My name is Aoede Pando and I'm an illustrator working in Portland, Oregon. Drawing inspiration from wildlife and nature, I create colorful, surrealist, and representative illustrations that explore our natural world and inner landscapes.


What Materials Do You Use?


  • Watercolors (Usually Daniel Smith)

  • Gouache (Usually Holbein)

  • Holbein Acryla-Gouache

  • Acrylic Paint (Currently Golden Open)


  • Watercolor Paper

  • Illustration Board

  • Maple Wood Panel

Digital Editing:

  • Photoshop

  • Procreate on iPad Pro

How Long Does It take To Make A Painting?

This varies widely, but as an example a small 5” x 7” portrait directly from reference might take 3-5 hours in watercolors. An 11” x 16” original composition could take up to a week or more depending on its level of detail and complexity. On top of the actual time spent painting, there is usually time spent compiling reference photos, concept sketching, finalizing and transferring a sketch, as well as choosing the color palette and medium.

Why Do You Paint Animals And Nature?

Animals represent our most fundamental nature and the great wealth this planet manifests. The needs and motivations of wildlife are simple and clear, and animals are as visually distinct as their ways of living are diverse. Creatures naturally express themselves with interesting body language through pose, and are an endless source of colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and symbolic meaning. I can’t imagine more interesting subjects for study and expression of metaphor.

What Are Your Inspirations?

I enjoy the meditative nature of creating and having a daily practice of observation. I appreciate that as an introspective person, painting gives me the opportunity to express myself in ways I’d struggle to with words. Being internally motivated to create for these reasons, I then look externally for subjects. I think anything can be inspiring if you look at it long enough.