Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Cardinal

For the last few years, since I took up pastels, I have painted a picture to use for my own Christmas cards, which I have made myself. Choosing a subject is always the first step, of course. Now I happen to love birds, and bird-watching is another hobby of mine. I have feeders in my yard, which is a certified Wilfdlife Habitat, and I count birds every winter for Cornell University's Project Feeder Watch. So my card last year was a bird (a Carolina wren which can be seen here after I had Photoshopped it a bit) and I wanted to do a bird again this year.

This past Sunday was my first day home from my Thanksgiving trip to NC, and I woke early to find it snowing. The snow quickly turned to rain, but it remained raw and rainy all day. The birds were out in force though, since I had topped off my feeders upon my return home. I had at least 6 cardinals. I think even the female cardinals, with their more subtle colors, are lovely, but of course the bright red males really stand out cheerily in the grays of winter. No wonder they feature on so many Christmas cards.

Well now I'll join the pack I guess, LOL. This is from a photo I took on Sunday, where one of the male cardinals posed so perfectly me on the dogwood branch. As soon as I uploaded the photo to my PC and saw how it had turned out I knew I'd found my Christmas card picture, and was finally able to paint it last night after finishing my Amaryllis picture in art class. I'll still need to Photoshop a border, and see if I need anything else for it.

He's done (like most all of my recent pictures) on a 9x12 sheet of rose gray Art Spectrum Colourfix paper. Once you get using Colourfix regularly it's hard to go back to Canson, although I still like the larger Canson size better.

1 comment:

Rambling Woods said...

What a wonderful idea and I remember and still have your card from last year. I love the cardinal too...