Thursday, December 4, 2014

"ROCKin!" Lobster

Drawing a Tropical Rock Lobster In Colored Pencil and Ink

Prints, posters, stationery cards, and signed fine art reproductions  
are available for purchase in my Etys shop at: 

Tropical Rock Lobster. 11x17"  Colored Pencil and ink on paper

When I first laid eyes one on one these crazy looking lobsters, I though someone painted on it. The colors and patterns that adore it's shell are almost un-natural looking. They are so ornate that they are sometimes called "Ornate Rock Lobsters", which fits them perfectly. Even it's scientific name "Panulirus ornatus" has ornate in it. It is also known by a number of other common names, including tropical rock lobster, ornate rock lobster, ornate spiny lobster and ornate tropical rock lobster. They live in the indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to Japan. There are around 60 different species of spiny lobster throughout the world, and fossils have been found of them dating back to 110 million years ago. One amazing fact that has been recently discovered is that spiny lobsters can navigate by detecting the Earth's magnetic field. Pretty cool!

I grew up seeing the much plainer looking Spiny lobster that I encountered while scuba diving throughout Florida and the Caribbean Islands. They are much more monochromatic and lack the vibrate colors of this species.

56 pound Tropical Rock Lobster which was caught by a Chinese Fisherman

Recently a gigantic Rock Lobster was caught by a very lucky fisherman off the coast of China that weighted in at an astonishing 56 pounds! It ended up being sold at auction for $95,000 and was nick-named "The God of Lobsters". 

Before starting in on this drawing I decided to do some research and ask other artists what supplies they prefer to drawing with when it comes to working in colored pencils. I haven't been happy with the pencils or paper I've been using. And what I found out really changed my colored pencil experience. I've been using soft colored pencils to draw my details, which wasn't working out very well. They were hard to sharpen into a fine point, and they would break under the pressure of my hand. 

 Prismacolor's Verithin hard lead colored pencils

So someone suggested trying the hard lead Prismacolor Verithin line of colored pencils which are amazing. You can sharpen the tips to almost needle points for extreme detail work and they can take a lot of pressure without breaking. The colors are vibrant and blend very easily. 

 They come in a variety of sets
They are thiner and harder than standard soft colored pencils

Also when it came to the paper I was working on I wasn't satisfied with how it was excepting the colored pencils. The moleskin paper worked nicely with black ink, but it didn't except the wax of the pencils very well. I was told to give Bristol Vellum a try and was astonished of how nice it is. It's very thick and smooth and the color comes out extremely bright on it. Give it a try if you haven't.

Strathmore Bristol Vellum 

Here are some photos taken during my drawing process

Here's the finished drawing

Prints, posters and signed fine art reproductions are available 
for purchase in my Etys shop at: