watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper
7"w x 6"h
Purpose: Interpretative Sign
Like everywhere, little remains of pre-settlement habitat in southwest Michigan where I live. Along with clean wetlands and large tracts of beech/maple forest, this area once hosted oak savannas, scattered tallgrass prairies, and lots of oak/hickory woods. Restored oak woodlands were the topic of one interpretive sign I recently created for a local land conservancy. The client, a land conservancy organization suggested American toad (Bufo americanus) as a representative species of this habitat, so I happily obliged, toads being one of my favorites. To create this painting, I used photos I had taken several years before as my primary reference, supplemented by details found in field guides. A handful of forest duff dug from under the snow served to model the toad's immediate surroundings.