The Last Viking Returns

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. His books include 'The Amity Kids Adventures', 'In The Lion', 'The Last Viking'. A couple of these books have won awards. People have also bought copies, and for that he is grateful. His new book 'The Last Viking Returns' is out now. Follow James at , @James_R_Foley on twitter and instagram or at

5 thoughts on “Working on Wolverine the Westy

  1. He looks fantastic. My brother-in-law has a Westie and they are a very sweet dog!

  2. Thanks Kris and Vicki 🙂 I had a look at that google image search, and came across this pic of a Scotty Westy Cross. He’s like the Anti-Wolverine.

  3. Kris,
    With your background you are probably one of the few people who actually know that his collar symbol is Thor’s hammer. xN

  4. i have a westie and gus is sososososososo cute…..oh and his my baby boy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s