Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sea Slug in Art Stix and pencil crayon

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is sea, and this is a nudibranch. They're more familiarly known as Sea Slugs, and the nudibranchs really are in the same Gastropod group as land slugs. They're kind of like snails without shells, but much, much more colourful. I've picked a relatively simple-looking one here (Chromodoris annae, or Anna's Nudibranch), but there are plenty of other out there that are much, much more impressive.

Nudibranchs tend to feed on very specific organisms (this one concentrates on Petrosaspongia sp. sponges), and I've lost the source page now but I think I read that some of the colours of the nudibranchs come from their food sources. Kind of like flamingos gaining their pink colouration from shrimps.

While doodling this sea slug I discovered that it's hard (at least for me) to make them look at all realistic because they just plain don't look real. I might have had better luck in graphite, just going for the shape and shading... but then I would have lost the colour, which is pretty much what nudibranchs are known for. Ah well, if it looks like a cartoon it looks like a cartoon.

It's surrounded in scribbles anyway, so why I was even the slightest bit concerned about realism is beyond me.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Sea-gooseberry in Derwent Metallics & carbon pencil

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is light.

The Comb-jellies or Ctenophores are a group of jelly-like aquatic animals. They're largely colourless (well, most of them are. There are exceptions, though), but as they move their rows of propelling cilia they scatter light and look as though they have moving rainbows, more or less.

There are some ctenophores that are bioluminescent (that is, they can produce their own light), but most of the ones you see on those deep-sea submarine documentaries are just shining in the light that the filming equipment uses.

This doodle is VERY loosely based on a comb-jelly known as the Sea-gooseberry (Pleurobrachia pileus), which is found world-wide. Well, in the oceans at least. I have a feeling that you'd have a time finding them here in Alberta.

I wish I'd had my black paper to do this one on, but since I don't have it with me you get carbon pencil scribble instead. Ah well. You work with what you have, right?

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Socky in Art Stix and Koh-i-noor woodless pencil crayons

... and a bit of Verithin thrown in for good measure. Guess I'm a little crayon-happy today.

Today's Illustration Friday prompt is puppet. And this is my hand. In a sock. It's from a picture, because as hard it is to take a photo of your own left hand in a sock with a DSLR camera, it'd be even tougher to sketch your own left hand in a sock when you're left-handed...

Anyway. Do kids even make sock puppets these days? Do they know what they are? I suppose you'd need an app for it now, wouldn't you.

This is pretty sketchy, but that's on purpose. Just trying to loosen up somewhat. Fight the fussiness, Dee. You can do it.



Yes, I'm my own pep talk. Comes in handy sometimes.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Octopus Garden in watercolour

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is octopus.

Octopus gardens are real things. Octopods have been known to carefully arrange rocks, shells, and debris around the entrances to their dens. It's probably for camouflage, but who knows? They've shown in lab that they're very intelligent. Maybe they like to decorate as well as protect.

I was going to ink this one after I was done painting, but I decided that I sort of liked it the way it is. Weird, for me and painting (for those new to the program, I have the brush skills of a five-year-old). I might ink it later. We'll see after I've let it sit for a while.

In other news, I opened my travel pan kit to find the top half of my water brush missing. No big deal since I hardly ever use it, but how would it just disappear? I'm guessing that I took it out at some point to clean it, and then...? Ah well, it'll turn up. Or not. Or I'll just buy another one at some point. There's lots of brushes out there.

Especially for someone who doesn't actually paint.

IF's prompt a while back was ocean, and I did a proper octopus for that one. It's right here. Oh, and of course we need to end with one thing. Everybody sing!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Mute Swan in pencil crayon

 This week's Illustration Friday prompt is silence. That was tough for me, since I don't think there really is such a thing as silence. On Earth, anyway. After all, in space no one can hear you scream...

On Earth, though, sound is everywhere. Just because our so-so hearing doesn't catch it all doesn't mean it isn't there. And even when we think we're going somewhere for the "silence", it isn't. Quiet, maybe. Muffled, even. But not silent.

I suppose I should say at this point for anyone who hasn't read the blog bio that I'm a professional naturalist. I'm paid to notice sounds out there that most people who don't listen everyday wouldn't hear. I've never in my life been for a silent walk, because there's always something out there making sounds. That's also why I never walk with an mp3 player, by the way. Artificial sound just gets in the way of the real thing.

Anyway, for the prompt I went with a bird (Cygnus olor, the Mute Swan) with a version of silence in its name. Ironically, and going a little way to prove my point, the Mute Swan isn't even mute.

This was done very scribbly and quickly, partly because I tend to get a little fussy about detail, and partly because I've been trying to train my injured wrist (yeah, still working on that blasted thing) not to tense up so much when I try to draw. The neck's a bit short, I think, but overall I guess it actually looks like a swan. Yay wrist.

Just for fun, here's Bob the kitten (he doesn't qualify as Bob Cat yet. And yes, the name was on purpose. His brother is Tom...) imploring me to stop taking his picture and get to the art stuff already instead of just leaving it on the bed.

You're right, Bob, but the camera's fun too.

Sorry, buddy.



Well, not really.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Creamsicle in pencil crayon

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is novelty. This is an extremely quick (like, 15 minute) creamsicle. Quick, because honestly I'd like to go have lunch, but I wanted to post something because I've been pretty lazy lately.

The wrapper's only suggested because I wasn't in the mood to come up with something that didn't break copyright.

Personally, I always preferred raspberry over orange, but I wasn't sure that people would get it if I made the thing red.

Um, ice cream novelties count, right?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bufflehead in pencil crayon

I drew a duck last night.

No, not randomly. I needed it for work. Yep, I'm still my own illustrator, so to speak. Sometimes it's interesting working for a non-profit.

Anyway, this is just to show that I'm still doodling, even if you're not seeing much of it at the moment.
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