Cardinals brighten my back yard all year round, and are especially brilliant on a snowy day. My back yard is a registered Backyard Wildlife Habitat and I have let brush and brambles fill in at the corners; this cardinal is in a tangle of wild grapevines with a fresh fall of snow. This was done en plein air—but not outside so I wouldn’t cause the birds to fly off, but from my back door.
The single cardinal in the branches and brambles touched with snow at the end of the yard was an inspiration for something a little looser and abstract. This is the “safe spot” for birds and small animals as I’ve let the wild grapevines, raspberries and blackberries and Roses of Sharon grow into a dense tangled mass which is excellent protection from predators and I place a seed feeder and suet feeder into the mess each autumn. A heavy snowfall which layers each branch with white and the play of light and shadow in the mass of branches creates one of nature’s most lovely patterns and shades more shades of blue and purple than I have in my box of pastels.
Where most of my drawing surfaces have some texture, I used scraps of matboard from framing to try out a variety of handmade finishes. This matboard had a laid finish that looked like woven cloth. I mixed marble dust and grit and brushed it on like swirls in plaster, giving the surface a rough brushed appearance. When I considered which drawing surface to use for the sketch I knew this one would be perfect for capturing the feeling of branches and snow.
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This month’s desktop calendar
Wallpaper calendars are free to download. You’ll find them below along with instructions.
If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.
How to download and use your desktop calendar
- Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
- For desktop computers and laptops, right-click on that image and on a desktop computer choose “save as desktop wallpaper” or “save as background” or whichever option your operating system gives you to be able to do this. You may also simply save it to your hard drive and set it as your background from there.
- For mobile devices, press on the image to bring up a menu and choose “open in new window”. Go to that window and press until a menu appears and choose as “set as wallpaper” or “set as lock screen” or whatever you’d like—this is slightly different on all devices.
Horizontal and HD monitors and screens
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Square monitors and screens
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Small Mobile Devices and Tablets
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Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.
Each month I feature a piece of artwork or a photo from the archives to the present day, tell its story, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.
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© 2018 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.