Sunday, October 16, 2011

Otter Sketches

Otter are one of my favorite animals .... along with wolves, weasels, great blue herons, chickadees,dragonflies, ...,. I have a lot of favorites. Being illusive always seems to make an animal just that more special in my heart.

We've been fortunate to find otter often use a pond near us in the fall. Two weeks ago we visited the pond three out of four days and had hours of otter watching. I spent most of my time photographing, but when they got a little far away for the camera I had the fun of sketching them on location.
My first attempts at drawing the otter were really crude. I realized right away I needed to do some sketching from the laptop and get a better understanding of their features in my head. I find good field sketching can be greatly enhansed by some at-home work with photos. The more information I store in my head, the better chance I have of doing successful field sketches. So after we got home the first day I sketched from the photos we had just taken. The drawings above this paragraph are the first attempts, the drawings at the top of this post are done after a little practice.

For more about my otter watching go to my blog:


  1. These sketches are lovely, Elva, they really convey movement.

  2. Elva, I adore your sketches! I've only seen otters in zoos so I'm envious that you are able to watch them in the wild.

  3. I confess that I am envious too...otters have been hunted to near extinction in Italy and it's big news if somebody ever catches a glimpse of one. But I too had made attempts to sketch them in an anclosed bit of river in Austria, where they're big stars...just like sketching quicksilver! Impossible from life! You did a wonderful job , Elva.


We'd love to hear from you, your questions, comments, observations! Please feel free to comment, feedback is important to us.