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February 2020 Personal Creative Challenge, Day 18: Curious Fawn

painting of fawn in greenery
Curious Fawn, 13 x 15, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

No, he’s not a kitty, nor a commissioned portrait, but because I’ve always shared images of the deer in my yard I also wanted to share this painting.

This curious fawn was part of my back yard, front yard, side yard, he was all over the place in 2016, much to the consternation of his stern mother, who would wait around a corner or in the shadows and stamp her hooves as he wandered here and there, looked in my windows, tasted this or that. Of course, I practically followed him around—inside— with my camera and got many photos that I knew I’d want to paint.

This was my first choice, and my favorite of them all. My yard slopes down from street level to basement level along the side yards. I was up in my house, looking out my side window, quietly watching the fawn amble along the path from the back yard to the driveway, on the north side of the house, the sun to the south as the house cast a shadow. The big wild black cherry was still there, creating a dense shadow on the left. The July day was hot and sunny as you can see in the sunny glare on the leaves at the top, but the cool north light reflected down onto the upturned leaves of my groundcovers creating an all-over spattered pattern that would have been a perfect camouflage for the fawn, but for all the cool and warm light coming in at angles and reflecting all around, highlighting his warm tones.

I photographed him as he walked, but this was my favorite posture, paused, head turned in interest, huge ears turned forward, the clear lines of his spots running down along his body. I’m so glad I’ve finally had the chance to paint him.

Without the tree, that area of the side yard is in nearly full sun and is quite different now, but I loved looking and walking in this little area. I miss it, and it’s actually a joy to preserve it in this painting.

For this painting I once again used self-prepared smooth deep charcoal matboard coated with my favorite transparent pastel ground, Golden Acrylic Ground for Pastels, so that I would start with a dark background.

I painted it without any guidelines, just hitting the surface with my pastels and letting it work out. And I mean literally hitting the board with pastels, as I did when I painted Summer Sunset, Robinson Run, wanting to keep myself from falling into the details, using the edges of my pastels to shape the leaves with just a quick tap or swash and moving on.

You can find the original painting and prints here on the page Creative Challenges.

Here are a few posts with photos of various fawns in our yard:

Daily Photo: A Tiny Visitor

Daily Photo: Made in the Shade

About my February 2020 Personal Creative Challenge

I began this year with a pledge to myself and my art: To be certain I won’t let ideas pass me by I’m setting myself up for a personal painting challenge in February, similar to the painting challenges I’ve participated in in past years. I aspire (but don’t expect) to create a painting or sketch every day in the month, to be posted on my blog each day.

Read about other current Commissioned Portraits and Featured Artwork

I also feature artwork that has not been commissioned, especially my paintings of my own cats. If you’d like to read more about artwork as I develop it, about my current portraits and art assignments and even historic portraits and paintings, I feature commissioned portrait or other piece of artwork on Wednesday. Choose the categories featured artwork.

"Feline Style Sampler" book of sketches and portraits.A collection of 34 images of feline artwork

The award-winning* Feline Style Sampler

Now in its third printing, and its sixth anniversary!

Daily sketches, illustrations, commissioned portraits all in a small coil-bound gift book.

Click here or on the image to read more or find this book on Portraits of Animals.

*Certificate of Excellence, Cat Writers’ Association 2014 Communications Contest

Gifts featuring cats you know! Visit Portraits of Animals


Fine ArtPhotographyGiftsGreeting CardsBooksCommissioned Portraits & Artwork


All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.

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© 2022 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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