Meet Boomer the Brave! Vigilant, renegade and local hero! You can read all about what Boomer has been up to in this article in the Washington Post. Please note how relevant it is that I do not live in Washington…I’m on the other side of The Pond …Boomer’s story went global!
My connection with this errant emu began in the darkest depths of Winter 2021 when we were in that dark and depressingly long Covid lockdown. The Government had permitted us to meet with one other person outside so once a week my Mum and I would walk around Malmesbury, the beautiful and very ancient town where I grew up.
Often we would drop down below the old town walls and walk along the river valley known to locals as Daniel’s Well. This would lead us onto the animal sanctuary and we liked to peep over the wall and watch the animals. (It also felt like we were going somewhere and having an illicit day out…remember those days?) One day we got talking talking to Gary and Janika who run the sanctuary and I told them that I liked to sketch and hoped to return with my pencil in hand! In the meantime, we followed each other‘s progress on Instagram.
When Boomer’s story of mob justice went viral, the sanctuary got in touch to see if I would do a little sketch of him which could be used on some merchandise and then sold to raise much needed funds. Not only do these kindly folk give every bit of their spare time to looking after the animals that have been rescued, they also have to raise the money to run the sanctuary. So I, of course, obliged and scribbled this little portrait which now proudly sits on mugs sold at Renew in Malmesbury.
The process for creating this illustration was quite straightforward. I drew him three times:
The first drawing was from observation. He looked quite angry, a bit scary…and had no feet!
The second drawing I did was a memory drawing of the first. This was much looser but still scary…has feet though
The third and final sketch was a memory drawing done at speed in two minutes. I was happy with this…he seemed kinder with a heroic twinkle in his eye! I photographed it and added colour details and additional feathering around the eye in Procreate. I’ve added the same picture that was at the top of this page for comparison