I've had the same banner art since 2009, so I painted a new one. I had the idea to make two animals who've given their lives for art. I painted the two on blue watercolor paper after inking them with purple. I ended up flipping them for the banner, which seemed to make the composition work better.
The Siberian weasel's tail fur is used to make fancy Kolinsky brushes. I decided to make them like cherubs or conquering angels. I also took a shortcut I saw in another classical painting of cherubs where each had only one wing. This makes for a more readable silhouette (and I didn't have to try to make even more tricky feathers!)
Oxgall liquid, made of bovine bile, is used to make paint flow and wash easier. This picture is heavily influenced by an ancient sculpture. Even though the jar of oxgall got reversed in the final picture, it's so small and blurred that it doesn't really matter.