Here is the proof below... The drawing board is still in my studio! ;) I have spent a couple of nights getting the fur mapped out on the rest of the baby otter. As you can see by the photo comparison, I definitely need to go darker on my little guy's fur and work on the tone of the background. I've started working my 6b wood case pencil's rich graphite into the composition but have not begun smoothing it in yet.
The image is a little washed out on this pic... But, you can see by the mapped areas the flow of the fur by the negative representation of the shadows. These are carefully placed markers to the layers that will follow and to the highlights that will be chiseled in with the clic eraser. The 6b is showing up on the rest of the fur and will fan out as the tortillon works its magic. The transition from the mussel out to the nose should give some much needed dimension to the otter's head. I think that will give the little critter balance in its own right versus the detail in the hands.