Rico the Sloth


21cm x 13cm watercolour sketchpad

I love sloths.

In attempt to practise pen and wash I decided I’d paint something and be free and fluid with the application of the paint. I drew a (2 toed) sloth, and rather than painting it in it’s natural colours I decided to go through the paints that were in my palette from a previous painting. See – not only is it practise but it’s not being wasteful by dis-guarding dregs of colours I didn’t intend to use again. The sloth I used for inspiration was Rico (or it could be Tina, I’m not entirely 100%), who I’d photographed on my last visit to Chester Zoo.

I used a pencil to get the initial shape of Rico, then I used a waterproof lining pen get the shapes I needed.

Before applying the paint I wet the paper as much as I dared, I wanted the paint to mix on the paper so that colours blended together. As I was going along I found some areas of the paper that had dried quicker, or maybe had less water on it, because the colour applied in those places seemed thicker and more vividly bold.

It didn’t take too long to finish the painting, I wasn’t timing myself or setting any challenges. Having challenged myself previously though, I feel as though it had paid off. The application of paint felt more fluid and lighter, and the results reflect this too.

Come back soon for more fun paintings. Thanks for reading this distraction.