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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I’ve been painting Roosters to celebrate in my own way the Chinese New Year.

I was born under the Fire Rooster sign and I am hoping that this is going to be a good year for me.

The first rooster I painted was in my Stillman & Birn watercolor journal with my new M.Graham watercolor paints. I bought Steve Mitchell’s favorite 8 colors since this paint is one I’ve been longing to try. I love the paint. I think this is going to be my go to paint.

I don’t like the way the waddle came out, or my text on the page. I really want to take a calligraphy class. Perhaps this is the year I finally do that.

2017 Year of the Rooster

So, take II- Instead of drawing the Rooster freehand like I did for the painting above  I set up the light table He-Man gave me for Christmas and traced the image of the rooster from an image I made in 2016 while on a doorscurion in Maxwell, CA.

Take II

I don’t like the tail so I covered up the worst bits with the mat board. The text is boring as well. I really am making a case for a calligraphy class aren’t I? “)

Year of the Rooster

Take III

I let loose a bit, and used my white gel pen, and black micron pen to add some details.  Again  wasn’t really happy with the tail feather ends, but love the way its head and breast came out.

Fire Rooster 2017

Some traits of the Fire Rooster for those with inquiring minds:

2017 The Year of the Rooster-

1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

“I am alert

Ready to take action

The first on the scene

The last to leave

I take chances

But I am precise

I know where things belong

I am orderly and fastidious

Nothing escapes me

I am always prepared

I never give up or in


I can’t say I meet all these traits, but some fit. 🙂

I’m not sure there will be a Take IV (oh man, I had to look up the table to make sure I recalled the correct letters for roman numeral 4) SAD! I did but still! It’s so true what they say about losing it if you don’t use it!

A note regarding the 8 paints and paper I used:

The 8 colors of paint I purchased are: Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Paynes Gray, Sepia, Azo Green, Indian Yellow, Quinacridone Red, Red Iron Oxide.

I really like how vibrant, and transparent they are. They mix well, and don’t make a muddy mess.  I’m looking for a little palette to put some whole and half pans in to be able to carry it out and about.

I used Arches 9″X12″ 140lb Coldpress paper for the 2nd, and 3rd paintings.

I wish you all Gung hay fat choi!

iPhone 7 Plus| PS CC 2017

More to come…





  1. Fun rooster explorations :-). Not an easy bird to draw or colour. I love the personality (he looks so tough!) and colours of your first rooster and your third rooster is my favourite (the white gel pen adds a nice effect and the energy of your brushstrokes is wonderful). You do seem to have the energy of a rooster – ready, enthusiastic, figuring how to do things well and never giving up. Inspiring! Hope you have a good rooster year!

  2. Wow, you have talent! Lovely.

  3. I like the dynamism of Take III! Guess that is the Fire Rooster spirit this child of 1957 feels inside… 🙂 Looking forward to seeing more of your watercolors!!!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked Take III and his spirit resonates with your Rooster spirit. 🙂

  4. fantastic colour and form revealing the eye of the real artist!! Wonderful work Deb! and I love the rooster character!

  5. Brilliant!! You are so talented.

  6. I’m a rooster too, Deborah. Some of those traits certainly fit me. Lovely drawings.

  7. Like John, I was most impressed that you kept going back for another try … and yes, the 3rd one is my favourite too. I like the free, almost abstract element to it.

    My husband is also a Fire Rooster. Very. Much. So. 😉

    I remember once reading an article about the not-so-complimentary sides of all the Signs. One comment has always stuck with me about the Rooster … sanctimonious self-righteousness. The boys and I laughed and laughed … even my husband had to reluctantly agree … with a laugh! 😀

    • Thank you so much Joanne!

      Both my son and I are Fire Roosters. LOL! I didn’t read that comment about the Rooster! I think my family might nod their heads, and laugh too at that comment.

  8. I love them all … and your persistence too!

  9. I like the fact you’ve done a number of variations. Very interesting all. I do like your last one the best.

  10. Like your last rooster the best:) Yeah, the Chinese New Year caught up with me, before I knew it!

    • Thank you so much Jesh!
      The parade is supposed to be Sunday in the city, but I’m not planning to go up this year.

  11. They are all great, Deborah! I’m not artistically skilled drawing-wise, wish I was! 🙂

  12. Nice progression, Deborah. I like the traits of the fire rooster. Like you, I share some of them. Calligraphy is something I was once pretty good at. I taught myself by working through a small text. I looked it up, and I think it’s still available (mayb used) It was fun and I enjoyed the activity for many years.

    • Thank you Dan! I looked up the book and put it on my wish list! An endorsement from you is good enough for me. 🙂

  13. These are great Deborah, you are so talented. I like the first and third the best. I agree, calligraphy would be great on these. I guess I am helping you make the case 😉

  14. Oh way to go! The 3rd one is just wonderful. Full of life and expression.

  15. They are all so lovely. I cant pick my favorite!

  16. Wow, looks like there’s lots of potential in your paint brushes and pens, Deborah. Well done 🙂 And Roman numerals always need a re check so don’t worry on that score 🙂

  17. I’ve been itching to paint a rooster too – there are beautiful things about all of your roosters! I love the last loose one the best 🙂

  18. I enjoy free form art so gravitated my eyes to your gel pens and Take III drawing!
    Deborah, so nice to read the poetic description of Rooster year people! I think it is reminding me of Katy Perry, “Hear Me Crow!” (Of course, you know she sings, “Hear me, Roar!”) 🙂 xo Robin

  19. I never knew you were this sort of artist, too, Deborah! A woman of many talents. I’m a Horse (and no surprise there.)


    • There are 5 horses in the Chinese Zodiac do you know which you are? They’re said to be very intelligent, and most possess quick wit, and are funny. I wish I were witty!

      You’re too kind. I’ve always wanted to paint, and play music. Neither of which I do well, but I keep trying. I’ll be a student for the rest of my life, but it’s fun trying…most the time. 🙂

      • I never knew there were three. So I looked it up and I’m the Wood Horse: “Wood Horse 1954, 2014 Born leader and decision maker, with rich imagination and penetrating opinions.”

        I played the piano for many, many years, but when we moved to our rental house, there was no room for the piano. Perhaps one day again. In the meantime, I sing alto in our praise team band and love it.

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