Last summer I was into drawing fairies. The mushrooms in my forest were transformed into moonlight bathtubs.
But this year I returned to ‘realism’ and featured the diminutive red eft. This brightly colored, juvenile phase of the Eastern Newt is on the move to winter quarters They are scuttling speedily along the mossy forest trails, looking for their new pond.
I paint a lot of Cottage Cards each summer and send them to my special friends. To make it a little faster I do them in batches. Each one is different, but they all use the same basic elements and colors.
After I’ve drawn the image in pencil, I completely saturate the paper with clean water. Using gouache, I paint the orange eft-wet into wet. When the 1st wet layer has dried, I use a bright, mossy green to paint the background. reserving white areas as I go. I add various colors to the mushroom caps. The deep greens of the forest are added as an indigo layer in the far background.Purple-blue shadows under the mushroom caps and the eft’s body come next. A winding Partridge Berry vine is added to three of the four cards, along with some mossy texture. I use a gold ink pen to outline the eft’s eye and the red spots along her body. The final layer is a diluted wash of cobalt blue to focus attention on the red eft.
Now I remove the tape and, voila!