I’m really happy that my taking part in the creative writing master’s program still allowed me enough time to complete my annual holiday card. This year I took a break from the usual panel of the Franklin and Nunu book and decided to go with one of my animal paintings. I’ve pretty much maintained my pace on the smaller paintings, even with the increased focus on the environments. This beaver took me a day to pull the reference images, piece together the Photoshop mockup, complete the charcoal base values, and apply the gel medium. The next day I finished about 90 percent of the washes and drybrushing. I did take a little extra time the following day to push the lighting further (thanks to Nicholas Boyd for the critique) but overall, two days of work seems to be fairly consistent.
On this painting I decided I wanted to depart from my usual cool blue and teal shadows and push a warmer deep red tone to unify the piece. I thought, with the candle light, it would make for a warmer, cozier environment and would pop well against the cool white backlighting from the window.