For quite awhile now, I’ve wanted to do an ink of a large tortoise. I’ve seen them in various places throughout the years, and they have a great texture in their skin that I’ve wanted to try and work with on an ink.
Any time you have an ink idea with texture though, it complicates things. You only get black lines (unless you are doing a wash or something), so those black lines have to represent both the texture and the shadows. That can be tricky, and it takes a little more thought as it is being worked out.
In the case of the tortoise, there are obvious plate-like areas around the head (and on the shell, of course). Those give way to more of a textured, cracked look of a loose, yet tough, hide.
Whether I made it come across correctly or not, I leave to you fine folks. Here’s the ink, 5″ x 7″ on 140 lb. Cold Press. Click on the image below for a larger version.
I call it Tortoise Moment: