I’m trying to remember the very first animal I painted. It must’ve been in 1999 or 2000 or thereabouts.
It wasn’t the very first animal, but I distinctly remember when I attempted a lion. My ‘studio’ at the time was an open space set off the kitchen so the kids and Marlon would walk from the living or bedrooms into the kitchen and could see what I was up to.
This poor king of the jungle. I had no idea how to paint fur so I was painting teeny tiny hairs on his face, then I’d stand back and ‘ugh’ and white out his face to try again. After a number of attempts, my son interrupted his snack mission to tell me, “It looked fine before. Why do you keep ‘erasing’ his face?”
I have no idea what happened to that lion and I have no photo of him, but I’ll always remember him and the OCDish revelation that came with.
I began painting animal murals soon after. Always with a good dose of trepidation. These were done with simple ol’ craft acrylics that I tried to hide from my clients because I thought the cheapo colors made me look unprofessional.
They didn’t care a whit about what I used because sooner, or later, I’d come up with a good-looking painting on their wall.
The largest mural I ever did was a 4 wall Safari Nursery in soft, muted tones full of jungle animals. It nearly broke my heart when the clients left our area to move to Los Angeles. I knew that mural would be painted over tout suite.
Not long after I painted the lion, along with a tiger and zebra, I attempted a doggy painting of our furbabies.
I hope so.
Now that I’m almost exclusively painting with watercolors, I’ll be doing more watercolor baby animals. I have a pet portrait order for Christmas to do but, at this time, I’ll stick with my tried and true craft acrylics.