After seeing this chipmunk and sketching it in my sketchbook, I had the urge to try a version on watercolor paper. Two things often happen for me the first time I sketch an animal, bird, plant. I get more familiar with the shape of what I’m drawing and I get inspired by the intimacy I feel with the subject.This chipmunk captivated me because of his tiny alertness in a vast world of cunning hawks, old growth hardwoods and a rich forest floor full of decaying leaves, umbrella plants (Mayapples) and ferns. He popped out from under a stone wall and was looking around when he heard a hawk calling. In a blink he was gone again.I am currently using two sketchbooks. An 8x12 Canson watercolor sketchbook and a 5 x 7 multi-media sketchbook by Holbein. The Canson book has great sketch and practice paper that's tough and allows nice movement. But while using the smaller multi-media book that I take in the field, I often find myself wishing for a more water absorbent paper.The use of different papers with watercolor is a valuable exercise. You learn to adjust your application to the qualities of the surface you’re using and different papers produce different results. I have plenty of sketchbooks and papers on my shelf that I haven’t used yet, so I’m giving them all a try. It’s kind of like buying clothes. You can't really know whether you like what you’re buying until you wear it a few times. And both appearance and comfort count.
I generally use cold press papers but this 90 lb hot press Fabriano Artistico was calling me this time. Here's how my little chipmunk looks at this stage before I plunge in for the finish. To see more about how I happened upon this chipmunk click this link at Vickie Henderson Art.