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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