US Fish and Wildlife Cornhole Boards

Updated: Mar 16


I painted these cornhole boards for US Fish & Wildlife Finley Refuge here in Corvallis.


The boards are 24" wide by 48" long, painted with acrylic. I looked up photo references of animals and plants that live on the refuge, and digitally layered them with sacred geometry designs. Then I hand-painted the boards using those designs as guides.


I learned a lot from this project, including how long a project like this takes realistically (30 hours including research, design, studies and finished artwork), and got some good painting practice.


I haven't painted in earnest in a really long time, and so I was a little anxious going into the project. I definitely had some re-learning to do, like how paint isn't the same as drawing - although this isn't strictly exclusive, I'm particularly thinking of how paint is more about working with color fields and creating texture, and drawing uses a lot of line. That was a really interesting exercise because I do spend so much time drawing so I had to readjust how I was reinterpreting the photo references into painted images. As an aspiring fantasy/ adventure artist, painting needs to be in my strong skill set for sure, equal with ink drawings, so I will have the versatility in style that can attract more projects.


These boards took over my life and my dining room table.


Also, it got kinda hairy there at the end. Without really having a good practice to know how long this project would take, I ended up with a couple of super late painting nights and finishing up the morning they were due back to the refuge. I got some serious flashes of college and my characteristic time management skills... that's one for the list of things to work on -- can't be perfect all the time ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


I am totally proud of the art I made here. The experience was invaluable, especially now as I'm making these wild claims of being a full-time artist; I really got a taste for what that actually means: tons of research, designing and re-designing, (re)learning materials, constant trips to the fine arts store, secluding myself from friends and fun so I could focus on working, and holding myself accountable to the deadline. Especially with that last one, I really saw it as a practice of mental fortitude and resisting the temptation to ask for (another) extension.


*Also, I need to get a good podcast/ music playlist going for these long project nights. If you have suggestions, drop them in the comments!*


Some of my favorite little bits on the boards.


This project seriously took over my house for a couple of weeks. It's so satisfying to have them done and ready to bring to Finley!


You can check them out at Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, March 14!

Inklings Illustrated is owned and managed by Jen Hernandez Art LLC (2020)

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