Working on Wolverine the Westy

Wolverine is Josh’s dog. Norm had the idea to make him a West Highland Terrier- cute, loyal and with a moustache like a Viking.

First step- Google image search for references.

Here’s the very first sketch of Wolverine..


and an early turn-around.


The first watercolour sample was promising.


I met a nice couple walking their Westy on Fremantle’s Monument Hill one morning, and they let me take some more reference photos. I wanted to get an idea of the breed, how it moves, what the temperament is like. They’re gorgeous, playful dogs.

In this next image I’ve pulled together lots of Wolverines from the very first storyboard (at the top of the image), and from the final storyboard (at the bottom of the image)- he’s come a long way.

Wolverine-comparisonsAt first he was just sitting around in the images, not doing much- now he’s interacting much more with the environment and other characters. His personality is coming through. He is fiercely loyal to Josh, and much braver (at least to start with).

Here’s some more recent sketches.

It’s been a lot of fun to work on Wolverine. I’ve learnt more about dog anatomy and movement. But he’s only one breed of so many! There’s so much more to learn…

Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016), Dungzilla (2017) and Gastronauts (2018) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The fourth in the series, Chickensaurus, is out in late 2020. He is also the illustrator of the Toffle Towers series written by Tim Harris. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015), In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. The sequel to My dead Bunny - There's Something Weird About Lena - is out in late 2020. James comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta/youtube @jamesfoleybooks, or at .

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