I'm not into dead animals...

But I can't stop my obsession with the dioramas at the Denver Nature & Science Museum. Spending time drawing there is one of my favorite parts of that city, and it's something I miss deeply after moving to Nashville. Whenever I needed to re-energize, I'd take my sketchbook down to study the gemsbok, the springhare, the warthogs and the puffins. The exhibits themselves look sort of timeless, like stills from a Wes Anderson movie. 

For our Holidays, we decided to spend time in Colorado, and the trip wouldn't have been complete without a date with my stuffed babies. I carried in my sketchbook and colored pencils and worked quickly, as I didn't have a lot of time to spend. Lately, I've been using Faber-Castell Colored Pencils - they are oil based and I really love the hardness of them. Really great lines, but not super rigid. They're almost like a mix between Prismacolor Premiers and the Verithins. (Both of which I've used for a long time). Because there were SO many kids running around, and so many parents chasing them, I had to work simple, and didn't get to throw any color in.  

I've been trying really hard to stylize when I'm drawing from life. I have to consciously offset angles, and try to have fun making these little characters come to life and not look like the dead little creatures they are. If you've followed my work for a long time, you'll know I have a constant struggle not leaning into realism. After looking at my previous museum sketches, I think I've come a long way in the last two years and that's pretty exciting! 

These characters need to be in a story....

Look at those babies!! Rhea babies! 

As much as I would have loved to spend the whole week there, I had an incredibly revitalizing time resting and laughing with some of the best humans on the planet. Did you find some time to creatively re-energize over break? What do you do to recharge? 

PS > One of my goals this year is to blog more and share more behind the scenes with you so perhaps if I can keep my head on straight, you'll be hearing from me soon! 

Happy New Year my glittering friends!