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Spring Birches
14 x 18

This white-tailed doe was initially photographed among a poplar/dogwood thicket, the trees completely blurred out in my photo. Instead of attempting this nightmarish tangle of branches, I chose to place her in a stand of young white birch saplings, just beginning to bud. Having no photo reference in regards to the trees, I just started scratching - blurry background trees first, then adding more detailed branches along the way. The early stages were disheartening. I was completely winging it, and I considered scrapping the whole board. As the foreground trees and composition came together, however, it started to take shape. White-tailed deer in spring usually feed on tender shoots and buds of more herbaceous plants, however after a winter such as the one we have just experienced in Canada, these birch buds will be essential food for these animals when everything else is still blanketed with snow.