Saturday, 30 October 2010

Spent Candle in watercolour

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is spent.

For whatever reason, I decided it was time to get the brush out again for this doodle. I guess it's been a while.

For whatever other reason, I don't have a bunch of explanation for this week's effort. That's a first for a while...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Something a bit weird

I was just rereading a few old posts and couldn't help but notice that I do more talking about work-style topics (work-style being nature, since I'm a zoologist by training and a naturalist by profession) here on my supposed "art blog" than I ever seem to do on my other, general blather blog.

Strange, that.

Not sure it has any particular meaning other than the fact that I like drawing flowers and things like that, but it's still a little odd.

But then, so am I...

Anglerfish in conte crayon

Hello, and welcome to Dee felt like doodling on black paper today...

Anyway. This week's Illustration Friday prompt is spooky. I know, it's an obvious place to go all Halloween-y. I guess I just wasn't in the mood, so you get an anglerfish instead.

To my mind, Ceratioid anglerfish are some of the spookiest things they find in the deep ocean trenches. Those creepy teeth, and those glow-in-the-dark lures... when you watch footage of deep sea exploration and see one of these gals suddenly appear from the surrounding darkness into the light shone by whatever ROV is taking the pictures? Yeah, that qualifies as spooky as far as I'm concerned.

Couldn't tell you exactly what species this is meant to be because it's a composite of stuff I found around the net. And no doubt it's mostly inaccurate, because I'm definitely not a fish person.

Maybe why I find them spooky?

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Poor Beat-up Will in pen and ink

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is transportation, and this is a book.

Not just any book, though.

First of all, let me say that a well-used book is probably the best form of transportation around. Hey, even Emily Dickinson agrees with me there. Will, though, although definitely used, wasn't exactly used well. His spine is so much more than cracked that I think you'd have to call it fractured, his cover is frayed to the cardboard and held together with some very questionable blue tape, and the appendix pages are gradually exiting out the back. Someone at some point taped in some typewritten labels along the edges, but they're disappearing as the tape decays.

I loved this book, though.

My father salvaged it years ago from a box of old books that was left on a trash heap. It was probably someone's college Shakespeare text (in fact, Dad brought home a college literature survey book at the same time) and I don't think it was a terribly expensive edition, but it was my first go at Shakespeare. I've no doubt that I was too young to understand nearly as much as I thought I did of what I was reading, but for whatever reason I was fascinated by the musty old thing's contents.

I spent a lot of hours with this book.

Years later I used some of my Christmas money to buy my very own, pristine Oxford Shakespeare from the University bookstore (and let me tell you, a zoology student gets a few odd looks hauling around a massive volume of Shakespeare) and the old, ratty Shakespeare got left at my parents' house (where it lives to this day), but I guess I'll always have a fondness for it and the very valuable transportation it provided to a kid who was just getting started in a life-long love affair with the classics.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

"Art" again

A.k.a. fun with yarn and gesso, I guess.

Posted mostly just because we haven't had one of these for a while...

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bark Beetle Gallery in graphite

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is beneath. Sometimes there are interesting things lurking beneath tree bark that you don't get a chance to see until the tree is dead.

Bark beetle larvae make these galleries directly under the bark as they feed on the inner bark. The main line that follows the grain is the chamber that eggs are laid in, and the radiating lines are larval feeding tunnels.

The galleries look like fine carving and can be very intricate and attractive, but they're not always a good thing. Generally, bark beetles are important for forest renewal as they attack dead or dying trees, but some are disease vectors and spread things like Dutch Elm Disease.

The galleries are still cool, though.
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