This month I began to paint some illustrations for a children’s book I’m writing. The book is going to be a short story anthology. The characters are based on animals I watched at my new window bird feeder all winter. At first, my new friends included woodpeckers of all varieties, sweet little chickadees, and the occasional cardinal.
After a couple of weeks, I made a new friend, a cute little charcoal-colored squirrel. He began to expect “his share” of the bird feed every week. He was determined and clever in his approach. He tried to use the screen as a launchpad to catch onto the bird feeder, but he kept missing it. I would watch him slide down my window, wondering if he’d ever reach the feeder. This became a daily thing. First, I heard knocks on the window from the woodpeckers as they ate the birdseed, followed by the antics of the acrobatic squirrel.
Sometimes, he would pause on the screen and look at me in frustration. He didn’t seem to care when I pressed my finger against the windowpane where he was on the other side. It’s amazing how he clung to the screen on the outside of the window looking at me. I haven’t named my new little friend yet, but one of the main characters in my book is a squirrel called Nimblefoot. He has the same determined personality.
Also new to my YouTube channel is my most recent painting video. You can see all three parts at once here. In addition to watching it (and other art videos) on my channel, you can see segments of the video on my TikTok. In the video, you’ll see much of my technique for watercolor. The paints I’m using are Windsor Newton. They’re great for the children’s book illustrations I’m creating.
This watercolor was meant as an exercise to get inspired. With many things going on in the world, I realize that it’s important to take a deep breath and just make some art. Painting is great for relaxation.
I was satisfied with the result, and I may find a place for it in a book project.