An excuse to draw

Endangered tiger on a thank you card for wildlife rangers.
Endangered tiger on a thank you card for wildlife rangers.

Tara is applying for scholarships. We are both interested in as much financial assistance as possible. Oregon State University is not the most expensive school, and there is in-state tuition, but the fact remains that college is startlingly expensive for regular folks like us.

Here’s one from dosomething.org: Thank You cards for wildlife rangers.

Students make cards for wildlife rangers who are involved with protecting endangered species. The theme of the cards must be from the list of key species, including elephants, marine turtles, tigers, giant pandas, and rhinocerouses. Rhinoceri. Rhinocerim. Rhinos.

For every two cards a person submits, their name is entered into a drawing one time. There is a limit of 10 cards, and therefore 5 chances to win. The prize is a $10,000 scholarship. Totally worth the effort!

Tara designing wildlife cards.
Tara designing wildlife cards.
This is how we did it.
This is how we did it.
early draft rhino
early draft rhino
early draft tiger
early draft tiger

Tara and I and a friend got together at a coffee shop and brought art supplies and pulled up images of endangered species on our smart phones… and started drawing.

Drawing is slow work. Luckily, Tara already had a bunch of elephant block prints from last year’s art class. I aboslutely love this elephant. You’ve seen it previously, on my Good Things Jar (where it remains, of course). There were several other versions of the same elephant in Tara’s art folder, so they cut them up and pasted them to handmade cards.

I have called myself an artist for a long time, but I don’t prove it to myself often enough. I consider my writing an art, and my photography is an art. The way I think about the world is through an artists eyes and ears. But look, I can draw too! (I drew the rhino) And look what Tara can do! (Tara drew the tiger) We went in jointly on the sea turtle – Tara drew the first draft, and I finished up the details and did the colours. After the fact, it occurred to me that we had just copied a copyright image (Crush from Finding Nemo), so I made the turtle purple and yellow in a weak attempt to say “This is not Crush, this is a different turtle.” Our friend did the other sea turtle, insisting that all he could do was stick figures, and look how good it turned out!

Cross your fingers for us in getting a few scholarships this year to help soften the blow.

My rhinoceros. I love how it turned out.
My rhinoceros. I love how it turned out.
The original sketch of the elephant, that Tara used as a guide to carve the block print.
The original sketch of the elephant, that Tara used as a guide to carve the block print.
Experimenting with different paints on the block.
Experimenting with different paints on the block.
Catch ya later, Dude!
Catch ya later, Dude!
The valid sea turtle card, based on an actual turtle.
The valid sea turtle card, based on an actual turtle.
Elephants in the mist.
Elephants in the mist.
colour experiments
colour experiments
colour experiments
colour experiments

P.S. Last minute addition below. We discovered that we had only 10 cards, so Tara quickly folded a scrap piece of paper in half and handed it to me. Since it was small, I thought just a face would have to suffice.

My Siberian Tiger in full colour.
My Siberian Tiger in full colour.

24 thoughts on “An excuse to draw

    1. Hey, my friend! I need your address again because I cannot find it. And I can’t remember which email account we used, ha ha. Please send me a new email with your address again. This time I will write it in my address book. 🙂

    1. Thank you Pauline! It was a splendid idea and I am grateful to Tara for coming up with it. (Also, we had to get out of the house that day, for people to walk through) Artists really do need to make time for art in their lives, as you will know because you are an artist. My practical mind is always nagging me, telling me there are other more important things, but to an artist, creating is part of being alive. I need to do more of it.

  1. I loved them all. The turtle looks happy. Made me smile. What fun you must have had doing them all together. My daughter is a lefty too. 🙂 She doesn’t draw. 😦 Those are amazing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope there is very little competition.

    1. I know! Wouldn’t it be a huge and wonderful boon?! I am heartened by knowing there is a 5 entry limit for everyone, so no one will have an extraordinary advantage. We did have fun doing them together. I am totally willing to pitch in on any other creative scholarships, ha ha!

    1. Thanks, Bruce! It was intimidating at first, then when I sketched it out, I realized half of what makes the drawing impressive is that rhinos are impressive. It’s like taking photos at Arches National Monument or something: it’s really hard to go wrong. The more I got excited about how beautiful the animal is, the harder I worked at the drawing. It was a totally beneficial spiral.

  2. What a great idea! They are all wonderful … if I were forced to choose, I’d have to pick the elephant, but truly they are all winners!
    I also love that you are working together to find creative ways to pay for college.
    Thanks for letting me know about Tara’s choice of schools, and her dream of the future. Pretty exciting!

    1. I agree that they all turned out beautiful. Tara’s elephant is awesome and I also like the different versions in different colours.

      Oregon State University is in Corvallis, Oregon, which is about an hour and a half from where I live now and about 2 1/2 from the new place if I get it. That’s really close, which may be a good thing for us. We’ve been the Crystal and Tara team ever since she was a baby. It will be a big adjustment not to have my partner in crime around.

    1. Oh Michael, what a perfect time for you to stop by and see the latest. I almost never post my drawings, and now you got a chance to see them. It’s part of why I am so interested in your sketches: because I am an artist too.

      Even if Tara does not win the scholarship, you are right, we did have so much fun drawing together at a coffee shop. Unlike you, however, we were not instantly surrounded by a group of locals asking questions, ha ha!

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