Deer stalking

Sep 7, 2017 | Drawing, Graphics, Photography

Digital illustration, work in progress

‘After the success of my Winston card sales, I was asked if I’d like to design the Christmas card for Vasculitis UK. Almost straight away I knew what design I’d like to do, but getting the right source material proved to be a little trickier than I thought. I tried all the normal places for the right deer reference images, including my daughter’s extensive collection of animal books… but to no avail.

A few weeks later we were then invited to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend down in London with family. The family members live only a few miles away from Richmond Park and because I’d been there many years ago to take photos of the deer, this seemed like the ideal time to go and hopefully get the resource images I’d been searching for…

There are Fallow and Red Deer at Richmond (Fallow deer are the ones that look like the cartoon character Bambi, Red deer have antlers). It was a really hot day, and we saw plenty of the Fallow deer, typically, the ones I didn’t need a photo of. The Red Deer seemed either camera shy or were wisely hiding from the heat and the park going humans. Eventually we gave up our search and head back, but as we were driving out of the park we saw some Red deer right by the side of the road. I got out of the car with my cousin & her camera to take some photos (The other 3 stayed in the car to cool down making the most of the air conditioning).

After a little bit of waiting, watching, stalking and getting out of the way (it is surprising how quickly the deer can move – and with those antlers I wasn’t gonna get in their way!) I got the shot I was looking for! Once I was back at home I was able to get going on drawing ‘Hope’ (the deer on the Christmas card)…

A very cheesy grin from one of the deer
Me taking photos of the deer