Variations on a Theme: The Emblem of the Red Wolf Pirates, or, “They’re Easier to Draw Than Dolphins”

I mentioned in my previous art post that I’m not great at art. However, I feel like I’m less not-great at doing things like heraldry, since it doesn’t need to be particularly realistic-looking. I actually had a lot of fun working on different version of the Red Wolf emblem, which ending up being the cover art for The Treasure of Oake Island.

Wolf1 Colour

This is the version that I ultimately ended up using as the cover art, based on the poses of some wolves I found in real-life heraldry.

Wolf COLOUR 2

A variation of the same image, but without the outline. It doesn’t look nearly as good without it.

Wolf Head Coloured

A version of just the wolf’s head and a different outline. I like this one, but it’s too small to work as cover art.

StandingWolf

The wolf rampant (that’s heraldry-talk for “standing up”), again based on poses I found in real-life heraldry. This one is actually my favourite, but the first version (which I believe would be referred to as “regardant”, “looking back”) was easier to work with while designing the cover art, and has better-looking claws.

Wolf3The same general idea as the first wolf, this one was one of the earliest versions. It took me a few tries to realise that the wolf looked better with its head turned and one of its legs raised. As you can see, this one never got past the draft stage.

Wolf2Another draft version, the intermediate stage between the one above and the final version, even before I decided on the turned head and raised claw, I had decided that it looked better with its tail raised, rather than down. Again, you can see that this draft didn’t get very far.

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