The Jungle Book

This was for my children's book project. I wonder if I made Mowgli look more African than Indian, though giving him dreads made sense to me. I mean, I don't think a kid raised by wolves would have silky straight hair. It would get frizzy and lock up in spots even if he were Chinese.

Some depictions of Mowgli are quite pale. There's a lot of variety in skin color with native Indians, but a pale, European-looking Mowgli is weird to me. I mean, one of the cool things about Mowgli is that he's an Indian boy, not a English dude like Tarzan. He's not foreign to the village near his jungle. And there are lots of children's stories about English kids, not so many about Indian ones.

I originally used red to denote shading on Mowgli's body, but then I decided it was better to use a 6B pencil. Pressing harder on a regular pencil gets you darker, but with a colored pencil it just makes the color more saturated, which doesn't work well for shading. In fact, I went back over Mowgli and added yellow and pale brown (same as the tree) to his skin, after the intial round of red and 6B, to correct my problem with saturated shadows.

The second problem I had with Mowgli is that I inked him after coloring him, and it looked bad. I thickened his outline, then selectively thickened the lines within his body along more raised forms, like his cheeks. I still think his eyes need work.

I used black ink for Bagheera to distinguish his black fur from Mowgli's dark hair and pencil shadows. I think that was a good choice, because otherwise there would be too little contrast.

The two layers of jungle are cyan with green over it, and yellow with green over it. I didn't have access to much variety of green pencil, so I had to mix it on the paper.

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