This week’s submission comes from artist Laura Mae Chapman who has completed this lion drawing with a ballpoint pen! I’m always so impressed when someone gets this level of detail and shading with a pen! Your shading and highlights are beautiful! While I don’t have your reference photo, the drawing appears to be quite accurate.

Taking a look at a few things we can adjust to improve on this even more, first, let’s look at the position of the lion on the paper. Her ear is just barely at the edge of the paper, her paw is just barely at the bottom, touching almost. As a general rule when painting or drawing, it’s a good idea to keep your subject within an inch of the edge of the paper or have that portion (the ear or the paw) go off the page like you have her chin.

The next thing I want to look at is the shading between her head, body and her leg. Right now the values are so similar in these areas that there is no dimension, creating a semi flat surface. By adding a bit of shading between these zones you will create a lot more dimension.

The last thing that jumps out to me is that my eye keeps being pulled down to the dark shadow under the front leg. There is too much contrast between that line and the white of the paper. If you add a bit of shading to the bottom under the lion, you can balance this out and solve the problem of that paw just barely touching the edge. You can let it blend into the shading!

With a few minor adjustments you can make your work look even more realistic 😀