Sunday, 22 June 2014

Canola in watercolour

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is summer. And this is, quite honestly, a little fifteen-minute sketch done in front of the television last night. Most of those fifteen minutes were spent watching the paint dry...

Yeah, I know. Such an artist, me.

Anyway, I live in a part of Alberta where a lot of canola is grown, so summer around here usually means bright yellow fields contrasted with a vivid blue sky (and no, I'm not being poetic. The sky on a hot day is strikingly blue) and the greens of poplars and spruce. It's about as pretty as agriculture can get (in a good way, I mean). Around here, anyway.

The one thing missing from my imaginary field is a pump jack. I wasn't in the mood for that particular reality of life in Alberta. Oh, and if you've never seen an actual canola field, this picture is a pretty good representation. Our area's a big more rolling-hilly than that, though.

On a medium note, I'm finding that Sakura's Koi watercolour pans read a bit better on my cheap scanner than my Cotmans. Do I like the paint itself better? Hey, I have the brush skills of a five-year-old. You could probably substitute in the Reeves school set I had in grade three and I wouldn't notice. Ok, I would... but I'm really not a very good judge when it comes to paint of any sort.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Behind the door...

This week's Illustration Friday prompt is contraption. And this is one of the neatest contraptions in nature, I think. The hiding place built by the trapdoor spiders.

Trapdoor spiders make a fairly sophisticated hole (considering that they're spiders and all) and cover it with a trapdoor that's sort of cork-like in texture. It consists of soil, silk, and whatever plants may be around, and is attached to the hole with a silk hinge. When closed, the door almost perfectly camouflages the spider's den.

The spider waits, gripping the door closed, until a prey animal crosses one of the trip lines radiating from the burrow. Then the door is swiftly opened and the prey is whisked into the den.

Pretty cool contraption for a spider, especially considering that some of its Mygalomorph cousins (think tarantula) don't construct much of anything at all. But then, anyone who's followed this blog at all knows that I think spiders are pretty cool regardless.

This is a really quick doodle -- literally doodle this time -- in my pocket sketchbook, so you can imagine the size. It's still all about what my stupid wrist (YES, still) will let me do before things get really shaky. Fine control and weakened wrist just aren't getting along. It's easier with pencils (meaning, despite the lack of posts I'm still arting. Just nothing I've felt like introducing to the internet), but man do I miss working in pen. Ah well, nothing to do but keep trying.
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