Avon, UK, Snuggles, watercolor, 31 x 32 cm (12 x 13")
I spend most of my time on a Dutch Barge in the beautiful Avon Valley in North Somerset. This great location allows me closeness to the wildlife where I sit for hours observing and sketching. Although the local wildlife is mainly mallard ducks, moorhens and mute swans, there are occasionally pipistrelle bats, otters and a kingfisher, which likes to sit on the tree near me and fish. There is a disused railway path close by and it’s perfect for studying rabbits, squirrels, foxes and roe deer as it is completely surrounded by fields and woodland.
My Design Strategy
A friend out walking spotted the deer in the nearby fields and knowing how much I loved painting wildlife phoned me and led me to the location. There sleeping peacefully in the over grown grass was the beautiful tiny deer; so I could photograph it clearly I gently parted a little of the grass—it didn’t move a muscle. Before we left I closed the grass, leaving it as we found it. My photograph had mainly blurred grass, however as I like painting everything in focus I looked in the surrounding hedgerows for a suitable background. On seeing a butterfly resting on a leaf it gave me the inspiration to add one to my painting.
My Working Process
I always start by making a detailed pencil drawing. Then using gouache paints I apply to watercolour board. My brushes are mainly small watercolour brushes size 000 up to a No. 3. I always begin with the eyes as these portray the personality of the subject I am looking to capture. Using the smallest brush I paint the eyes in full detail, followed by the rest of the head, applying a base wash with shading that I then follow through with painting in the fine detail. I complete the rest of the subject in a similar way paying particular attention to the direction of fur or feathers.
» Email: maidamorri[email protected]