My wife likes to collect nutcrackers and we have them interspersed throughout the house.
I particularly liked this grouping and the low lighting, with the shadows and reflected light on the wall behind. The only lighting comes from some minimal ambient light but mostly from the lights strung around the top of the cabinet they are standing on.
I was feeling a bit ambitious around midnight when I started this one and worked on it for about an hour or two while the house was silent. I rigged up a small light over my easel to get things going.
After getting the kids off to school this morning, I waited until the sun was on the west side of the house and opened the curtains to give me a little extra light to work from without the overhead.
Finally, I had it about where I wanted it and took it into the studio where I resolved some edges and other little details around the focal point.
"If Ever There Were A Rag Tag Bunch"
9"x12" oil on linen panel
Below is little bit of it in progress and a shot of my view with my little cigar box easel.