Introducing: "Nosy"

Introducing: "Nosy"

I have never started a painting anywhere else except the subject's eye, and yet with this new piece I found myself starting with the background instead… My theory is that I was drawn to kick off with the background first, because backgrounds scare me, and I didn't want to put in all the effort to paint the subject and then mess it up afterwards when adding the background…

And the subject? A charming Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew/Sengi!

The photo stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on it!⁠ Expertly captured by Rogan Kerr, I love the reflection in its eye, the melt-your-heart ear tufts and the sense of movement - in a split second, you just know that this little shrew is going to disappear!⁠

But by far the biggest draw for me here: The fact that this is just not a subject you see depicted in a painting every day. It is the epitome of one of Mother Nature's "little guys” - the unsung heroes of the animal kingdom that are often overlooked or even ignored - and an exciting addition to my growing collection, soon to be featured in my first ever wildlife calendar.

I'm really pleased with how this sweet little shrew turned out! I love painting the big, impressive beauties of the animal kingdom - lions, hippos, ellies - just as much as the next person. But this journey of depicting the "little guy" has been really rewarding. I've learnt so much about these animals, and the seemingly simple act of trying to source good reference photos just proves how rare and unique the animals are. Mother Nature is just teeming with little things that simply... pass us by. These "little guys" really deserve a second look. And pretty paintings showing off how amazing they are!

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to “Nosy”. Both the bespoke original watercolour as well as only 20 limited edition, fine art prints will soon by available in my online store. Contact me if you'd like to reserve one for you!

In the meantime, enjoy some pics of the creation process:

elephant shrew painting work in progress 001

Sooooo much teeny weeny detail on this rock! It is very therapeutic, though... Not too much pressure to get it exactly perfect, because it's just a rock, ya know? Love all the different colours in it - blues and purples, ochre and the nice deep, dark depths of the cracks.⁠

elephant shrew painting work in progress 002

The rocks are DONE! Now, on to the the star of the show - the little Elephant Shrew that is scampering across the surface of the rocks.

elephant shrew painting work in progress 003

FINALLY, we have a face! And what a cutie-pie face it is!

elephant shrew painting work in progress 004

We recently rearranged our little living area so that I could have a permanent spot to paint and actually leave my easel in a position where it won't be a major hazard... I used to just prop it kind next to the kitchen table, and had to move it out of the way at the end of every day. Awkward, to say the least!

I'm still getting used to the new space, but it has been such a treat! I really had a "aaaaaaaw"-moment, when the golden afternoon sun shone onto my back, lighting up my paint like a neon light! Next time I'm at my easel, I'll try to remember to take a pic of my set-up. A lotttt can be said about having a designated area to work in!⁠

elephant shrew painting work in progress 005

elephant shrew painting work in progress 006

And weeks later, the final piece:

elephant shrew painting work in progress 007

elephant shrew painting work in progress 008


Visit my online store to see more of my wildlife paintings:

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