Thursday, 29 April 2010

moonlight bear

"Slugs is to badgers as rice is to the Chinese"

I've finished the picture, and am very happy with it. I was worried about how the hawthorn tree would turn out; I blanked out the blossom with masking fluid, which I also used to frame the night sky and the moon. It took ages to get the latex solution out of the brush.... I'd never even heard of masking fluid until a few years ago; it's jolly useful. But a pig to get out of a brush.

I also had to put off painting the sky until the shops opened, so that I could get some indigo watercolour. And then hummed and hah-ed about whether I should get some Cotman watercolour at £1.99 a tube, or Artists watercolour at £5.99 for a tiny tube. I settled for the Cotman. It seemed to work OK. (I once made a nasty mess using some watercolour from LIDL. You can't be too careful. Well .....perhaps you can be too careful. Anyway...)

Still learning.

This picture is for Geraldine's next book, The Case of the Curious Crow. Here's a link to our last book, The Coffee Thrush


  1. I think I might have something useful to contribute here. When I was going to art classes my teacher asked me to buy some tubes of watercolour for her when I visited the UK. This was not as easy as it seemed as there was a great difference in prices. I bought her the cheaper tubes,(neither of us had much spare cash) she didn't mind, but explained that if she was going to sell paintings the more expensive paint was more permanent. And that was the difference.

    It conjured up visions of dissatisfied art lovers wondering why their ‘investments’ were disappearing before their eyes.

    Your badger has turned out very well. I hope that you hid some slugs in there for him. We’ve had the most incredible moon this week – Has the sky been clear enough for you to see it too?

  2. He looks even better now. Mmmm! That slug looks just yummy........well, if you are a badger, that is.

    Beautiful art work!

    Melissa XX

  3. Should read "Some more slugs"...

  4. Thank you, Anji! It hadn't occured to me that colour fastness might be a consideration; I was mostly worried about the readiness of the paint to be laid down smoothly. Something else to worry about, then...

    Yes, the moon has been quite startlingly bright here; in fact, I painted the moon on this picture from the full moon I saw from the kitchen window.

    Thank you, Melissa!

  5. We've got that very same bright moon here. I do like this picture, philistine and totally non-creative though I may be. Aren't badgers sturdy beasts though?
    We've got a LIDL opening here sometime soon. There's a long redundant MFI warehouse that's being converted. Half to a LIDL store and the the other half for a storage and distribution facility for a continental pharmaceutical company. I'm just hoping that there gets to be some confusion at the goods inwards part.

  6. It's every bit a winner, Dru! I could have used a badger years ago when a pox of slugs hit the part of my house over an old cellar. Rarely see a slug now but never see a badger, though one may be watching me right now. I should print and hang your "moonlight bear" for protection.

  7. Badgers are pretty sturdy, Graham, and with a ferocious bite. Which seems a bit over the top for the slugs that they eat so many of... there was an incident at a wildlife rescue centre where a woman who'd been working with the badgers was sitting outside when she was approached and attacked by a wild badger because she smelt of the badgers she'd been working with.

    The joys of LIDL, eh? -I was in there yesterday; picked up a wetsuit for daughter, and some rather nice bockwurst that we had for dinner.

    Thank you, Larry! It's horrid having slugs in the house, isn't it? -we used to get loads of them when we had a lean-to kitchen. Maybe a pet hedgehog would be a more manageable way of controlling indoors slugs? -a duck would do the job, but then it would crap all over the place too.