Wading Stag

Stag wading with reflections
Acrylic on bristol board, 10.25″ x 9″

This was painted from a reference photo on Paint My Photo here. I’m starting to rethink my opinion of acrylic paint. There are some challenges like how quickly it dries and then the need to remix the same color to make an adjustment, which often isn’t an exact match, but an advantage was the whole process went quickly. I need to practice water more, or just not rush it so much.

Abyssinian Wolf, after Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Abyssinian Wolf 1

Watercolor and gouache on paper, 10″ x 8″

This is a copy of a painting by Louis Agassiz Fuertes of the Ethiopian wolf, which at the time the original (seen here) was painted was called the Abyssinian wolf. Their main source of food is the big-headed mole-rat. I remember watching these on a documentary a long time ago and seeing the wolf listening for sounds underground, then suddenly slamming its face directly into the ground and pulling out a mole-rat. I guess their skull is made to be able to do such things. Sometimes the wolf just tries to sneak up on the mole-rat at the surface when it’s at the entrance to its burrow.

For this painting I mostly used an old, dried tube of student grade burnt umber, which I didn’t like at all. I didn’t want to waste the paint since I already have it, but it didn’t have the appealing qualities of good burnt umber, such as granulation, and stained too much. A little mixed black and mars yellow watercolors were also used, plus some white gouache, and the background is all naples yellow gouache.

The original is definitely better than my copy. In the original painting the wolf looks less disinterested. My proportions are a little off too. By the way, it’s actually okay if people commenting on my posts have critiques to make of my work. 🙂

Forest Deer

Forest Deer

Photoshop illustration, 521 x 322 pixels

I made this over a year and a half ago but it looks like I never posted it. The canvas dimensions are from the Lucas Numbers with 521 being the next number in the series after 322.

Digital illustration was always something I was really interested in because of the amount of amazing art people have made with programs like Photoshop, but I never really got very good at it or fully comfortable with the tools. I do like how this one turned out though. Maybe I’ll give it another real, good, honest try, and not like the “tries” I’ve made in the past, the next time I have a chance, in a week or so.

Snow Coyote

Snow Coyote 1

So just minutes after my last post where I mentioned sometimes seeing coyotes my mom saw one. It was near the road and about to cross but a car came and it turned back. It’d be nice to have a longer range lens for my camera, but this first photo was the best one to zoom in and crop.

Snow Coyote 2

Here it is when it first turned back from the road, which is to the right of the photo. While I don’t personally mind the coyotes being here, and they were here long before people ever came and built houses, it’s a little concerning that just on the other side of tree on the right side of the photo is a playground for children.

Snow Coyote 3

At one point while I was watching it stopped and suddenly jumped on something. Maybe there was a mouse hiding in the snow. A distance away I saw a rabbit run but the coyote didn’t see it.

Snow Coyote 4

Somewhere hidden in the brush is where it lives, and probably one or more others. I don’t know where they disappear to when they leave. I like the colors and textures of this last scene so maybe I’ll paint it later.

Mysterious Frog

Mysterious Frog

A couple of years ago I was about to cross a shallow stream in the woods when I saw this little frog. It was just sitting there in the water no real concern. To get this photo I knelt down on my knees in the water and had the camera lens just 6 or 7 inches away from it, but it didn’t seem nervous at all. This wasn’t the only frog I got a photo of in that stream on that day, but this was the best photo. I never did find out what kind of frog it was even though I tried.

Rawr it’s a Lizard


I took this photo back in 2009. While hiking up a hill I found this lizard on a tree. It didn’t seem to mind me being so close and I was able to get my camera just a few inches from it while taking many photos without it moving. Instead, it just watched me and wondered what I was.

Baby Turtle

Baby Turtle

I was sorting through my old photos and found this one that I took a little over 2 years ago. I was just walking along through a forest one day when I noticed this baby turtle hiding behind the grass.

Baby Turtle 2

It’s trying to slowly sneak away. 🙂

Fox Parade

Fox Parade

Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico soft press 300lb paper, 7″ x 5″

I worked from left to right and at first I was just painting trees but once I decided to include a fox I started drawing everything in pencil before painting.

Fox Parade Sketches

It’s been years since I’ve drawn with pencil directly on a watercolor painting before using paint. I really don’t have much practice drawing animals and I didn’t want to risk mistakes so I sketched all of them in my sketchbook before drawing them on the painting.

Fox Parade Closeup

What started as one fox in the center then turned into an entire parade. The paint I used was Italian Dark Ochre (PY43) that I made myself with pigment from Natural Pigments. I think the scan makes the color look redder than it is.

In other news I’m finally back from a month long vacation, after another 31 hour train ride across half the US. I didn’t get nearly as many things painted as I had wanted for various reasons but this is one of the few things that I did paint. Since I was traveling I used a Da Vinci cosmotop spin #5 travel brush for the whole painting.

Red Fox 2

Watercolor and gouache on Fabriano 300lb soft press paper, 5″x6″

The paints I used are Golden Barok Red from Old Holland, Graphite Gray from Daniel Smith, and Titanium White gouache from Winsor & Newton. This was my first time using the red or the grey in a painting, and my first time using any watercolor from Old Holland. I really like both of them. This may not be the best display of the red though, because I didn’t use it full strength anywhere and it’s layered over grey, but it’s a really very good paint from what I’ve seen so far.

I need to decide on a name for the fox…

Painting a Day 5: Green Turtle

Oil on linen, 5″x7″

I wanted to go for a test drive with cobalt green deep (PG50), cobalt green light (also PG50), and cobalt turquoise (PB36), all from Blue Ridge, plus some titanium white from Charvin.

The colors in this photo are probably off since I waited too late in the day before starting so by the time I finished the light for the photo wasn’t good. It’s not this bluish in real life and the greens at the bottom should be a little warmer. Maybe I’ll replace this with a better photo tomorrow.