I've done a couple of colour studies of animals lately. My first six drawings are from Natural History Museum. The farm animals were drawn from Surrey Docks Farm, while the rest are from Horniman Museum.
Even though I have basic colour theory it felt intimidating to use them. But the more I worked with my colour pencils, the more my confidence grew. Look how bleak the first drawing is compared with the others!
I'm not used to draw live animals, so that was also a little tricky (especially when they try to eat the sketchbook). I would however argue that you get a better understanding of the animals movement, texture and shape by studying real animals. And of course, if the taxidermist don't know how the animal looks like, you'll end up with an overstuffed walrus.
Then we had to paint colors and patterns from our research on large pieces of paper. We then got a vauge description of an animal and had to create a imaginary creature that fits the description. I don't really know what happened, but I feel that my design fell a bit flat. It was quite modest in shape, colors and even size. I blamed that I couldn't ignore that I figured out what animal my description referred to. I honestly think it was more an old habit, trying to make something naturalistic.
Here is a little doodle of the creature. Note the prolonged feathers, that unfortunately fell of the creature. I also changed it's pattern and added some extra features.