Acryla Gouache Time Lapse || Fox Creek

Last month I received an invitation from Light Grey Art Lab to participate in their Instagram Charity Exhibition. Each day, beginning on December 4, LGAL will feature a handful of prints that art collectors can purchase. The prints are $75 each, including the frame and gift-wrap. To order a print of my painting, Fox Creek, visit and select “#11 - Heather Franzen Rutten.”

Fox Creek   Acryla Gouache, 5x7 inches

Fox Creek
Acryla Gouache, 5x7 inches


There will be an in-person reception in Minneapolis on December 14. Information about this event can be found on LGAL’s Facebook Page.

A portion of the exhibition sales will be donated to four non-profit organizations: ACLU, The Wilderness Society, American Red Cross, and The Humane Society of the United States. As a lifelong animal lover, I selected to donate a my portion to The Wilderness Society.

Please enjoy this time lapse video I recorded of my painting, Fox Creek.


"Julia Florida" by Agustín Barrios Mangoré
Performed by Edson Lopes
This recording is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Download Source
Edson Lopes' YouTube Channel

Acryla Gouache Time Lapse || Fox

A miniature portrait of one of my favorite foxes! I start by outlining with some ink and erasing the pencil sketch underneath. The ink is waterproof and doesn’t smudge when I apply the first wash, and is ultimately covered up by the paint in the end.


Noodler's Ink in a Lamy Safari fountain pen
Holbein Acryla Gouache
Stonehenge paper, 2.5x3.5”

Watercolor and Colored Pencil Time Lapse || Pickle's Day Out

THROWBACK to this video from May 2017: a painting of a momma croc and her baby! This drawing was for the Illustration Friday prompt “Mother.”



Sakura Koi Watercolor
Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils
Mossery Sketchbook (masked to 4" x 6.75")


Music: "Dill Pickles" by The Heftone Banjo Orchestra
For use under a Creative Commons Sharealike 1.0 License.
Download Source

Bridget - Step-by-Step

I drew my in-laws' dog, Bridget, for Christmas this year. She's become blind but is still very peppy.

Click on the arrows to navigate through the slides and hover over the image to see a description of my tools and techniques.

Stonehenge paper
Faber-Castell Polychromos

The Plush Dragon of Pincushion Forest

In 2011 I had an image in my head of a princess mending the tail of a large plush dragon, who appears intimidating but is actually scared of needles. I spent hours on the drawing, only to be disappointed in the end result. I sighed and put it away. I told myself that I could always try again. Now, five years later, I have made a second attempt!

Here is a comparison between the original drawing and the remake (click to enlarge):

Some things that I have changed:

  • The 2011 dragon appears to be having an anxiety attack, whereas the 2016 dragon seems to be nervous but ultimately trusts the princess.
  • The colors in the first drawing are jarring, so I softened the color scheme.
  • In fact, I softened everything: the spikes on the dragon are rounded, the foliage consists of circles instead of angular pieces, and the princess's dress is puffier.
  • I omitted the cluttered and distracting flowers and reduced the tree trunks to two distant trees.
  • I composed the 2016 piece as a graceful curl so that the eye is drawn from the dragon's nose to his tail and vice versa.

The Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Click on the arrows to navigate through the slides. Hover over the image to see a description of my tools and techniques.

Stonehenge paper
Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils