tit paintingI sat down with a steaming cup of latte in front of the window where we have the bird feeder. I opened up my laptop and decided that if no bird is going to bother showing up this time, I’ll just google an image. Well, the browser did not even have time to fire up when I heard a little noise, the flapping of little wings.

A little tit flew in and perched itself on the thatch of the feeder. It stood there with its little head turned to one side, peaked with curiosity. It was constantly observing something before its eyes. I almost felt like it was spying on me. The little one remained there for almost a minute before it picked up a sunflower seed and flew away.

It took me no time to grab my paper and pencil and to start to sketch like a maniac. I made a very rough, very quick one to capture the moment. As the bird flew away I already knew what I had in my hand was exactly what I wanted.greeting card bird

I envisioned an ink rendition of the tit. One that would be surrounded by a deep burgundy frame. For the colors I saw light washes of watercolor to give just a hint of the bird’s real life beauty. After finishing the first one though I ended up switching to a watered down acrylic paint, because it gave me more opacity, more vibrancy for the little yellow chest.

Probably the most difficult part of the project was the reproduction of the images. As the painting is done by hand, I had to create 18 separate ones. Drawing and painting them individually was quite the task. All of them ended up being different. Each one looks at you inquisitively, but each one seems to be spying on something else.

So the holiday greeting cards are finished. They were mailed off today. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this time around they will all arrive safely to the hands of my friends and family. I am hoping that the postal service will not let me down this time, because the truce we signed is fragile, and I am rather hoping to turn it into a permanent peace accord.

And at the end a little surprise. Since in this season in many cultures it is custom to give presents to one another, I wanted to take this opportunity to give a little present to you. I will be giving away three of the original cards I have made to three lucky readers. All you have to do in order to win one is to drop me a note. The contest is open worldwide and ends December 18, 2015, when I’ll randomly select three winners whom I’ll contact directly. Good luck!