Illustration of a red haired giant that is watching a red tabby cat grooming. Art by Kiri Østergaard Leonard, see more at KiriLeonard.com

Personal Work: The Gentle Giant

``What a curious little creature!`` The Gentle Giant thought as he grew curiouser and curiouser himself.

You know that feeling when an image gets stuck in your mind and just won’t let go? In 2011 I did a sketch of a giant with a cat on his hand in my sketchbook. It was meant to be a concept for a coloring book, but I never took it further although often wanting to.

I recently came across the sketch again and pulled it into Photoshop, where I began experimenting with brushes I don’t usually use. I so often hear the advice that artists should experiment more, but I rarely follow it. I tend to get locked into my habits, this was such a nice change of pace though.

The illustration really grew on me, I found a couple of cool brushes with a very painterly and textural feel and I really got caught up in painting process, so here is my revised version of the gentle giant featuring my cat Mishu.

I’ve made a little step by step gif of the illustration process for your viewing pleasure. Just to give you an idea of how the illustration developed.

Also here’s a close up that you give you an idea of the great textural surface the brushes offered.

Texture Close up of an Illustration of a Gentle Giant with a Cat
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Kiri Østergaard Leonard
kiri@kirileonard.com

Kiri Østergaard Leonard is an award winning illustrator and artist from Denmark, currently living in Austin, Texas. She enjoys working on projects within the fantasy and children's illustration genre.

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