black horse fly, lemonade….

Shetland&PonyJuly15

{I did in fact figure out how to fix my tablet (the woes of which I lamented last week in Drawn @ Random)* … but since I’m moving and may not have a scanner or colored pencils available again in the near future, and D@R’s last post was digital, I decided to do something a little different today and make a traditional-media Shetland & Pony.

Since I’m still working at whittling down my seed-filled Sprout pencils, I didn’t precisely have an eraser handy. In a way this counts as a good thing, since flipping a pencil over to erase is a far more useful habit with digital pens than with the real thing. If it’s stuck to the backside of a pencil, it’s probably not worth erasing with in the first place. The true problem is that I didn’t feel like digging out my proper eraser to accompany me.

Shetland’s head is the only notable casualty to this state of affairs, I believe, as a facial expression was needed there — everything else is standard enough in form and pose that I scarcely need to see the page at this point to draw it. The wren in the tree represents every sneaky fellow of his species who finds the one secluded spot in the vicinity to sing from while I look around in vain. It’s not till I see that little brown half-moon silhouette, tail almost negligible at this angle of flight, zipping out of the greenery above that I can pinpoint the song’s origin. My guess is that Shetland and Pony will be several times ’round that mulberry bush before they get this worked out.

It’s certainly no surprise that Wren got a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing … for example, in the King of the Birds tale(s) wherein she manages to go unnoticed in Eagle’s feathers until he’s carried her high enough to out-fly all the others. Of course, sometimes (as is the risk when you’re in a folktale), things don’t work out so well for the wren — generally due to eagles holding grudges — but such is the price one pays for fame. It’s also worth noting that Wren (no doubt due to the common practice of assigning genders to whole species based largely on physical traits like size, color and strength) is often referred to as “she,” despite being in the running for, and generally winning, the title of King. Most of these stories are paraphrases of translations and so on anyhow, but it still makes me think of the part in Patricia Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons where our heroine is briefly confused about how female dragons can have the title of King, while Queen is a totally different job.

Also that one Iron and Wine song, of course, which I have shamelessly used a second time for a title, despite clearly remembering the blackbird claw, raven wing… post a while back. To be fair though, it’s definitely flies-and-lemonade weather right now as well (actually, at over 95 degrees I think even the flies start giving up). My air conditioning has only really begun working properly today, and I have to say its timing, while ultimately appreciated, was a little too close….}

* The tablet fix, for those wondering, was the usual series of endless rebootings following assorted uninstalls/deletions/reinstalls in the necessary sequence; but with the additional removal of one tiiiiny Wacom-related file that I’d missed before in the system32 folder. Computers are fun.

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