Canada 150 – From Many Peoples Strength

Hey Everyone!

Originally I was going in alphabetical order, but I didn’t think it was right to move on to the Atlantic provinces without finishing out the prairies. I’m really glad I made that decision because Saskatchewan has some beautiful imagery to work with.

If this is the first post you are seeing in this series, you can read more about it on my previous posts here. Now on to the symbols represented and a few process shots.

The title of the piece is a translation of the Latin Multis E Gentibus Vires, which is the official motto of Saskatchewan. 
Animal – White Tailed Deer
Though the white-tailed deer has been an element of the Saskatchewan coat of arms since 1986, it wasn’t made the official animal of the province until 2001. The species of deer is indigenous to the province and can be found throughout.
Bird – Sharp-Tailed Grouse
This popular game bird was given its official spot as an emblem of Saskatchewan in 1945. It is also known as the “prairie chicken.”
Flower – Western Red Lily
It was adopted by a special committee in 1941 as the official flower of the province. It can also be seen on the province’s official flag and coat of arms.
Tree – White Birch
Found in most areas of the province the white birch tree is most recognizable by its distinct white paper-like bark. The tree had many uses for First Nations people including the making of canoes and utensils. Adopted in 1988, the birch tree today is widely used for furniture.

“From Many Peoples Strength” 11×14 in Colored Pencil, Ink and PITT Pens on Hotpress Watercolor Paper 2017.
All images copyright Barb Sotiropoulos. All Rights Reserved.

This was probably the most challenging so far in terms of finding photo reference I liked. The result was a combination of a bunch of different photos mixed together.  I didn’t use as many colors as some of the previous either, but that always just depends on what the subject matter requires.
I feel like I’m starting to develop a bit of a formula for how I tackle these, which is greatly helpful for time and consistency. The flowers were mostly a colored pencil base with a warm red PITT pen over top to punch up the color. I’m really enjoying using the Albrecht Dürer Watercolor Pencils for my base colors on the animals. I use them to build the shadowing subtleties on the animal coat before I go in with more detailed strokes.

This piece actually came together quite quickly! Considering I sort of changed my mind last minute as to which province I was going to tackle, that was a relief. Especially since I have 10 more in the series to go!

Stay tuned for next month’s province, Ontario!

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