Animal Instinct: These Illustrations are Bold and Playful

Over the years, we’ve covered many illustrators inspired directly by nature—an inspiration source that’s also prevalent in George Tonks’ illustrations. Zooming in on the animal kingdom, Tonk draws bears, dogs, birds, and even dinosaurs, using bright colors and striking compositions.

His illustrations have a tongue-in-cheek quality to them, that’s partly due to their exaggerated features – features like big eyes and extra sharp teeth. As such, his animals would make great cartoon characters. They also make great prints, which Tonks sells on his Etsy store.

According to Tonks, his work process includes a lot of sketching beforehand. His sketches are smaller than the final pieces, allowing him some freedom to work out a composition, shape, proportions, silhouette, and everything else that goes into character illustration.

He then works digitally, using ProCreate, to create his final piece, adding texture and color. Understanding the animals’ anatomy is also important— a practice he learned through animal observations, as well as studying other illustrators.

Below you’ll find some of his delightful pieces.