Friday, 20 March 2015

How To Draw: Frogs and Toads

As you might have read from my post from March 17th, frogs are at their most active as they gather in ponds to spawn. Frogs are also charismatic creatures of our gardens, especially if you have a pond, and are a great subject to draw. Being amphibians, they have moist skins as well as long hindlegs for leaping and large round eyes to help find their insect prey. Their relatives, toads, are larger and warty, but in truth, frogs and toads are the same thing. So, to begin with, I'm going to draw both.

Step One

 As usual, we draw the drawing's skeleton, a circle and an oval. In a frog drawing though, the head is a smaller oval and with a toad, the body is much rounder, so you need to draw a large circle instead. The legs at this stage are lines that are either curved or bent. The hindleg on the frog is an 'N'-shape, while the toad is a 'y'-shape.

Step Two
Next, I worked on the general shape using the circles and ovals as a guidance. I drew around the lines marked for the legs as small sausage shapes and carefully rubbed out those lines I drew round so I could see what I was drawing more clearly. Features such as the eyes, mouth, nostrels and toes were also added.

Step Three

 Step three is to work on the detail in pencil. The pattern on the frog is a mixture of dark blobs and lines and light shading with the throat and chest left plain. For the toad's warty skin, I create small circles all over the body with a few larger ones on it's back and near the back of it's head.

Step Four
 I re-draw in pen, but I do each section (head, legs, etc) seperately to make any adjustments as I go along. Brush the pen very lightly to show skin tone on smooth skin and light shadow on the throat. I repeat what I did on Step Three for the toad's warty skin but with a few tiny black splodges.

Step Five

Finally colour in your drawings. I lightly shaded in the frog yellow as a base coat, then green (but not too much green) and then brown over the top. The toad is brown with orange layered on top and I used the pen to highlight the warts on it's back and side a bit more. Of course, each individual frog and toad has a different marking pattern and colour tone, so the choice is yours.

Step One

Frogs use those powerful hindlegs to hop and leap around. To draw a frog in motion, I add a pair of long sausage shapes with shorter sausages on the ends of them at the back of the main oval shape. The foreleg is created the same way but with smaller sausage shapes and is always positioned by the frog's side pointing to its hindlegs when a frog leaps.

Step Two

Next add the detail. A frog has five toes that are webbed together to help it swim through the water with ease, but when drawing, you don't always see them all. The underside of a frog is also pale with fewer markings on it. Just a few things to keep in mind when drawing a frog in various positions than the one shown here.

Step Three

Then draw over in pen and colour in like before. And with that, my leaping frog sketch is complete.

Frog and Frogspawn in pencil
My final sketch for today is of a frog in the water with some frogspawn. This is basically drawing half or part of a frog with a line representing water dividing it. If your drawing the whole of a frog swimming in clear water, when it comes to re-drawing in pen, draw the parts that are underwater as lightly as possible than the parts above water to make it appear faint as the water distorts what's beneath the surface. The frogspawn is a mixture of squibbles and circles.

The finished sketch

When you draw in pen, draw in the circles and add a black dot in the middle. Colour the frogspawn a very light shade of yellow or blue (depending on the light conditions). The frog and water was the same format of yellow, green and brown as before. Note that water isn't always blue as you normally believe. And there you are. I hope you have fun with your frog drawings and until the next How To Draw, goodluck!

1 comment:

  1. Really good frog drawings - will give it a go when I get a spare few minutes!