I was initially going to draw a magpie for this, but I kept seeing the most gorgeous looking snake while browsing for piebald references online, so I chose that.
This is a Piebald Ball Python (Python regius) and the unpigmented areas are caused by partial leucism or piebald effect. Leuc is the Latin variant of the Greek leukos meaning “white,” and it’s a natural mutation. While wonderful looking it doesn’t breed true and the ratio of white to pigmented areas varies a lot.
The normal snake is regularly patterned with the pumpkin-coloured pigment over it’s entire body but in this mutation you can see this gorgeous “pigment cell differentiation” that happens. I thought this was the neatest thing I’ve ever seen. I generally like snakes and find them interesting, I even have a card deck of photographs of various snake species, but this just knocked me out, I find it so beautiful.
My sketch was almost exactly like the photo reference, I am much better at sketching after five months. I like that, I like the feeling that I can just sit down and sketch anything. It’s a bit hard to see this, my camera doesn’t seem to be working properly. The usual operator error perhaps? (I got a slightly better photo the next day and switched them.)
Materials I used:
Staedtler 2H pencil (Old Trusty I call him)
Van Gogh watercolours
Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils