U is for Unicorn

U is for Unicorn. Really?! What part of the planet do Unicorns live on? Definitely not in the southwest. I am surprised to find so many alphabet books for children use fairly common animals and then use a Unicorn for the letter “U”!

Finding an animal that starts with a “U” is pretty tough, especially for a particular region. I’ve seen “Urchins” in some of the books as well, but I’ve never seen an urchin in our lovely desert! And that is why the best possible animal for my southwest alphabetical series of “Desert Dwellers” is…..

Uinta Chipmunk Step 7 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

The Uinta Chipmunk!

While researching these chipmunks, I’ve learned that there are approximately 13 species of chipmunks in the US! Who knew? They are all very cute and some look very similar to one another. The Uinta’s live in the southwest, but I think we are more likely to find them up at The Grand Canyon than right outside my door in Tucson, AZ. Too bad, cause I love their stripes!

I really enjoyed painting the Uinta Chipmunk. I’ve deduced that painting FUR=FUN! See below for a visual step by step of my painting process:

STEP 1: I layered some dark and yellow green onto the canvas.

Uinta Chipmunk Step 1 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

STEP 2: I outlined the chipmunk’s body shape in a sketch-like manner.

Uinta Chipmunk Step 2 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

STEP 3: Using a few tints and shades of a tan/brown hue, I added areas of color.

Uinta Chipmunk Step 3 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

STEP 4: Using a smaller paintbrush, I made more specific strokes in the direction of the fur.

Uinta Chipmunk Step 4 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

STEP 5: I added more shadows with a darker hue.

Uinta Chipmunk Step 5 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

STEP 6: I added definition to his ears, eyes, hands, and feet.

Uinta Chipmunk Step 6 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

STEP 7: After I blended the background, added more wispy hairs and did one last review — he was finished!

Uinta Chipmunk Step 7 Acrylic Painting by Julie Rustad

What do you think? Uinta Chipmunk vs Unicorn
Here’s hoping that my friends in the Southwest will appreciate the shout out to one of our local creatures, instead of the magical and mythological unicorn.

Do you want your own “Uinta Chipmunk”?
Matted prints of this chipmunk are available for $25. Purchase from my Julie Originals website or email me at julie@julieoriginals.com.

The next southwest animal is…
Now that the Uinta Chipmunk is complete, I have begun painting a Vulture!  Subscribe to my blog to be the first to see how it turns out! :)

Monthly Print Giveaway!
Everyone that leaves a comment on my blog will be entered into a drawing to win a free 8×10 matted print of their choice. I will announce the winner in the March 15th Julie Originals E-News. Click here to subscribe to my e-newsletter to find out if you won!

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