Monday, August 31, 2009

New Zealand Naturally through the Seasons

Decided this weekend that I was going to work on a submission for Oxted, a rather upmarket NZ greeting card distribution. Since they do take random submissions from artists, I thought I might as well give it a go.

And here are the results:
Spring - Paradise Shelducks and ducklings in Hagley Park
Summer - Tui and fantail above some North Island Beach
Autumn - Bittern and swallow by Lake Hayes
Winter - Rock wren and Kea before Mount Cook

Luckily, given the final results, these also double as entries for the Postcard swap on Illustrated ATCs, so the day was not entirely wasted.

All cards are 6x4 inches and use a mix of polychromos and prisma pencils and fineline pens.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I tort I tore a puddy tat

It's Lando, the Maine Coon:

He belongs to Mithrril.

Currently I'm researching baby sloths. They're so cute!

Also, am going to design some greeting cards this weekend. Maybe one day I'll sell out and go commercial.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Random Assortment

You may know the Fable - the Fox sees a juicy bunch of grapes and tries to reach them - but oh, gosh darn it, he's not tall enough, even when he stands on his hindpaws and stretches up as high as he can go. Still out of reach. Again he tries, and again, but without success. Finally he gives up. "Probably sour anyway," he mutters to himself as he pads off. This coining the phrase "sour grapes".

Well, he obviously wasn't a Grey Fox. These American foxes can actually climb trees. They have hooked claws, which allow them to scramble up and escape predators.

Or in this case, get the grapes.

How now, Randall cow? Err, calf. This wee black and white lass is one of the many "Thank you" ATCs I shall be sending out over the next few weeks. She's going to live with Ibus in Scotland.

And this is another, it's off to Montana for Xstitcher's ATC garden. It's a Echinopsis subdenudata and it's referenced from here

Whereas my Crowley portrait worked well, this portrait of Greebo in his human form (still showing certain feline characteristics) was rather less successful. Oh well.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More Totems and a Demon in Disguise

It's Mr Anthony Crowley, the demon from "Good Omens" and his trusty Bentley. Look - I drew a human! And he looks pretty decent too.

You work best by thinking things over and moving with caution. You do not rush into things but this helps you to make the right decisions.

You are capable of adapting to any situation and thriving on it. Indeed, you grow to meet your challenges and reach your goals. You are also affectionate and friendly, and others revel in your company.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Spiced up!

A bright little Vermilion Flycatcher. These wee songbirds are native to the southern States and Central and South America. The male is the colourful one. He's for Athalour in South Africa.

Last night we dined at a very yummy Indian restaurant called "Corianders". This is the herb itself. The entire plant is edible, with the leaves tasting rather different from the seeds (the flowers are not so commonly used). The leaves are supposed to aid the kidneys, I believe it was. They taste good with chicken and other spices. We had some growing in our little portable herb garden but when we went away the landlady chopped it right down to the stumps. I hope it sprouts again as it was going pretty wild! If not, I shall have to plant another one in the pot. It has a slight citrus tang.

The plant parts are actually 3d - this was supposed to be a "Botanical drawing".

And this little Loris is putting on a show just for you! By the light of the moon he's a singing, dancing star! And very, very cute. Don't you just want to gobble him up? (With coriander, of course).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Totemic Beasties part deux

These have been my most popular set of cards as of late and ever since I finished the first set I've had various requests for them. So I give to you the latest three. These were suggested by the intended recepients and I still have to draw a Koi Fish and a Turtle.

If your Totem is THE FROG

You embrace change, but are extremely sensitive to the world around you. This leads to greater empathy, and a deeper understanding of beauty and the arts. You are probably an artist, musician (you do enjoy singing) or a healer. Unfortunately, there is the risk that you will absorb too much and this may taint and poison your personality, turning you bitter and cynical.

If you Totem is THE BEAR
You have a tendency for introspection and deep thought, often becoming lost within yourself. You do not socialise well, and may be considered a little bit odd-ball, yet others will often seek you out for advice. You are known for your wisdom and contemplation.

If your Totem is THE FOX
You are sneaky and stealthful, able to mingle with any crowd without standing out. You are highly adaptable, able to appear at ease in any situation and make it to your advantage.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Power and Grace - but at what price?

