pastel painting of fawn in shade

February 2020 Personal Creative Challenge, Day 18: Curious Fawn

pastel painting of fawn in shade

Curious Fawn, 13 x 15, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’m back to a painting for this day of my creative challenge. For this painting I once again used self-prepared smooth deep charcoal matboard coated with my favorite transparent pastel ground, Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels, so that I would start with a dark background.

I painted it without any guidelines, just hitting the surface with my pastels and letting it work out. And I mean literally hitting the board with pastels, as I did when I painted Summer Sunset, Robinson Run, wanting to keep myself from falling into the details, using the edges of my pastels to shape the leaves with just a quick tap or swash and moving on.

This curious fawn was part of my back yard, front yard, side yard, he was all over the place in 2016, much to the consternation of his stern mother, who would wait around a corner or in the shadows and stamp her hooves as he wandered here and there, looked in my windows, tasted this or that. Of course, I practically followed him around—inside— with my camera and got many photos that I knew I’d want to paint.

This was my first choice, and my favorite of them all. My yard slopes down from street level to basement level along the side yards. I was up in my house, looking out my side window, quietly watching the fawn amble along the path from the back yard to the driveway, on the north side of the house, the sun to the south as the house cast a shadow. The big wild black cherry was still there, creating a dense shadow on the left. The July day was hot and sunny as you can see in the sunny glare on the leaves at the top, but the cool north light reflected down onto the upturned leaves of my groundcovers creating an all-over spattered pattern that would have been a perfect camouflage for the fawn, but for all the cool and warm light coming in at angles and reflecting all around, highlighting his warm tones.

I photographed him as he walked, but this was my favorite posture, paused, head turned in interest, huge ears turned forward, the clear lines of his spots running down along his body. I’m so glad I’ve finally had the chance to paint him.

Without the tree, that area of the side yard is in nearly full sun and is quite different now, but I loved looking and walking in this little area. I miss it, and it’s actually a joy to preserve it in this painting.

You can find the original painting and prints here on the page Creative Challenges.

I began this year with a pledge to myself and my art: To be certain I won’t let ideas pass me by I’m setting myself up for a personal painting challenge in February, similar to the painting challenges I’ve participated in in past years. I aspire (but don’t expect) to create a painting or sketch every day in the month, to be posted on my blog each day.

This is my painting from Day 18. See other paintings in this and other painting challenges on the page Creative Challenges.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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