Ink, Palette, Watercolor and Taxidermy

taxidermy1I stopped at the sports bar at Granzella’s on my drive up to Chico, California. The whole place is a temple to taxidermy. A wall of African animals, another of local ones. I chatted with the guy at the next table who was a duck and deer hunter and a conservationist. I don’t think of the two together, but time and again on this trip through the Sacramento River wetlands I heard of how hunting licenses support the wetlands and how hunters are often the most vocal supporters for protecting this delicate environment. Those conversations reminded me that my views and opinions are often simplistic when most issues are far more nuanced.

I’ve been enjoying my pen filled with brown ink a good bit. Sometimes the ink I use is DeAtramentis Document Ink Brown with a little bit of blue added to it to darken it. (I find the original ink to be redder/lighter than the ink sample shown on the link) But sometimes my brown ink is just a mix of random little ink samples I never seem to use on their own. It all works as long as I can mix up a warmish neutral. 


When I work more slowly, like I did on this one (lunch and sketch were a whole hour) it’s fun to slowly build up darks and juxtapose them against lights. The bison and the deer in front of it were particularly fun to pull together. I added some line in black ink only in this area since it was the focus of my sketch.


I painted this with my little demi palette from Expeditionary Art (the large one above is is my regular one, for scale). I’ve refilled it twice so far. The left corner, (a neutral mixed from the two colors next to it, an ultramarine to push it cooler and a red oxide to push it warmer) stay the same every time. But I plan to change out the triad every time I refill this little palette. It lets me play with different triads, one at a time. And, it’s a good way to work through a lot of colors I don’t use too often.

About Suhita Shirodkar

obsessive-sketcher. graphic designer.
This entry was posted in Animals, california, Sketch Journal, tools, watercolor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ink, Palette, Watercolor and Taxidermy

  1. Nice paintings of animals. It is true, hunters are often very good advocates for the environment because they want to be able to continue to hunt, and not destroy the ecosystem!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your approach to this. I imagine it could have been overwhelming to have so many animal mounts glaring down at you, but you approached like your signature crowd sketches and that worked perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

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