Preening Sarus Crane – Acrylic on Paper

Sarus Crane Preening – Time Lapse Video from Raymond Cassel on Vimeo.

The Sarus Crane is the tallest of the flying birds. Found in India, Southeast Asia, and even Australia. This particular bird I photographed at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. I made this painting using the photograph as a guide. This is the first time I recorded a timelapse of my traditional artwork. I will definitely do more. If you like this painting it can be purchased here.

Horse Painting Workshop

Acrylic Painting of a Horse

Lucky the miniature horse

I think horses are the hardest animal to draw or paint. They have many nuances that make them very distinctive and elegant. So when my wife saw that Colorado Horse Rescue offered a workshop on painting horses, I had to go. The class catered to all ages and levels of ability, and was structured in a way that everyone got something out of the workshop. I would have like a bit more anatomy, but the instructor was very good at drawing and simplifying the forms. The later portion of the class was putting into practice what we learned by painting a horse. I chose to paint our miniature horse Lucky. I prefer more of a water media, I think my acrylic painting turned. You can find out more about Colorado Horse Rescue here.

Rhinoceros Studies-Indian Ink on Paper

Drawing is both an artist expression and a way to understand and study the subject of the art. In this case, using some photos I took at some various zoos, I did studies of two species of rhinoceros. The head studies of the black rhino really helped me get proportions and details correct with each attempt. I usually do these sketches in pencil or pen, but here I use washes of Indian ink on paper. This is a slower process, but the result was very satisfying. Colored versions of the Greater One-horned rhino and baby can be purchased here. And the Black rhino head study can be purchased here.

Ornate Hawk-eagle-Acrylic on Paper

The Ornate hawk-eagle is one of my favorite birds of prey. They can be found in southern Mexico and into central and south America. This particular bird has been on my list to paint for some time. I took some reference photos of the Ornate hawk-eagle at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise ID. I used India ink, acrylic washes and some metallic acrylic paint on paper to create this illustration. This will not be my last illustration of this subject.

Barred Owl in Flight – Acrylic and India Ink on Paper

Two paintings of a Barred owl in flight

Barred Owl in Flight

It has been a while since I’ve pulled out the paints and brushes. It takes a bit of time to get the feeling of the brush and control of ink and paint. Which is why you see two versions of this painting. The goal was to create an artwork to celebrate a volunteer who has been with HawkQuest Inc. for twenty years. This piece was also a chance to memorialize one of their animal ambassadors who passed away this year. A very sweet little Barred owl named Shakespear. You can learn more about HawkQuest here.

These are some of my first wildlife work to use some metallic paints. This provides some nice highlights and luster to the originals that can’t be easily reproduced in prints.

Female Kestrel – Acrylic on Handmade Paper

Painting of a female American Kestrel puffed up to stay warm

This painting of a female American Kestrel, the smallest falcon we have in North America, is “puffed up” on a cold winter morning. This painting is my annual contribution to the HawkQuest holiday party. HawkQuest a wonderful environmental education outreach organization based in Parker, Colorado. A nonprofit with 35 non-releasable birds-of-prey which are used to educate the public about the role of raptors in the ecosystem and environmental stewardship. I’ve been a volunteer with HawkQuest for fifteen years now, and every year one of my paintings becomes a gift to a lucky volunteer. HawkQuest’s female kestrel is named Melody, the Kanji on the right says “Cold Melody”.