Love theme preliminary sketches

For the month of February, the online illustration school that I attend,, is holding a contest.  The theme for the month is love.  The problem is trying not to be cliche and illustrating it with an original idea.  I spent an evening sketching out ideas.

As usual, I started with my kids.   I have a photo from our breakfast table where they were just loving each other, or maybe I should say the youngest was loving the older two and they were being very tolerant as she gave them jam-covered hugs.    I made a brief sketch of it to get the head positions and then decided to try a second version with each of them as cats or dogs.  My Happy Cricket thought she looked much cuter as a dog.

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Then I continued with my kid-like thinking and began imagining the expression “a bird can love a fish, but where would they live?”.  I imagined it with a whale and a canary dreaming of their home together.

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Finally, I took the bird and fish motif a bit further and drew them as yin and yang.

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Now I just have to wait for my whirlwind of a toddler to fall asleep and I can go down to the studio to ink them!


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