Totem Animals by Jenny Hawkyard

The following blog article was written by Artist Jenny Hawkyard:

Totem Siamese Cat

A little about me:

I'm actually on the brink of a big change in my life. In the next few days I will be leaving my job of 7 years as Art Director for a web design company and moving from Canada back to my homeland in England to pursue my artistic career full time. I've always illustrated and painted in my spare time but now I feel my artistic ventures have reached a point where I really want to commit to pursuing it and throw myself into it fully. I'm a multidisciplinary artist working in both digital medium and traditional medium in a variety of genres from portrait to more abstract. The only consistent vein running through my work is perhaps my addiction to bright and vibrant colour and a whimsical, magical feel.

Totem Wolf

When I purchased my black 400 Series Artagain pad, I chose it because I wanted to do artwork that was completely different than what I was doing at the time. I don't focus on any particular medium or genre and at the time I was doing a lot of digital based artwork in Photoshop. I wanted to return to my roots and do something with my hands. My artwork has always been very colourful so I wanted to do something that would have vibrancy and uniqueness - I felt the Artagain black paper would provide just that for me.

The Totem Project started with this need to move to a more traditional medium. I didnt want to do regular pet portraits or still life, I wanted to do something creative, fun and quirky and so I started developing my Totem animals. I love drawing animals so it was great fun to stylise their shapes and their faces and create something highly textural, colourful and ornate. I use Prismacolor pencils on the paper and the combination is perfect. The paper is smooth to allow for light sketching when I'm developing the layout but the pencil crayon also holds really nicely on the paper and doesn't smudge. It's also got a nice smooth finish so I can make the colour very intense without worrying about the texture of the paper coming through. 

Totem Dog

I also use touches of Acrylics on the Totems which are added right at the end. These allow me to pick out highlights and add shimmer and glow to certain areas. As a result, despite the dark background the artwork really lights up as the light source changes and so results in quite a unique viewing experience as the user moves around it. 

Totem Hare

So far the Totem Project has had more staying power than any other series of artworks I've created so far. The possibilities are limitless and people seem to really gravitate to these unique animals that come out in them. My plan for the future is to continue working on the Totem project and likely purchase larger paper to be able to do bigger and more detailed work!

Totem Fox

See more from Jenny:
Facebook: jezhawk
Instagram: @jezhawk
Etsy: Jezhawk
Twitter: @jezhawk

Go back