I have been painting a lot of Reindeer lately with the intent of putting them on watercolor paper Christmas cards. About halfway through my 2nd attempt, I realized I don’t really know what a Reindeer looks like or anything about them at all really. All I know is the classic movie Rudolph and Rudolph is not exactly a documentary. I started researching and realized what I was drawing looked more like the whitetail bucks we have here in upstate New York than reindeer.
Reindeer are less delicate in their appearance than whitetails. The reindeer also have far more impressive horns. But, don’t tell my father the whitetail enthusiast, I said that! 😉 I don’t think a whitetail could pull a sleigh or hold a rider like nomadic reindeer riders of Outer Mongolia. Their color varies more than I thought as well. All though I feel I did not accurately reflect their coloring. They can have a very light value and that is hard to render on watercolor paper.
Reindeer and caribou are the same species Rangifer tarandus. This is one of those moments I wish I had paid more attention in college. I did take biology but did not retain much after the final exam. The difference is that the Caribou of North America have never been domesticated while the Reindeer of Eurasia are. I list some references below if you are curious. While researching Reindeer I stumbled across the blog of Cairngorm Reindeer in Scottland. I highly recommend reading the blog lots of interesting information and lovely photos of the animals themselves. The most recent post about the first snow is very endearing and the photos are beautiful.
Cairngorm Reindeer’s site has a really nice Christmas section showing their deer in red harnesses which inspired me to create cards with deer with red harnesses and bells. Who doesn’t smile at the sight or sound of Christmas bells? I wanted red sparkly harnesses so this lead to the purchases of yet another set of brush markers I bought Spectrum Noir Glitter Brush Pen Winter Warmers set. I may have a brush pen problem at this point. I will do a write-up about them later this week.
Here are a few more of the cards I made last weekend.
PS: Since posting this blog entry I have gotten a couple of messages asking if I was selling my Christmas cards. It was not really my intent to sell these. I really just painted them for my family. However, I didn’t really want to tell people no, because I was very flattered to be asked. Therefore I have posted these to my Rebubble (a print on demand company) profile. I have also enabled prints on my Deviant Art profile they have cards under “Art Gifts”. I really can’t speak to their quality as I have never ordered from them but it is an option if you are interested.
Happy Art Journey,