White Bark

bluetrunk_acrylic_jan16I’ve tried and failed many times before, but think I finally got a sketch that captures the luminous shadows of these white-barked trees. I’ve always loved the way they look at sunset – being white they make a perfect catch for the colors – bright gold on the light side and almost lavender on the shadow side.





rabbithide_small_dullerIs it really there? Or is fear enough reason to run and hide?

Had a lot of fun with the details on this – the grass, the modeling on the rabbit’s face and ears, the shadows across his fur – but the bird shadow gave me trouble. It kept wanting to run into the line of the rabbit’s ear and confuse the shape of everything. But I think in the end I wrangled it well enough to get the idea across.

Rabbit Run: final


Well, I finally got it scanned. I had a lot a fun with the colors on this one, trying to take a rabbit’s natural coloring and push the saturation a bit. This is the first large scale acrylic illustration I’ve done in awhile – in some ways it proved easier and in some harder. The details were much quicker to add – I had fun with patterning the fur and ground textures, which is something I don’t think I would have though of if I was working in slow-drying oil. The fast dry time made me a little bolder, I think. Of course, it’s harder to get subtle gradations between colors and values – so a lot of those details were put in as a way to blend one area to the next more naturally. All in all, it was quicker and less fussy than oil, and I will definitely try it again. There are some more bunnies coming, too, so brace yourself for that.

Rabbit in the Hole

rabbit2Another start to a rabbit illustration to go with the first – I just can’t get enough of swirling grass. It’s satisfying to paint – very zen. I was out in the field once and a little vole hopped out of this little swirl in the grass and now I always watch for them in there. I don’t know if rabbits do the swirl thing with their nests – I tried to google it but a half hour later I was just looking at pictures of baby rabbits and I’d forgotten what I was looking for in the first place. That happens a lot.


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This is an under painting for an illustration I’m working on – trying out my acrylics on some larger scale paintings to see how they go. I think I’ve learned to handle acrylics better since my last attempt at such a thing and it would certainly save on drying time to be able to do larger, more detailed works in something other than oil. Along with the new medium I’m trying for a slightly different style – one that takes advantage of pattern while still remaining realistic. Acrylic seems a safe medium to experiment with, since it’s cheap and drys fast – so here goes nothing!

Christmas Cards

DAchristmascard_squirrel_color There are very few things in this world as satisfying to paint as little dabs of snow on things. But I’ll try and name a few others: fur, whiskers, little spindly grey tree branches, splatter effects, interwoven grass, interwoven branches, tree bark. DAchristmascard_cardinals_color


Christmas Card Preliminaries

DAchristmascard_conceptsI’m working on a few Christmas cards for the DA Holiday Card Project. They’ll be handed out to people stuck in hospitals over the holidays. It’s a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit, and to play around with compositions on a small scale. Also, animals in snow. Last year my theme was animals cuddled up in warm places in the snow, this year the theme is animals emerging from warm places in the snow. I am just full of original, groundbreaking ideas when it comes to the Christmas card market.


Beyond: Illustration Preliminaries


I haven’t done a full-scale illustration in awhile. In past illustrations I’ve been unhappy with my trees, my grass, my – everything that wasn’t the main subject, basically. Environments are hard! So this time I went environment heavy. It’s time to put those plain air skills I’ve supposedly been building to work. I also noticed in a recent show that most of my pieces are close-ups – the main subject right in the foreground and not much besides. So this will be a challenge, I think.