I recently finished up two 8″ x 10″ pieces of two North American species, and have made drawing process videos of them as well. When looking at the average algae covered pond turtle, it’s easy to forget just how colorful some of them can be. The Wood Turtle is a great example of that, with their bright orange skin. So too are Spotted Turtles, with orange to peach scaling on their front legs, and many pale yellow spots.
I wanted to capture these two turtle species in their native habitats, so they are as described below.
The Wood Turtle is not strictly aquatic, often venturing out on land half of the time. However, in the artwork I have one swimming through a creek (or river) accompanied by a small school of minnows. A stand of trees in the woods shows just at the water’s surface.
The Spotted Turtle swims under aquatic plants and their hanging roots. The water is shallow and tinged yellow with tannin from dead and decaying trees.
Here are the process videos!
And here are the links where you can shop for products made with these pieces printed on them!
I’ve developed a soft spot for turtles over the years, from both becoming enamored with local pond residents and rescuing injured or disoriented turtles. I now have two of my own as part of my family. Both were adopted from the Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society, whom I connected with through the wonderful Turtle Forum. Through them I learned about just how many turtles are abandoned and cast off as if throwaway items. I also learned how unique and personable turtles can truly be. No, they are not animals who are soft and cuddly, nor do most of them care for much handling. But they do interact with their owners, they have favorite foods, and some even enjoy a good shell scratch (They do get itchy, especially during a growth spurt). There are even some who actually want to be pet, or held, but it depends on the turtles disposition.
I have also met wonderful people who love them just as I do, and have expert knowledge on their care. A pet turtle or tortoise is a serious consideration as a pet, not just in terms of care, but also in longevity. Some are capable of outliving their owners, especially tortoises.
So, in appreciation of my artwork, I hope that people will also see the importance of the species depicted, both wild and captive, whether they be pets or wildlife that needs protection.
Here is a list of some great links about turtles. Stay tuned for more!