Reindeer Sketches

Reindeer in Wappingers Falls?! Yes, really! Adams, my favorite place to buy most of our groceries, has had two real, live reindeer staying right at the store for the past month! They have a really nice enclosure, half inside, half outside, at the back of the semi-outdoor garden center, and they seem to really like having people visit to see them.

I went to Adams early this morning to do my Christmas dinner shopping, and spent close to an hour sketching the reindeer. These two are very social and friendly, and when the man who takes care of them went into their pen, they went up to him for attention. One of them, Star, affectionately rubbed her antlers against him and leaned up against him like a friendly dog. The other, Angel, was a bit reticent, but when he scritched her under the chin, she leaned into his hand and rolled her head back and forth the way Rowan does when I rub under his chin.

It was a bit of a challenge to sketch them, since they were fairly active, so I just got quick sketches done standing in front of their enclosure,
bundled up with mittens (the kind that open so my fingers are free but
thumb is still covered), trying to capture them whenever they stood
still for a few seconds.

I did these the way I do bird sketches; I would start one sketch, then
start another when the reindeer moved, then another, then back to one
I’d already started when she returned to a position she had been in before,
and so on. Fun, and keeps me looking closely at my subjects, so even though I don’t
come up with anything like a finished picture, I really enjoy the process.

When I came home I looked up some reindeer facts to learn more about them and wrote some of those on my pages.

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