Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Horse Portrait: Mo

Mo, watercolor & pencil on Stonehenge paper, 8x10", 2017.
I just completed my first horse portrait of Mo. He's handsome!

Here's a close up:





































Here's a look at the preliminary drawing from Instagram:



Look for a listing for custom pet and animal portraits on Etsy later this spring. I'll be taking commissions.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Owl Sisters

Owl Sisters, gouache, watercolor & pencil on Rives BFK, 8x10", 2017.
Woo! Done!

This one took longer than I anticipated, but I like the result.

Here's a detailed look:

I also have a print available on Etsy: 


Thursday, March 2, 2017

WIP: Owls

Here's a look at what I've been working on lately. It took much longer than I thought it would!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Wolves and Bison




























Here's another design for Groundswell Greetings. I loved drawing these wolves!

Here's a closer look:



And here's a look at the preliminary drawing. I did change the design. The wolves would have been too small on the card with my original plan:


Unlike the bighorn sheep, I have been lucky enough to see wolves in real life. The photos below are from the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone this past September. I added the arrows to point out the wolves. It was very easy to watch them with binoculars or a scope, but harder to see in a photograph. You can see the elk they were hunting in the river of the first picture.

Photo by Zachary Gillespie

Photo by Zachary Gillespie
I've also seen too many bison to count! So, of course I had to paint a bison card too.


Here's the preliminary drawing:

And some excellent bison photos by Zack. Baby bison are called red dogs:
Photo by Zachary Gillespie

Photo by Zachary Gillespie


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bighorn Sheep Card


When I was asked to design cards inspired by animals, conservation and national parks by Groundswell Greetings, I knew that I had to draw some bighorn sheep! 

Here's closer look:

Here's the preliminary drawing:
Do you see what I changed?


The closest I have come to seeing a bighorn sheep in person is the diorama at the Academy of Natural Sciences here in Philly, but I've spent LOTS of time looking. 

I know I've been near sheep... I've even seen their tracks in snow on Mount Washburn in Yellowstone, but I haven't been able to spot them.  My boyfriend Zack and I have seen lots of signs like this:



But still no sheep sightings!

Here's just a few of the places I've tried:

Arches National Park... Hey look! Sheep!

Zack looking in Canyonlands National Park



Bighorn National Forest... that's me, not sheep

Bighorn National Forest... they've got to be here!

Baronette Peak, Yellowstone. No Sheep, but we saw mountain goats

Mount Washburn, Yellowstone. We saw sheep prints in the snow

Death Canyon, Grand Teton National Park. I looked at these rocks with binoculars for ages!

Death Canyon, Grand Teton National Park. I'd seriously live here if I were a sheep.

I know I'll see them someday! I just have to take more trips.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fox Card

This design will be a Father's Day Card for Groundswell Greetings, a Philly-based stationery business.

When I researched and found out that foxes are good animal dad's I couldn't resist!

Here's a closer look:


I rarely change the final painting much from my preliminary drawing, but this time I made an exception. I made the dad fox's face a little rounder and friendlier. You can see a peek at the original version in the Instagram post below. It's a lot more realistic, but the dad looks more annoyed than I would have liked.


A post shared by Sarah Ryan (@sarahryandraws) on

If you want to see a REALLY cute fox, check out the one my boyfriend photographed last week:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Manatee Card


Here's another card design for Groundswell Greetings.

I love manatees! I accidentally swam with a manatee in Florida. We went snorkeling, but it was too muddy to see anything. Suddenly, a giant flipper breaks the surface of the water next to us! It scared everyone until we realized what it was. 

The preliminary drawing from my sketchbook is below:




A post shared by Sarah Ryan (@sarahryandraws) on
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