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Wildlife Camera: Success Finally

I have been consisting putting this wildlife camera out around the garden since the start of lockdown, so around 4 months now I think? I have been changing around locations, positions, height of the camera, looking across the grass, looking down the paths, going inside sheds and little hedgehog houses ive built around the garden, and there was no activity that I wanted for so long. I would get cats, mice, squirrels, birds, which was amusing to see and quite interesting sometimes about what was in the garden that I did not really know about. Last week I started putting dog biscuits out in a hedgehog house, and even though I would not get any videos, the food would be gone and the bowls pushed around, so I checked the camera and the battery was so low that the night vision had stopped working.

I replaced the batteries over the weekend and put it back into the hedgehog house with some more food last night.

I was so thrilled to find the hedgehog last night eating away on some biscuits, proving I have been able to encourage them in the garden and can continue to provide it with food and water now and see if I can keep him and any more. I notice that the biscuits seem a little big for him and he struggled to keep it in his mouth, so I could look at crushing them a little, although I do not want to make it too easy for the mice to eat all of it, as they did seem to finish it off between 1 and 2 after the hedgehog had been in twice, the hedgehog then returned at around 4:11 and you can see it sniffing around and looking for food, whether this is the same one or different I am not sure. I can continue now to see if the hedgehog coming in and out looks different, and maybe trace where it comes from using the camera outside of the house too.


Acrylic Animal Experiments

I wanted to have a go with acrylics because I thought I could get quite a good look for the idea of realism and flat colour that I wanted to experiment with.

I did try a few styles with the acrylics, I tried the hare in a more realistic kind of style, which I think turned out better than I expected once it had dried, but I was very apprehensive about it as I started to paint and found it difficult to get the shades and blends that I wanted to. I tried a splashy style again too but I found that the acrylic was drying quickly so by the time I did more of a watercolour effect on it, it just did not blend with the thicker painted parts of the body. The flat colour examples were nice and I think form the base of the kind of shapes I would create if I was working on Procreate on the Ipad. I think this would be a good step to go too soon and see what I can do with those brushes, because I think the actual motifs all being done on the same application would be good to avoid a different kind of look with them if I was to photograph and edit some, and digitally make others.

Animal Portraits

I started doing some portraits last year, but I did the animals that I ended up not choosing for the final collection this year, but it did teach me a lot about drawing fur and getting eyes to look realistic, so I thought as a good starting point, I would like to do this portraits, as I feel like if I left them any later, I would talk myself out of using the amount of time needed for them.


I began with a hedgehog, which I was enjoying doing until I got to the spikes, looking at my reference pictures realising they are very white. I managed to get a method to doing this, drawing a white line then coming in with the dark around it, then adding a gradient below it into the white end of the spike. I think these turned out okay, I would probably make them thinner next time, they look a little chunky at the ends, but I think this could be fixed digitally as well. I like the face, I think I got a lot of life into ht eyes and movement in the fur, I followed a reference picture carefully when looking at the direction of the fur.

Red Squirrel

I next tried a Red Squirrel, obviously the colouring was important in this one and I like again the movement of the fur in the tail. I forgot to add the whiskers and the ear tufts before taking the photo, but these will be added before I do anything else to them.

European Hare

The hare was quite difficult, the view I choose I thought would work well for a portrait, however it is a strange view to see a hare at, so maybe looking more into angles and things I could do a better one of these. The end does cut off quite suddenly too, so I think I would like to add some florals and leaves to hide this, probably digitally, to make it quite a pretty arrangement that would look good as a placement print. I want to get these printed with fashion formula, so this will be important to get done soon as I think the delivery times will be increased with the restrictions at the moment.


Finally the Hazel Dormouse, just known as the Dormouse in the UK as it is the only native species, done here with one of its young. I used prismacolours to complete all of these and watercolour behind some of them if there was going to be a lot of dark colours in one place, so I was not working directly onto white. The pencils are lovely because they soften and produce quite a thick result, which is great for getting solid colour and blending them together nicely. I also produced a video time-lapse of some of this drawing, showing the way I build up colour and blend to get a more realistic effect to the work.

Time-lapse of the Dormouse drawing

I am happy with the result of these and the plan is to print them onto fabric and add some stitching to them, I think this could make them more of a graphic outcome on fabric, but I do need to take it digital first and edit it. Like adding some plants to hide cut off lines and avoid just a floating animal, and in the case of the dormice here, making sure the leaf hanging here is complete so it works as a placement piece.