doThis is a memorial painting of Nikki, our family pet and friend. He was a shelter dog, and we suspect he was husky-German Shepherd mixed. We lost Nik to lymphoma recently and we miss him very, very much.
I painted this as a gift for my father, who cared about Nik as much as any of us, and they were best buds. Dad's birthday is today so this is a surprise gift for him.
Since I cannot travel to see wild gyrfalcons, sketching them from 'life' on the video was the next best thing for now at least. I was really taken by one of the fledglings that twisted her head every which way to follow some feather down floating around in the breeze in front of her.
My sketch-work has never been very good, but a few folks expressed interest in seeing it so here it is!
Immature Gyrfalcon Studies, approx. 11" x 8" pencil (graphite) and watercolor.
Whooping cranes have this crazy dance they do as a mating ritual. They bounce and hop and flail and looks beautiful, graceful, and completely ridiculous all at the same time. (video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzXiD88cqt8 )
Sadly there is not much footage of them doing this (at least online) because these guys are endangered. Right now I think that the latest numbers are only about 300 in the wild. If you've heard about the cranes that they raise from babies, then guys in ultralite aircraft show the cranes the migration routes, those are likely whooping cranes (though they have done this with other large migratory waterfowl). This is really inspiring and cool stuff. Check it out. http://www.operationmigration.org/
This piece is intentionally executed in a slightly unrealistic, 'romantic' way.
"Whoopin' it Up", Whooping cranes, 10" x 7" acrylic on board.
Done for an upcoming project calling "Preserving Love" which aims to sell a collection of works featuring male and female pairs of animals, the sales of which will go to benefit wildlife.