Monday, June 23, 2014

Calendar of first dozen animals available!

Includes the first dozen creatures from this series!
I also have done three new animals, will be posting those guys soon (red squirrel, grey fox, and tiger)

Friday, February 28, 2014

This series is ongoing; it may never end. 
When I was a kid, I had the complete set of Wildlife Treasury animal cards. Complete set. I would spend hours looking at them, and reading about every animal. I memorized them, I stuffed my brain with trivial facts about each creature. I wished there were more animals, so that I could have more cards.
I think this series is my attempt, as an adult, to recapture that interest. To reconnect to the details of every animal and how they live. I’d love to do this series as a card set eventually, and maybe, when I get up to about fifty animals, I will start planning that. For now this series continues as I add animals I particularly like or connect with.
The geometry behind each animal is meant to represent the place they live, or their personality, or both. For example, the walrus lives in a place where meat is the only food, pretty much- hence the red backdrop. I felt that walrusses are very much a bloody animal- I mean, when they warm up, as they exit the icy waters, their bodies become pink from the flush of blood to their skins. This influenced my choice of color. Their personality, their spirit, seems very radiant to me, very warm- despite the cold climate they prefer. The shapes behind them are meant to convey this warmth and radiance.
Each of these animals has a backdrop which symbolizes some aspect of their lives; each may also have minor added detail to show other things which affect them, like the white bird on the hippo’s head, or the bubbles around the octopus.
I used handmade paper for most of these, very well-smoothed, then tinted with watercolor and ink. Then I drew the animal in colored pencil. The geometric shapes were planned with the assistance of a kaleidoscope, a spirograph, several french curves and just plain old eyeballing the shapes for clarity. None are precisely symmetrical or perfect- but living things never are, are they?

You can find prints of the entire series, as they're finished, here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Red squirrel will be done today. I also found a better image of River Otter!
(original otter is sold- but there are shirts and prints of him!)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Red Squirrel begun!

Upcoming animals:
red squirrel, aye-aye, tarsier, wolverine, fennec, sturgeon, mantis, and shrew.

On the list:
naked mole rat, leopard seal, striped hyena, american catfish, american common toad, aardwolf, moon rat, leaf-nosed bat, king cobra, persian cat, coyote, grey fox, condor,  pudu, antelope, moose, and more...

Here is the beginning of Red Squirrel. He is based on the European red squirrel, which I have been led to believe has a very similar cheeky personality to the American version.

Sorry for the image quality on this one, I took the picture quickly, and at night, while up late drawing.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Bear is finished! He is based on the spirit bears of British Columbia; these are brown bears, but have pale coats, making them rare. The brown bear, the grizzly bear, live mostly on berries and fruit, and small animals. They eat moths in the spring to get more fat in their diet! And when the salmon come into the rivers to spawn, these bears catch and eat many of them.

You can buy a print of this fellow here, or a shirt of him here.

Pillows of this and all other animals can be found here, as I get around to adding them.

Friday, November 15, 2013

There are 16 animals in this series now, counting Bear.

Once Bear is done, the next animal will be Mantis. I think I need to do a few insects now, and perhaps another sea creature too.

If you have animal suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments! I'm always thinking of which animals to add next.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Axolotls are very odd animals. They're amphibians, related to frogs, toads, and newts. They have a frill of gills behind their head that they use to breathe, since they live in the water all the time.

The one I've drawn is an albino, but they come in various colors just as salamanders and newts do. The Aztecs used to eat them (much as we eat frog's legs today!)

They have no eyelids. They're carnivorous- they like to eat anything alive that will fit in their mouth and that they can find. They're also very resilient; if they lose a leg, they can simply grow a new one.

Prints of this axolotl are to be found here.
The lesser short-nosed fruit bat flies at night and eats fruit, pollen, and nectar. They LOVE mangoes and other juicy, sweet fruits and will suck all the pulp out of them, leaving the skin behind.

They use their sense of smell to find food and to fly. They also have good eyesight for a bat, and can make noises to communicate with each other.

They live together in small families, roosting in palm trees. They live only in tropical places and do not like the cold.

Prints of this nocturnal lady can be found here.

Hammerhead sharks live in the open ocean. They all swim together during the day, in great schools. At night they separate and hunt.

Because their eyes are very far apart, they have a wide angle of vision and can see many things in their periphery that other sharks might miss. Their mouths are small, for sharks, and they hunt near the bottom of the ocean.

Unlike makos or tiger sharks, hammerheads have never killed anybody, although they've bitten a few people. Unlike great whites, who hunt seals regularly, none of the food a hammerhead usually eats look anything like humans.

Poster prints of this fine shark can be found here.

The walrus has a serious personality. They're huge, massive animals- even polar bears find it difficult to harm one. They eat molluscs and fish, and they live in the Arctic.

Male AND female walruses have tusks. They use these to fight as well as to crack holes in the ice to breathe through (when they are under water).

Walruses spend most of their time swimming from place to place in large herds, migrating to wherever the most food can be found. Since they have an air sac in their throat they can buoy themselves in the water, and they have almost no hair on them.

