Whether you call it a group portrait, a cast drawing, or a superteam assembled, one of the more common sketchbook topics (for me at least) is a group of figures. I do drawings of this kind all the time, and I like this one a lot. The key to looking at a drawing like this is to identify the first person I drew –it’s almost always the figure at at the center of the page toward one margin or another with both shoulders visible. In this case it is the girl with the leather nose, big eyes and wings. Everyone else was drawn in around her to fill the page. Since she was wearing the distinctive cream colored and black baseball shirt that so many of my characters wear, I decided to give everyone else the same shirt to unify the drawing with some kind of theme. (I don’t know what the theme is, exactly, but the drawing has one. ) Note that the character with the fur pelt refused to put his shirt on– like many intelligent furry creatures, he refuses to wear clothes.
Also note that while most of the nonhuman people in my drawings are clearly recognizable as members of the many distinct manitou peoples of the Knotted Rope, these people are not. Except for the boy holding the book, who is a baseline human just like me, and (I assume) you, everyone else is a purely imaginary denizen of sketchbook land. In fact, I am pretty sure that they are characters in the book, and the boy is seeing them in his mind as he reads.