Hey it’s HERMEY! If you’re a fan of the Rankin/Bass productions of holiday tv shows like I am, Hermey will be familiar to you. If not – go watch Rudolph!

There are three reasons I chose this subject today:

  1. Jules Bass just passed away in October….so I thought a tribute to thank him for years of holiday cheer would be appropriate.
  2. A stop-motion image has simpler shapes and shadows for those who struggle with “seeing” shadows and highlights. These are well lit even if from a couple angles.
  3. I resonate with Hermey’s desire to be a dentist! Sometimes other people want us to do things that benefit them, like Hermey’s boss the grumpy elf.  I get that a lot – folks who want to tell me what medium or project they think I should do more of.

Tutorial: Art lessons from drawing Hermey the Elf

This video is speedy – but I hope that helps you see the changes happen faster. Sometimes if I work on the same area for 10 minutes it’s hard to notice changes in real time.

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Benefits of simpler images

A simpler figure like Hermey has a deliberately round head – it has some variations, for instance the eyes are inset a little, the nose protrudes…but it’s not like looking at a human figure with softly gradated cheek bones, or an animal with fur on a curved plane.

Beware that you’re not always replicating someone ELSE’s shading. Even mine. You’re getting one step removed from the original…it’s like a photocopy of a photocopy, and it loses something in the translation.

So if you’re looking for a reference so you can color a bird stamp – find a photo of a bird to work from, not someone’s coloring of a bird.

Layer, layer, layer

Don’t be afraid to add a lot of layers to slowly change the color. If working on tiny images that requires more rest time in between layers at times, because if the paper gets completely saturated you’ll find it bleeding. But the smaller you make each color shift – like in the hair where I added purples after the yellows, then more yellows – the easier it’ll be to get to where you’re headed without overdoing it too fast.

Need this drawing?

It’ll be for sale over on my fine art site on Friday – along with a bunch of ornaments and other fun things created just for Black Friday. Hope you find something you like!

No sabbatical this year, but….

The last few years I’ve taken a YT sabbatical in December. It was from the exhaustion of the runup to the holidays, keeping up with new releases, and throwing videos out as fast as I could! 

Now that I’m off the affiliate train (I still post affiliate links, it’s just no longer a focus since I lost so many thousands of dollars in payments due)…….I don’t feel nearly the exhaustion!

However – December is a low month in general for viewing YouTube videos, that’s always been the case. Instead of working hard on tutorials, I may create more pieces like today’s, as well as some DIY decorations, or other fun things. I may put out more Shorts instead. I’m not really sure but I’ll give myself permission to spend December playing. And that will hopefully help in not having to totally start the engines up all over again in January!


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  1. Karen Roberts

    Oh gosh, I love Hermey ! I’m with June, we need all the characters.. Bumbles Bounce 🙂 Sandy, will Hermey be available in a line drawing for us to color ?

  2. June from Minnesota

    OMG! Hermey! I wish there were rubber stamps for all the characters in this movie– even the misfit toys. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE– you just HAVE to draw and color Yukon Cornelius with the Bumble!

  3. Gab

    Oh wow ! So so cute!

  4. Terry Blanchard

    Thank you Sandy! This drawing helped get a better idea on what and how to deal with skin tone! Besides being a tutorial for a beloved Christmas character!

  5. Pam Robinson

    I absolutely love your colourings with copic markers. I am in awe of your talent.
    I can’t get my head around the different colours that you use when you use them, but the results after are phenomenal.
    I just wish I was half as talented as you are. X

  6. Kathleen Oylear

    He is a cutie. I love his hair. Thanks for sharing Love In Christ Kathy


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