Prints of this serious gentleman can be found here.
The pangolin is an interesting animal, and now endangered. They roll up into a pinecone-like ball which predators have a difficult time unrolling, so they're pretty calm in the wild, unafraid. This is sort of a bad thing for them, since it means humans can capture them.

People not only eat pangolins, they also use their scales as medicines (which don't work). They're being poached extensively.

Prints of this pangolin are available here.

We all know and love elephants. This is an African elephant, the larger of the species. Elephants live in family groups, and travel together seeking food and water.

While they're very kind to each other, they are not so kind to the plant life around them. In some places, elephants defoliate entire forests, pulling down trees and stripping the bark.

In the wild, elephants live a long time- up to seventy years. They're also the largest land animal alive today.

Prints of this powerful lady can be found here. Since she is a square print, it's suggested that you frame her in a large frame yourself, rather than ordering framing through the site. with a custom mat.
The barn owl is the one which says "SHREEEEE", not "hoo". They live pretty much everywhere. You'll only ever see them in the daytime if something woke them up and chased them.

They eat rodents, bugs, smaller birds- anything that's big enough to catch and put in their beak, and small enough for them to lift while flying. Since they eat so many mice and rats, farmers love them.

They're seen as a bad omen in some places, but really, they're  good omen- they keep the crops safe from rodent pests.

They hunt by sound, flying low and silently, listening for the crunch or swish of a small animal's movements.

Prints of this noble creature are available here.
Rats! Some people hate them as pests and others keep them as pets. This is a domestic, pet rat. Domesticated rats are usually very friendly. All rats are cautious and intelligent.

Rats, unlike other mammals, can't vomit. So they're very careful about what they eat, not trying new things until they're sure they are safe. Rats primarily want grain, in the wild, and will swarm on crops when they start to ripen.

They're very social, and will even set other rats free from cages. They tend to live in large colonies, and in some areas can breed until they swarm in a "plague" of rats.

I've both cursed at city rats, and cooed gently to pet rats.

Prints of this rat (known as Greta) are available here.
Fruit bats live in the trees, in large groups. They eat fruit or lick nectar, for food. They use their sharp teeth to puncture fruit to get to the juices, not to bite or drink blood.

They sometimes are the main pollinators of certain flowers, since they're fuzzy and drink nectar. Many plants rely on them to reproduce.

They're very social. They also, unlike most bat species, have very very good eyesight.

Prints of this bat can be found here.
River otters are shy. They've been hunted for their fur for many centuries, and know how to stay hidden well in riverbanks and under water.

They're excellent fishermen, using their whiskers to sense changes in the current or small movements in the water as they hunt.

They construct slides on the banks of rivers, and on beaches, so they can slide fast all the way from the top of the bank to the water. If you find  a natural-looking mudslide, sometimes it pays to sit quietly and wait, you may see an otter at play.

The mothers sometimes carry the pups in their front paws.

Prints of this fellow can be had here.
The horned owl is just about the biggest owl ever (but not quite) and lives in the Americas. This is the owl you can hear at night actually saying "Hoo", in American forests.

Sometimes, crows will spot one of them as they sleep, and chase them away. They eat rabbits, mice, voles, rats...just about anything furry they can lift. And they're big, so they can lift pretty large animals.

They can live to be very old, for a wild bird, sometimes up to 40 years old or so. Very few things in the wild can harm them or catch them, so they're safe once they're fully grown.

Prints of this solemn bird are available here.

Elk are powerful and fast. They're grey in the winter and turn brownish again in summer. The coastal elk where I live spend a lot of time out in the mudflats, I think they lick the salt deposits there. They're also hunted for food, so they're very wary during the autumn during hunting season, and spend more time hiding then.

Their antlers, like deer's antlers, are shed every year. You can find these discarded antlers in the woods here. They're massive. Elk "bugle" too, a sound which summarizes, for me, the coastal woods in spring.

Prints of this magnificent fellow are available here.

Next we have the pacific octopus. This one is not full-grown, they can grow to be up to six feet long. They're placid creatures. To hatch their eggs, the mother octopus withdraws into a cave or crevice in a rock with them, and gently fans them at all times. She doesn't eat during this time, and dies when they hatch.

Octopi are intelligent too, probably the most intelligent of all invertebrates. They can solve puzzles and use some reasoning skills.

Prints of this one are available here.
The next is the hippo. Hippos are incredibly dangerous animals, they're tough and have a short temper. They kill more people every year than crocodiles and alligators put together!

While they're unfriendly to almost all animals and humans, they do have at least one friend- small birds that spend the day picking them clean of insects. This is good for both the hippo and the bird- the hippo can't reach to clean its own ears, and the bird gets to eat its catch.

Prints of this are available, but the original has been sold.

Fierce and proud, boars live a long time, and are dangerous to hunt. They're very tenacious and also, omnivorous. They tend to stay in the same area their whole life and can get aggressive defending their young. Prints can be found here, the original painting is sold.