I really enjoy the stories of Charles Dickens, my favorites being Nicholas Nickleby (saw the Royal Shakespeare Company perform their version on PBS when I was in high school, then read the book over & over), A Christmas Carol (love Trina Schart Hyman’s illustrations) and Oliver Twist, which was made into the movie musical Oliver, a favorite of mine when I was in grade school.
One of the indelible characters of these stories is Oliver Twist’s pickpocket mate, the Artful Dodger. In the movie this character was made into an entertaining urchin who wore
the ragged castoffs of a typical Victorian gentleman: dented top hat, dusty morning coat and vest, pinstriped trousers, and often trailing a silk kerchief he had nicked from a passerby. A truly memorable look!
I wanted to draw my own animal version of the Artful Dodger for a special project and so decided on an ‘Artful Badger.’ I sketched a quick figure leaning against a London mailbox, then traced it and refined the drawing of his face a bit more. I also realized that the pint-sized Dodger of the story was too large as I originally drew him by the mailbox, so I sized him down a bit.
The final tracing before the finish is below, and I’ll show the finished painted piece a little later this week.