Yelena Shabrova ~ Stranger ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8" x 10" (original drawing of an owl)
Stranger ~ mixed media on canvas panel, 8″ x 10″

I was asked more than once why I don’t draw owls, and given the fact that they are my next favorite animals after horses it really begs the question. My explanation so far was that it’s far easier to obtain my own horse reference which is always preferred over free and inexpensive options that can be used by somebody else too.

However, the time keeps marching by, and my own supply of owl photos stays at zero. I do see owls every now and then which is very nice, but the lighting conditions are such that even the best camera in the world will not help my shaky coffee hands to make even a semi-decent shot. So I finally looked for other options.

So now I have my very own owl peaking out of a crumbling wall. Thank you, Lynton Bolton, for a great reference photo.

An observation: if an owl has light, fluffy feathers they will do everything they can to turn out a mess. They observe no rules, no order, nothing of what fur usually does.

The original ($190.00), greeting cards, and prints are available in my online shop as a part of the “Mixed Media” collection.

Cover illustration for a book in progress

About two months ago I received a rather unusual request to create an illustration for a book that was not finished yet and didn’t have a title. All I had to go by was a short foreword and a few more details from the author. The interpretation and medium was left up to me. On one hand, it was very enticing to have that much creative freedom, on the other, it was as reassuring as walking through a thick fog. The temptation prevailed.

To make myself feel a little better, I sent the author a rough sketch of what I had in mind, and to my surprise she enthusiastically approved it. Since I didn’t know which parts of the storyline are going to be the most prominent in the book, I went with the main theme of an abrupt change from a farm teen to raising the son on her own in a city. The shadow in the illustration is the girl’s son in the end of the book, grown up and capable of supporting herself, her concern for years and a final reward. Today I turned the illustration to to the author. Thankfully, she loved the finished work which made me happy. She is till working on the book, hopefully the illustration will give her an extra creativity nudge.

Cover illustration for a book cover

colored pencil on drawing paper, 9″ x 12″


Scinthia – 4″ x 6″, charcoal on drawing paper

This is what I hope to be the return of my long lost love for portraits. I mean human portraits. Horses were always fine and still are. But I haven’t draw a single human face in more than 15 years except for an occasional sketch here and there. It’s coming back now an feels like slipping in old comfortable shoes. “Scinthia” is not a real person, it’s my guess at what the name might look like.