When I was a kid, my dad brought home a baby raccoon and we raised it. I loved that little thing and once it was old enough to survive on his own, we let it go in the woods behind my grandmother’s house. It took him about a year to acclimate to being a wild critter again, but eventually it did re-wild.
I have a love-hate relationship with raccoons. Just like foxes, they’re beautiful, intelligent, and as long as they’re not eating my chickens I love them. But raccoons take the hate aspect of our relationship a little farther. Their little hands wreak havoc on our homestead, getting into things they shouldn’t.
So I enjoy seeing them in the wild, doing their thing as nature intended. And I really enjoyed painting this portrait of a raccoon creekside on the rocks. The photographer for the reference I used is Joe D. Russell, a neighbor as the crow files here. The setting is on Felkins creek, one of my favorite locations for gathering rocks.
Painting a Raccoon … and Rocks with Rocks
This is the first painting that featured a raccoon AND good-sized rocks, and it was fun to paint rocks with rocks. They’re my favorite feature of the painting, except for the curly little grasses that drape over the rocks.
It’s also the first painting I’ve ever done on black paper. That was a completely different experience. It was difficult to see the paint before it dried, so I had to stop often between additions of strokes to tell what I had done. Some colors didn’t show up well at all on it, but the whites from our ancient tumbled limestone really worked well.
The whole painting looks incredible in bright lighting because of that white. It kind of reminds me of those old velvet paintings. You can see the progression photos of this painting in progress here: Painting a Raccoon on Black Paper.