Taking flight

I am so fortunate because urban sketching has brought me many opportunities in the past few months. I’ve been spending a lot of time illustrating a children’s book and that means I can’t get out to do as much car sketching as I usually do. Thankfully the author of the book has kindly consented to allow me to preview little bits of my work (as long as I don’t reveal full illustrations) and for that I am grateful.

The paintings are quite large (22″ x 8.5″) and are painted on hot pressed (smooth) Arches paper, allowing me to incorporate both ink and wash. I can’t scan the full paintings, or even parts of them, because they are on full sheets of watercolour paper (22″ x 30″) so this little bit is from a photo I took. It has been an interesting, albeit time-consuming project, and I hope to keep revealing these little details as I complete them.


17 Comments on “Taking flight”

  1. Johanne says:


  2. Cathy says:

    What a delightful image to start my day. Thank you Shari! I can’t wait for the book to be published.

  3. Karpadim says:

    That’s utterly beautiful. can’t wait to see the full book.

  4. Mary says:

    What a treat to have a first little preview of your book illustrations, Shari.
    I love your Canada geese flying in their earnest formation either south or home,
    and can almost hear their honking to each other. 🙂 We are right in their flightpath as they
    fly over the campus in the hundreds (in constant communication) and then park on the lake or in the fields to rest. Thank you for sharing and children will love your pictures!

    • So glad you like them Mary. In fact I took many photos last week (the day I painted “Balcony”) because they were all in the corn fields at the farm. I was driving to go through the campus and I almost slammed on my brakes and caused an accident because I was so excited to see them. They have a special meaning for me now.

  5. Linda daily says:

    Thanks for giving us a peek into the book.
    It is a beautiful sample and I am sure the book will be wonderful!
    What a wonderful opportunity for you.

  6. Lee Kline says:

    Thanks, Shari. I will buy the book when it comes out. This is a beautiful example. Smart publisher and author to choose you!

  7. Ross C says:

    Thank you. Very impressive! They (the geese) are all looking very natural in their flight. Are these based on the stuffed geese which you sketched at the museum some time ago?
    And where do you get that interesting watercolour paper… with the grey background that gets darker at the corners… or did you put on washes to get that effect? : )

    • The geese are based on a tiny plastic model of a goose that I have sitting on my computer. I believe it may have been purchased in Australia!
      I’m glad you like the tinted paper!!

      • Ross C says:

        So, is that a plastic goose with jointed wings, like the artist’s timber human figurines that you can buy? And purchased in Australia… that’s a long way to go on a shopping trip for plastic geese!

      • That’s exactly what it is Ross. All the way from Australia.

  8. There’s a certain beauty to wildlife drawing, and I have fond memories of very long ago when my father took me (I was in, like, seventh grade) to a nature drawing class at a cozy rustic farmhouse where we drew stuffed birds. I still have the drawings and a fondness for wildlife art. And as always, wonderfully painted.

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