The problem with Christmas commissions is that I can not share them at the time of creation – and then I sometimes forget! So here is a catch-up on last year.
This was a gift to my first born niece (of 27 nieces and nephews). I hope to do one for each of them as they start their own home. This is the home she grew up in and one of my most favorite bulbs.
And pets! Always pets. I think of painting in oils in miniature as similar to sculpting – a little nudge of the paint here and a little one there to create that expression around the eyes. I remember a lot of nudging on this little girl.
This beauty went together in one sitting – a rare and wonderful experience.
I painted 9 last year (I will write up another post for the 9th). I keep my counts low so I can spend quality energy on them. When I was younger, I would paint many, but the images were quick and not personal (traditional New England horse and sleigh or barns and snow scenes.) This type takes far more time and the quality is crucial to preserve those memories.
So, no, I do not advertise on Etsy and other spaces.
The others created in 2018 can be found here:
It is that time of year – it started a month early, in fact, so I have been busy this October with Christmas gift painting. Most of them I can not show until after the holiday, but here is one that I can share.
A combination of things (including Christmas commissions) added to the 2nd half of the month not being a daily, but I still did quite a few, as well as some gesture sketching on the busy days.
Inktober was fun, and I quit worrying about the prompts, but did get a couple more in such as #15 Legend – our own local celebrity cat – Pirate Cat.
I hope to keep up the weekly sketching (not daily – way too much happening in the next 2 months, but I do not want to lose that momentum of sketching. It is excellent for studying a subject and getting to know them.)
Above- our local Cooper’s Hawk, stalking out feeders.
A bit of fan art for James and Margaret – a pair of California Ravens I follow on Instagram and Facebook. @thedailyjames
I love the little Black and White Warblers we see each year. And below is a Summit Lake Bald Eagle – reference photo by Patrick D. Conner, one of our local birders on the Facebook page, Indiana Birdography. You will be seeing more of these in various mediums, as I am practicing to do a watercolor for my nephew.
This particular week I did a couple of prompts but mostly simply practiced mostly from my own photos except on the two specified. I have to retrospectively
#7 Enchanted was some quick gestures of a Carolina Wren that enchanted me on my hike at Ritchey Woods over the weekend.
#8 is Frail – I was busy illustrating a comment on Facebook, so skipped this one and drew the hippie chicken above. However, I kept thinking of our frail ecosystem. Maybe I will revisit this word.
# 9 – did not use a prompt – Whitetail Deer Photo reference – John Baughman – https://www.facebook.com/JustJohnsNature/
#10 no prompt – Blackpoll Warbler Photo reference – Jining Han posted on Indiana Birdography
#11 – no prompt – one of our bunnies that live in our wild wood. I called him Notch.
The remaining day was spent sketching with a pencil. I worked on a child’s face and also on Christmas ornaments over the weekend. I did do some quick gestures in ink that are in a random sketchbook somewhere.
Inktober is in full swing and here I am forgetting to blog it! Feel free to look me up on Instagram, where I am quite active. Day 1 was “Ring” (the Nashville Warbler’s eye ring is quite distinct) and “Leaf”. So I hit all 3 lists on this one.
I had no plan going into this year. Come whatever comes. I am watching 3 different lists and am hit and miss with them. This was Mindless and Seedpod. I use to mindlessly whack these down. Now even the seedpod is prescious.
Day 3 was the Killdeer offering herself as Bait to predators to pull them away from her nest. Amazing birds. They nest across the street from me each summer, so I hear them daily.
Day 4 was some practice 60 second sketches.
This momma Robin was sitting near me on the trail. I was unwittingly standing directly under her nest build. I moved back and watched as she industriously went about her business.
It was a great start to Inktober.
The final lesson was about fur, feathers, and creating the illusion of depth. This was intense and I have much admiration for people who do Natural History Illustration for a living!
This was a great class and I have learned so much!
This was a week of working on tones (no details) and looking at how the eyes are made, reflections, cast shadows etc.
I chose one of our local squirrels to be the subject – a little hazelnut thief. I am a sucker for them every time, though. They run around trying to bury huge walnuts in our lawn. So funny!
I find that I need more practice finding the structure and geometric shapes – then examining all the shading and light source. This has been more of a cerebral exercise than I am used to.
I need to do more of this. Nothing wrong with picking up the pen or paints and having at it, but stopping to think about the details and remembering why things look the way they do is a good practice. This has been an excellent course.
NewcastleX: NHI101xDrawing Nature, Science and Culture: Natural History Illustration 101 – EDX Link