Saturday, 28 February 2015

Staple Hunting in Derwent drawing pencils

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is reflection. I figure that Tom (yes, that's right. Tom Cat is his name) deciding to hunt a staple that he found amongst some packing materials -- and which was immediately taken away from him because I'm no fun --  is kind of a reflection of his wilder relatives stalking actual food.

Tom's not actually a longhair, by the way. I was just feeling scribbly.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Turkey Brothers in Derwent drawing pencil

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is sleep.

You can't tell me that anything does sleep better than a cat. Unless it's two cats, that is.

This is a really (really) quick doodle of Tom and Bob. Yep, that's right. Tom Cat and Bob Cat. They're brothers, and they're turkeys. Thus, Turkey Brothers. If you want to see them in real life, just look for the label Turkey Brothers on my other blog.

Incidentally, I'm liking these Derwent  drawing pencils rather a lot. Smooth, soft, and much less fussy than Contes. In my limited experience, that is.

Emphasis on limited.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

A couple of photographic abstracts

 Just playing here, really. I took a few shots at a low shutter speed while moving the camera, then ran them through some filters with a simple photoeditor. I do it fairly frequently, actually, but these ones turned out kind of neat so I thought I'd post them.

I'm of two minds about things like this, to be honest. On the one hand, I made choices here. I decided where to crop, I decided what and how much colour I wanted, how many layers there were going to be, and how much of the original photo was still identifiable. But... does that make it art?

I suppose it does under most definitions, but it just doesn't feel like it to me. Manipulating photos, at least the way I do it, just seems too... I don't know, easy? effortless?... to count. I mean, don't get me wrong. I am definitely not saying that digital artists aren't artists. Not everything everyone does is to my tastes, of course, but I'm not trying to imply that there's not art there. There is. For me, though, when I do things like this I don't feel like I'm making art.

I'm playing. I'm seeing what happens when I press a particular button. If I don't like it, I try another button until I find what I want.

But doesn't that make it art, then? Do I really need to be holding a pencil in my hand to give myself permission to think that the end result could be considered art?

By the way -- for those stumbling onto this blog for the first time, I should say that when a post is nothing but questions it generally means that I really don't know where I'm going with this...

Anyway. I know that many people out there wrestled with this question ages ago and came down on whatever side suits their philosophy best, and that I probably seem pretty late to the party. I'm not; I think about these things a lot. I just don't usually post the things I'm playing with while I'm thinking of them, that's all.

Maybe I should do it more often.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Noise in tri-tones

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is noise. The scanner lost a lot of this one, but it was just a scribble anyway.

I work as a naturalist, as my profile says. I'm sure it's not surprising that I find much of our modern noise annoying; including, by the way, our habit of plugging ourselves into mp3 players or phones so much of the time as opposed to hearing what's happening.

I probably don't need to say much more about that except to wonder why we work so hard at cancelling out the non-noisy sounds around us...

Friday, 23 January 2015

Some of the Toys in tri-tone pencils

Last week's Illustration Friday prompt was toy, and I didn't get this submitted. No loss -- it's just doodling in front of the television with not enough light and no glasses on my face.

Here are a few of my toys, though.

There are lots more.

Bet you wouldn't have guessed.

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?
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