Continuity with Boris the Crocodile

One of the main things I struggle with when illustrating is Continuity.
When I am asked to create a series of drawings in the back of my mind is always the fear of drawing the same character over and over again in different positions and with different expressions. It doesn’t start to become fun until I am confident that the shapes and features are correct in all areas.
With this in mind I thought I would practice developing a drawing of a young crocodile called Boris and show the process from rough drawings through to final painting.

Boris Corc roughs continuity


So above are six drawings showing Boris in different positions and doing different activities. My aim is to show a young crocodile which appeals. I have curved the edges and for the most part given him a happy demeanour (apart from the last images he’s obviously got himself into trouble!)

I always start with the basic shape of the head and body and then work from there.

croc 1In this first image I have taken my favourite sketch of Boris and have started to colour underneath my line. I separate each body part as you can see from the named layers. This just helps when adding texture later.


In this second image I’ve removed the line to show the colour and shape underneath.


I have started to add shading to Boris along with other features such as teeth and nostrils.
I lock each layer. This enables me to add shading right up to the line without worrying about going over the edge. Having each part of the body on separate layers also means I can move them about if Im not happy with the composition.



In this image you can see that I am getting near to completion. I have now added pupils, eyebrows, lines on his tummy and little bumps running down his back. Again, all these are on separate layers. By using a textured brush I can add texture to the rock using a darker tone.

boris the croc finishHere is the final image. I have tweaked some of the shading where Boris is sitting and have added some quick lines to show grass etc.

Thanks for reading ! I’m off to paint up the other sketches !

And here are the finished Boris’






  1. Juliana Motzko Jul 30, 2015 - 02:25 PM

    I loved see your work’s proccess. That’s amazing know how artist thinks and make his art. Congrats! Boris is so cute!

    • Tim Budgen Jul 30, 2015 - 05:18 PM

      You’re very welcome Juliana. Thank you!

  2. Lindsay Jul 30, 2015 - 05:04 PM

    I love this post, thank you so much for sharing your process! I have one question: when you say “I lock each layer. This enables me to add shading right up to the line without worrying about going over the edge.” what exactly do you mean? Because when you lock a layer you can’t actually edit it… or am I missing your meaning? I’d love clarification because that seems like a really useful tip!

    • Tim Budgen Jul 30, 2015 - 05:14 PM

      Hey Lindsay! Many thanks and you’re more than welcome 🙂 Above your layers list on the right hand side of photoshop you will find the lock transparency. Click on it and it will lock your layer. If you have already coloured the layer you can add different tones of colour over what you have already done. Because you have locked the layer it will not allow you to colour any where else. Does that make sense?

      • Tim Budgen Jul 30, 2015 - 05:16 PM

        Hi again! Are you on twitter? if so I can show you screen shots on a direct message 🙂

        • Lindsay Jul 30, 2015 - 05:23 PM

          Oh sorry yes I am on twitter! @lali_land. 🙂 One of these days I’m going to have to jump on the color collective boat… and now with this new trick you just taught me I feel like I can do so many more fun things!

      • Lindsay Jul 30, 2015 - 05:22 PM

        Oh. My. Gosh. This information has literally opened up a whole new world for me!!! Not to be so dramatic but HOLY CRAP THANK YOU! Haha. Yes it makes total sense, I use the “lock all” all the time and never even noticed the other options right next to it! Now I’m all excited to play!

  3. Kitty Emsley Aug 01, 2015 - 08:43 AM

    This is great. My biggest fear is someone asking me to create the same character in a series of situations. It’s scary!! I love your work.

    • Tim Budgen Aug 03, 2015 - 07:23 AM

      Thanks Kitty, hope it helps ! 😀


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