Old and new – animal portraits I have done

The general consensus seems to be that many of you to enjoy the series of small pen and ink/ watercolor animals I have been doing lately. I want to say thank you for all of the encouraging words but it has gotten me to thinking about how my artwork has been changed by time and experience.  I got out of graduate school in 1977, but hadn’t created much artwork in the several years following my disastrous art experiences in college.  With a degree in ethology, it was quite natural for me to go back to animal art when I finally had the inspiration and time to do it.  I did a lot of ink drawings with a nib pen back then.

Another giraffe

A couple of ago years, when I set up my permanent studio and picture wall, I looked over the animal art I had done in the late 70’s and early 80’s and I was surprised at the life and flow in them.  I had moved off of the nib pen when I started doing architectural work because it was a lot easier to use the technical pen for the more elaborate drawings.  No constant need to refill the nib and a much more even flow for the multitude of straight lines.  Periodically, I would do an animal portrait but not very often as I concentrated on the architecturals.  Over time, I think I lost the feel for  the animals that I had had and was generally disappointed with my efforts.  It was distressing if I thought about it so I generally didn’t.  I think this new (to me) technique has allowed me to recapture some of the old feel and I am enjoying the sojourn back with the nib pen and the animals.

Pastel and pen tiger

I accepted a house commission last week so I am off of the animals for a while.  With nothing new to show because of the architectural, I’ve picked a few of my long ago animals to post.  Feel free to compare them with the new ones.  I’d be interested to hear what you think.

Mr. raccoon


The Start of a New Year

Now that the holidays are basically over , I have been thinking about what to do next. I have been considering doing something new, but with an old technique. When I first started pursuing pen and ink drawing, lo those many years ago, all I had was an old fashioned nib pen and dipping ink. Many of the animal portraits I did back then were made with this pen and it really does give a different feel than the technical pens. I got started with the technical pens when I went seriously into architectural art. It was way easier to just be able to draw and not keep dipping the pen in the ink repeatedly. I liked the flow of the rendering better too. Since I would like to alternate a few of the animal portraits in with the architectural work, I think it would be an interesting contrast and good for the brain to try something “new.” I might even try to set a color overlay of pastel or watercolor on them. I do get tired of the black and white sometimes and I did enjoy the color tiger picture I posted earlier. Here are some older examples from my animal art using the nib pen. Can you tell the difference?

Florida pelican


Also, here is my latest listing on etsy.