Vancouver Marmot

Watercolor of Vancouver marmot


I googled “endangered species winter” and went to the world Atlas 10 most threatened animals in North America. Enchanted by this critter, I found this photo of the Vancouver marmot:

I learned more about marmots from Wikipedia


My husband bought me some new paints. They include more subtle colors, but are as intense. That enabled me to paint the browns and grays in this piece.

I started with a pencil sketch and moved on to painting the grays and greens in the background. In the scan, the greens seem brighter than they are in the original painting. I painted the marmot last and sat back to consider.

I wasn’t happy with the job I had done portraying the volumes of the rocks and the critter. Everything looked very flat. I decided to spend some time with the pen. You might guess that I started on the left side and worked toward the right. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to the pen, so my attempts to portray shape didn’t work very well. Things are still pretty flat and somewhat odd.

I like some of the brushstrokes inside the marmot and I like some of the blending of orange, gray, and green.


. Marmots hibernate, something that sounds attractive right about now. The world is in an uproar and settling down for a bit of a sleep is alluring idea. Still, we are the ones we have been waiting for, so it’s better to stay above ground and active.

If I want to work more with ink, it would be good to do some experimentation with shading. Classically, it’s done with dots or cross-hatches. I don’t know if I am able to make those marks. I could leave the photo up and see if I can represent some of the rocks more successfully.

It will be fun to explore this more subtle palette.


Posted on

October 27, 2020

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