critter paintings

are lots of fun to paint.


I enjoy doing critter paintings of all the wonderful animals. My paintings include birds and butterflies and dragonflies.

A special joy for me is painting dolphins, koi, giraffes, sea turtles and other wildlife. Sometimes I paint with oils and other times i do watercolor paintings.

Oil critter paintings of Koi, art by Carol MayKoi Feeding, oil painting by Carol May

When I grew up my parents had a retail/wholesale tropical fish business. We had numerous outdoor ponds.

The fish would swarm around like this when we fed them. That gave me the idea for “Koi Feeding”.

Koi fish come in a large variety of colors, so this made a colorful painting.

My husband said they just ate Jiminy the Cricket. And the one with the white head is the ring leader.

When you Start a Painting it is a good idea to paint things familiar to you.

critter paintings

Flamingos Feeding, an oil painting by Carol MayFlamingos Feeding

Flamingos have a unique shaped bill made for scooping through the mud to filter out critters to eat.

This oil painting of the pink “Flamingos Feeding” was a challenge for me. I painted the upright ones just fine.

When I got to their reflections, I got all confused. Their mirror images needed to go in the opposite direction of the upright birds.

I found myself painting the reflections the same direction as the upright birds.

So I solved the problem by turning the canvas upside down and then the painting went smoothly.



A Bluebird Cleaning Up, art by Carol MayCleaning Up

One of God's beautiful critters are bluebirds.

We have a bluebird nest in the front yard.

We enjoy seeing them come to our back yard to use our birdbath.

I took a photo and painted a bluebird “Cleaning Up”.



Critter paintings by Carol May, Spots the giraffeSpots

Sometimes I just enjoy the critters for a long time before I paint them.

That's what I did with this giraffe painting.

I love how God put spots on the giraffe to camouflage them up in the trees.

The sun and shadows in the leaves are echoed by the markings on the giraffe.

I thought about this for a long time and finally did this watercolor painting of a giraffe up in the trees.

I named him "Spots".


Brown Pelican Resting watercolor painting, art by Carol MayPelican Resting

When we first moved to Florida I was amazed by all the large water birds, especially the pelicans.

Pelicans were the subject of many of my critter paintings.

Here is a "Resting Pelican" on a post in one of their typical poses.

My husband said "He" is trying to lay an egg!

Ha-ha Lots of fun!


Watercolor horse painting by Carol MayEasy Freedom

I did this horse painting one time for a lady that was having a hard time.

I did it with bright colors to cheer her up.

I wanted her to know that she was on her way to "Easy Freedom".



Happy Manatee watercolor painting art by Carol MayHappy Manatee

Manatees are popular here in Florida.

They make great paintings.

Here is a “Happy Manatee” enjoying her baby.



Watercolor Banded Butterfly fish painting by Carol MayTwo Stripies

I love color and I had lots of fun doing these colorful Banded Butterfly fish.

I call this critter painting, "Two Stripies".

Do you see the starfish in the bottom left?



watercolor of Seahorses by painting artist Carol MaySea Grass

While snorkeling in south Florida, I was amazed to see our native seahorses in among the "Sea Grass".

They were quiet little animals just hanging on the grasses.

They lean slightly forward when they swim. They go looking for something else to hang onto again.

What a treat it was to see them.

They were a pale, light color, but I made them my artist orange to contrast with the green grasses.


Leafy Sea Dragon are very unusual criters. Art by Carol MayLeafy

An amazing critter is the leafy sea-dragon.

They are native on the coral reef of Australia. They are a quiet animal related to the Sea Horse.

They camouflage themselves in leafy appendages and wait for small fish to come by to suck them up.

I painted “Leafy” with watercolor on Claybord.

Do you see two leafies in this critter painting?


Identify the Types of Butterflies in your yard.

Check out the Types of Hummingbirds in the US.

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