A few years ago I worked at a wilderness program for at-risk youth in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. At night I used to sit by the campfire after everyone had gone to bed and listen to little barking noises in the trees above me made by Elf Owls that were drawn in by the firelight. Those experiences were the inspiration for my next painting of an Elf Owl, along with this natural history print I found on the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s Flickr stream:
I love the black square of India Ink framing the fish, representing the darkness of the deep-sea environment where this species can be found. I wanted to use the same technique for my Elf Owl. Here's the quick thumbnail sketch for my final composition (Nothing too fancy):
Over the coming days I'll be posting progress pictures so you can see how it comes together!