mantis character making a fly cocktail illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Praying Mantis character making a fly cocktail illustration (close up) by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022
Praying Mantis character making a fly cocktail illustration (close up) by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Praying Mantis character sharing a fly cocktail illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022
Praying Mantis character sharing a fly cocktail illustration by Gillian Hebblewhite 2022. Mixed media on canvas paper (oils and pencil). Attribution-Non Commercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

I was really pleased with the praying mantis using the food processor illustration – with the magnified eye! Hope you like these illustrations. I’ll be blogging soon how to do your own contour drawings and why they are an important tool for your own artwork whether you are a beginner or more advanced.

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