Today’s drawing surprised me. I didn’t think I could draw this old oak tree with its friendly-looking squirrel. Well, actually, I was fairly confident about the tree, but I’ve never been able to draw animals very well, other than a few cats I’ve done. I’d never attempted to draw a squirrel before, so I was pleasantly surprised that it actually does look like a squirrel.

Inktober 30 - Oak Tree.png
Squirrel in the Oak Tree — Ink Drawing by Judith Kraus

The prompt words for today, by the way, were wreck, found, jolt, catch, and tree, and somehow that brought up links to oak trees, not squirrels. As I scrolled through pictures of oak trees, oak leaves, and acorns, I came across the squirrel, and I knew I had to draw him. We have lots of squirrels in our trees, you see, and they happen to be white oak trees, so I could easily have drawn this scene from memory.

The squirrel is not perfect, but he’s a sight better than I expected him to be! I did draw him in graphite first with indications on where and how to create the markings on his furry little face. I had no idea how to draw squirrel fur, so I just added a few furry little marks — or what I considered to be furry little marks — and then I used a light sepia ink wash over the squirrel. I think that’s what caused the paper to wrinkle a bit there at the top.

As for the tree, it was a long, arduous process of mark-making. My husband stopped by my drawing table at one point and commented on how many, many, many, many little lines I was making. Yes, dear. Many, many lines, and I think it’s obvious that I started on the right side, and grew more and more impatient with the process as I went. All the while I was thinking, “It’s almost over, it’s almost over.”

I was thinking both about the drawing and the month of Inktober. I am definitely ready to move on to other things.

Still, I have to admit that today’s drawing was a lot of fun. We not only feed the birds, my husband also puts food out for the squirrels, so we have lots of them coming up onto our porch to enjoy their meals. I joked once about wanting to draw one… if only he’d stand still. That’s not going to happen in real life, so drawing from a reference photo was the next best thing.

A lot of things could have been better in this drawing. I could have done a lot more. But I like my little squirrel. I like the way he’s poking his head through the limbs of the tree, almost as though he’s shouting “Surprise!” He turned out to be quite a real surprise for me.


  • Friend
  • Mask
  • Slice
  • Ripe
  • Tree



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