Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wren and the Howlers

Size: 13x4 inches
Medium: Mixed (watercolor, ballpoint pen, india ink, gesso, pencil, the kitchen sink)
Prints, closeup detail images, and original painting available -here-

Wren woke.
It was dark outside, the middle of the night. But it was hardly quiet as such an hour should have been. The Howlers were out there in the darkness, separated from her only by thin rattling glass panes, and even thinner curtains. The filmy material trembled, even though no air passed through the tightly shut windows.
Wren shoved the curtains aside, pressed her nose up against the glass. It was cold, and made her scrunch up her face and almost sneeze. Beads of moisture condensed from her breath instantly, clouding her view. She settled back slightly, wiped the palm of one hand across the icy glass, then the now cold and wet palm across her nightgown.
“Yowly rowly Howlers,” she whispered quietly.
They heard her even so. Through the glass. A particularly naughty one hurled a dry branch against the panes, and the sudden SMACK of sound made her jump a bit.
“Go to bed,” she whispered fiercely.
Maybe they didn’t hear her.
Or maybe they just pretended not to hear her. They were like that.
The Howlers howled louder, and swirled the dry leaves she had spent all afternoon raking into a mad Autumn-colored confetti.

 * * *
Some in progress stages.

Early on, after splattering ink and medium and letting it dry. And then forgetting about it for several months in my drawers.  Pulled it out and started picking out fox-spirit-creatures.

Further development, using ballpoint pen, and white gel pen to push shadows and pull out highlights. 

Afterwards, glazed with light washes of watercolors, just to tint areas.

Added the girl towards the end on impulse.  Needed something to anchor all the amorphousness, and a touch of color. The puppy looks like my brother's border-collie-mix. :)


  1. The image and the words go so well together. I think the most appropriate emotion that comes to mind for me is "haunting", with all the beauty, familiar, and danger implied with the word. I love it and am fascinated by your process!
    Anita Gleason

  2. I like the story as much as the painting. :)