Day 50: A Hedgie for Halftime

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AND IT’S OFFICIALLY THE HALFWAY MARK!

50 more paintings to go. Cool. No pressure.

To commemorate that, here’s Mr. Pokee, an African Pygmy Hedgehog and the world’s cutest adventurer whose travels are documented on Instagram by his constant companion, Talitha.

Just look at that face.

Day 48: The Happiest Fox

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This is Juniper, a tame fox with a feisty personality, descended from a line of foxes who were domesticated at the peak of the fur trade. This was a common practice at the height of the fur trade, but since that is no longer in common practice, foxes like Juni end up being too tame to survive in the wild, not having all of her naturally wild instincts, but foxes like her are still far from your usual house pets.

While Juni is beautiful and cuddly and seems like little more than an excitable red dog, she’s still partially wild, and her owner and mum, Jessika educates us about these wonderful creatures by documenting her everyday life and her interactions with the other pets in the house, which include Moose the dog and other animals that Jessika fosters, like Peachy and Petunia, a pair of sugar gliders, and recently a baby bat.

Day 47: Cat on my Windowsill

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I called her Cottontail when she was a kitten because she was one of a litter of four. Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter, though yes, I know they’re not rabbits. Mopsy, or Mops as I liked to call him, was actually my favorite among them. However, he was a quiet, rather gentle male in an area where there were a lot of male cats jostling for territory and getting into fights over it, so he disappeared after some time. She’s the only one still left.

I’ve been getting stray cats around my home for years and have fostered a number of kittens, though I never domesticated them. I doubt we’ll be having any more kittens around the area since the Queen of Sheba here is the only female left and she was spayed after her first two litters were killed by male cats. Still, we’ve got her and she makes a daily morning visit to my kitchen windowsill. There, she roosts, snoozes, makes funny talky-noises with crows and mynahs, and demands food. All in a day’s work.

This was sketched live and painted in later, and yes, that is her default expression. Utterly unimpressed.

Day 46: Barad-Dûr, Mordor

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I saved the best for last. I’m particularly proud of this bookmark, and it’s oddly poetic that it would be the Tower of Barad-Dûr in Mordor (with the Eye of Sauron and a side order of Mount Doom) that would turn out best. At least I think so.

And this marks the last of the bookmarks. God, I loved making these.

Day 45: Erebor

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Erebor, the dwarven kingdom in the heart of the Lonely Mountain, is the one bookmark I did of an interior rather than the exterior. The outside is beautiful – make no mistake – it has one of the most elaborate gate designs I’ve seen, but I found the interior far more impressive.

It draws attention to a clear aesthetic difference between the elves, men, and dwarves. The elves have their flowing organic shapes that they sing into being from the trees themselves. The men have their solid, practical walls and pillar with a couple of statues here and there for the most part, things they can build with their hands without the aid of magic. This being a dwarven kingdom seems a sort of middle ground, giving an idea of grand scale, the cunning craftsmanship they are known for, as well as a sort of sternness in their bearing that comes from their use of straight lines and hard angles.

Good job, Art Department. You guys are brilliant.

Also, it’s GREEN. ALL GREEN. Whole new color palette.

I had initially intended to only do the throne room, but then I got bored with it being totally monochrome with only tall pillars and walkways and bridges, so I added a Smaug and a tiny Bilbo.

Day 44: Edoras

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Edoras, the capital city of Rohan, abode of the riders and the Rohirrim, who has the most awesome theme music in the entire movie soundtrack. And they have Karl Urban. And the Lady Éowyn.