On the First Day of Christmas, a partridge in a pear tree happily sits, watching the world go by outside. A fox passes by the orchard, unaware it’s being observed by the contented partridge. From the reflection in a nearby mirror, it’s evident the partridge is holding a Santa hat.

Christmas in July continues with A Partridge in a Pear Tree. Oh the temptation to draw derivatives of the Partridge Family. There are many online. One of my favourites depicted Danny Bonaduce sitting in a carnival ride where the carriages were made to look like bees. The caption read “A Partridge in a Fair Bee”.

When I drew this, initially one of the pictures hanging on the wall was the cartoon (mother) partridge that appears in the opening credits of The Partridge Family. I will include it here below. I figured there would be copyright issues with adding this to online stores, so I replaced it with the text ‘Home Tweet Home’. It’s possible that I thought of this text after subconsciously seeing it somewhere, perhaps in a Looney Tunes cartoon. It just had that familiar vibe.


I went overly literal with this one and put the partridge in a pear tree. Because the scene is almost from the point of view of the partridge, I included a mirror so that it could be seen from a different angle as well. I know the reflection isn’t all that accurate, but I think it is evident that it’s meant to be a reflection (and not just a picture of a partridge) so it serves its purpose.

It’s either a large pear tree or a small partridge for the bird to be able to fit in the tree. There is also another pear tree in the distance with a hole in its trunk. Hopefully this helps to indicate that holes in pear trees may be common and that this may be where the scene is set.

The drawn partridge likes to eat pears which is probably a good reason for residing in a pear tree. I remain unsure as to whether other partridges like pears as food.

I had anticipated that this might be the easiest of the Twelve Days of Christmas to draw, being sole partridge in a pear tree, but I complicated it a bit by drawing it from a strange perspective and including a mirror (hence a second partridge), external pear trees and a fox passing by. Then the colouring became complicated because moonlight was affecting light both inside the tree and outside. Then there was the fading of the mirror image to make it look more glass-like. The process was slowed by all this, but overall I think it turned out ok. The Santa hat was a very last moment thing. I had to be careful about item placement in the scene so that I didn’t end up having to draw everything a second time as a reflection in the mirror.

Music was mandatory while working on this. The soundtrack in my head kept reverting to “Come On, Get Happy” without it.