Introducing: "Almost Home"

Introducing: "Almost Home"

To me, the Aardvark looks like an eclectic collection of leftover animal bits: the ears of a rabbit, the nose of a pig(-ish thing), the claws of a bear (?) the tail of a kangaroo (?!?!) and an exceptionally odd mix of both bald spots and unruly hair that may or may not have come from a... Brown Hyena?

Hands down the strangest, most exotic-looking creature that I have ever painted... And now my new favourite (don't tell the others!).

It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to “Almost Home”!

As you may know, I always make use of reference photos when painting photo-realistic pieces like this. While on the lookout for photos of the “little guy” - the unsung, unnoticed and even uncelebrated creatures of the Animal Kingdom - for my soon-to-be 2024 wildlife calendar, I was really hoping to find a good photo of an Aardvark. I mean, how much more elusive can you get?!

But alas, being one of the “little guys” (and nocturnal, no less!) does pose a problem: There aren’t that many good photos to choose from!

Keep in mind that I never, ever use a photo as reference without the express written permission of the photographer. So a simple Google search won’t do the trick…! Plagiarism is theft, and as someone that has a bit of experience as a photographer, I have great respect for the time, expenses and talent that goes into honing this art (YES, it is certainly an art!). The bottom line is, my work wouldn’t be possible without the photographers that have supported me throughout the years, allowing me to make use of their beautiful work.

So - back to the lack-of-an-Aardvark-photo-conundrum…

I reached out to Jaco Powell of Cape Fox Tours (who also captured the fantastic reference photo for Splash!, my lioness running through water).

lioness running through water fine art print by the happy struggling artist

He did not disappoint! The reference photo for “Almost Home” literally took my breath away…

I love the movement in the image - the sheer determination of the Aardvark rushing to get where it needs to be (and the inspiration behind the title!). The contrast between shimmering light and deep shadow is striking! And I love how you can really see all those different, random ‘animal bits’ - from piggy nose all the way down to that strange kangaroo tale, Jaco managed to capture the elusive Aardvark on magnificent display! You can even see its incredible outstretched bear claw, for cuteness’ sake!!

“Almost Home” proved to be exceptionally challenging, which thankfully means that the end result is so much more rewarding.

One day when I’m all grown up, I hope to see one of these incredible creatures in real life! You haven’t seen one either??? Well, until that day comes, we’ll just have to settle for a painting... ;)

aardvark watercolour painting work in progress 002

aardvark watercolour painting work in progress 003

Kitty and I are hard at work in front of the easel...!

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From top to tail… I’ve never leapt quite so far from one part of a painting to another… But I felt really stuck when trying to continue the Aardvark’s neck. Somehow it made more sense working from the back to the front!⁠

aardvark watercolour painting work in progress 005

aardvark watercolour painting work in progress 006

I kid you not when I say that at least 4 hours of hard-core painting took place between the pic on the left and the one on the right. Proof that watercolour is a marathon, not a sprint...!

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aardvark watercolour painting work in progress 008

One small step for an Aardvark, one giant leap for the artist!

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Viola!!! Now for some tasty details:

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I used a fine pen to add the tiniest hairy details...

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To see more of my photo-realistic wildlife paintings, visit my online store!

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Thanks so much for your lovely comment, dear Veronica! They say time flies when you’re having fun. For me, that’s when I’m painting! Sometimes, I don’t even notice that so much time has passed… Usually only when one of my feet fall asleep or I get a cramp in my neck/arm/back! Hehe! Thanks for following along!


WOW Corinne I am blown away with your talent! You talk about 4 hours from one picture to the next and I am thinking “Seriously!”, it would take me a lifetime to get anything that even vaguely resembled even one aspect of this adorable little fellow. Well done!! I also love your “Nit picking” fox picture. Keep painting and sharing as just looking at one of your creations brings a smile to my heart. Veronica

Veronica Mortimer

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