Zoo Sketches

I’ve been in an art funk lately, and decided that I needed to step away from the photos and get in some quality life drawing time. That’s why I love the zoo! There are so many different living things to draw, and they don’t usually stay still for very long, so its really good practice in quick gesture drawings. I mean, you could draw the sloth and take your time,  but that’s cheating (plus, she was in the nocturnal house so it was too dark.) You will notice that some of the animals I sketched are sleeping, though, so. . .

Also, there were tons of little kids around who acted super impressed by my drawing skills, and that gave me a huge boost in confidence.  It was a nice day at the zoo.



(Not A) Pet Painting #55 – Fawn

fawn Is it a pet? Nope. Is is really finished? Not really. I kind of like it, though, so I thought I’d add it to the blog since I feel guilty about not posting in a few days.  This was just a fun acrylic sketch of an itty bitty fawn that I gave to my son.  His brother just had a birthday, and got a bunch of cool new gadgets and toys, so he got this painting to tide him over until his big day in May.

The first 50

Here are the first 50 paintings all together. (I’ve actually done 52, but 2 of them are surprises for the people receiving them, so I’ll post them later.)

I just want to thank everyone who has supported me so far in this painting challenge. It is a joy to paint all of these wonderful people and pets. The background stories really do help me bring out their personalities, so keep ’em coming!
I’m so lucky to be part of such a large and supportive family, and it’s been great getting to know all of the people I’ve met through this project.

My Etsy shop will be up soon with detailed pricing info and tips on how to choose a good reference photo!
Stay tuned for more!

Pet Painting #46 A Boy and His Lamb (tonal study)


“A Boy and His Lamb” Acrylic on 11×14 canvas panel
Original Image

Tone is more important than color.

Today I wanted to do a study in value and tone, so I found a black and white image and added my own color.  This was so much fun!  I think I might have to do it more often.

One of the most important skills to have as a painter is the ability to match tones.  Notice, I said tone, not color.  Color is different. Two different colors can have the same tone, and this is important, because it means that you can paint the same painting in different color schemes and achieve a very realistic painting as long as the tones match.

For more on this, you can visit http://www.artistnetwork.com and read this article.

Pet Painting #36 Timon and Pumbaa

timon and pumbaa
“Timon and Pumbaa” Acrylic on 8×8 canvas panel

 Today is a mini painting of two mini pets!

Timon and Pumbaa are two gerbils that have their own blog, where they tell the world about their daily adventures climbing, chewing, going on vacation. . . you know, gerbil stuff.  They are super cute and have just as much personality as animals that are 100 times their size.

Visit their blog, A Gerbil’s World, and see what they are up to now.

Pet Painting #19 Aretha and Etta (Looking for a Home)


“Aretha and Etta” Acrylic on 12×12 canvas

Soooo many guinea pigs to rescue!

I wanted to paint something tonight that was a pet other than a cat or dog, so I went onto petfinder.com and searched under “small and furry”.  The amount of guinea pigs was staggering!  I’ve had a guinea pig before, and they have a surprising amount of personality. If any of you are looking for a first pet for a child or would like a little buddy to snuggle up with this winter, please consider adopting a pair of pigs such as these two lovely ladies.  You can find them and many other animals searching for homes here.


This sweet pair comes with curiosity as well as beauty. Aretha is very interested in everything that goes on in the room. Her foster mom says she is just nosy. Etta is more shy but is extra sweet. Coincidentally both girls have a permanent head tilt due to prior ear infections.

The girls are listed as special needs because Aretha has slight paralysis that prevents her from blinking and moistening her eye. As a result she gets an eye drop twice a day. They are wonderful girls and would love a permanent home with someone who has just a few minutes every day to make sure Aretha’s eye stays healthy.

At MGPR, we believe that no guinea pig should ever be alone. For this reason, all MGPR guinea pigs must be adopted either as a friend for your current guinea pig or, if you do not currently have a guinea pig, we will be happy to assist you in adopting a pair of guinea pigs. We are confident that we can assist you in finding a match that your family is sure to love!

Visit our web site to see Aretha & Etta and all of their friends! Rescuing, Rehabilitating, and Finding Forever Homes for Guinea Pigs in Maryland, DC, and Virginia ~ Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue. http://www.mgpr.org”–from petfinder.com