They would have to be one of the most charasmatic and much admired creatures on the planet. Visitors swarm to zoo just to see them, or to watch them perform. Many people, when asked their favourite animal, will answer with their name. But they do not realise. They do not realise that the animal the admire so much for its grace, its beauty, its pride, is not actually a species at all. Nor is it even a subspecies.

It's not even pureblood.

No, it's a non-viable genetic mutation.

What is this animal of which I speak?


The "Royal White Tiger" as it has been dubbed, branded a uniquely coloured subspecies of tiger to try and perpetuate its popularity and reinforce its breeding. It is not a subspecies, it is a genetic flaw - a genetic flaw that has been continued via inbreeding and thus often results in deformities like the poor cat above suffers. A cleft palate, for a start. Also, often hip displacement. The "Royal Whites" are not even true Bengals (which IS a subspecies of tiger) - most of them have Siberian blood - bred into the line in the past to try and increase their size. White tigers are usually cross-eyed. The gene for the colouration is linked to a number of negative characteristics all of which cause the tiger to be completely non-viable in the wild.

So when I read a newspaper article discussing the Zion Wildlife Park and how the "...royal white tiger was extinct in the wild..." I had to laugh. One of those dry, humourless laugh. Of course it's extinct in the wild - it's a detrimental gene mutation. It can't survive in the wild!

There are probably enough independent strains of white tiger out there that it may be possible to breed them without engaging too heavily in inbreeding, but it seems a lot of time and effort and expense to go to when there are so many other species needing assistance - like the normal coloured tigers for example!

For more information, visit this website: Big Cat Rescue - it may be a bit biastbut it still makes some good points.

This is the last white tiger I will ever draw.

Btw, his name is Kenny and he lived at the Turpentine Creek Refuge in Arkansas. He died in June, 2007.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My website gallery is now up and running - all that remains to do is to write individually on every illustration I've uploaded and fix the keywords etc. But please come and visit - - if you want a button to link to it, please use this image here:

or the button I'm using to the right of this entry.

Anyhow, I managed some more cards these last two days too:

A "Saucy Siren". Not quite what the artist who chose this theme might have had in mind. I hope she likes it or at the very least, isnt offended. I'm perfectly happy to draw her something else.

Totem =Badger for Blackdog

If your Totem is the Badger you are solitary and tenacious. You can be sociable if the situation demands it, but for the most part you would rather be on your own. Once you get working on a project you are most determined indeed to see it through until the end. You can be quite fierce if roused.

And for OuP, three weird mammals.

Platypus - one of the only monotreme species - mammals that lay eggs. Platypus are small, sotcky mammals with the bill of a duck, webbed feet, a beaver's tail and the males have poisoned spurs. Even when you have see the real thing, it's hard to believe it's actually a real animal.

Star-Nosed Mole - cousin to the common mole, the star-nosed uses its tentacles as sensory organs to locate and devour its wormy prey. It has huge, broad, flat feet for digging and is apparently a fairly good swimmer too.

Giant Pangolin - looking rather like an animated pinecone, the Pangolin is capable of rolling itself up into a ball. It's diet consists mainly of ants and it has long, powerful claws to rip open their homes. Its tongue is also very long, perfect for lapping up its insectile lunch.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another week and nothing to show for it

Except one picture of the Goddess Bast:

However, I have finally got my A into G and published my second book via and managed to get my website up and if not quite running, at least looking semi-professional. tim will be helping me with the gallery tomorrow. If you want to see how it looks so far, click the link at the top right-hand corner.

It is cold and we have guests coming for dinner. I am lacking rather in artistic motivation. All I want to do is sleep.

Here's my latest book - I don't recommend you buy it yet as I have only just ordered my copy and have yet to see if I've set it up properly.

The Art of LemurKat
By Angela Kestrel

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Art this week

I've not been updating as much as I should which is probably a relief to some of you. Anyhow, here's a bit of an art-dump from the last week or so:

More 13 min (or so) birds. These were done some time ago - I even had to get the book out of the library again because I couldn't recall the second species. But that's all good cos now I have it for another 3 weeks or so:

Roadrunner, Great Argus Pheasant and Maleo.

And as many of you know, I have been using my mother (and father's) address to collect most of my mail for the last year or so. She is always delighted at the exciting stamps and exotic places I receive packages from, but always a little disappointed that they're not for her. So I thought I would try and enlist the help of my artist friends. I had an overwelming response, with (so far) 12 people offering to make cards or other gifts for my mum. Since I am intending to repay each and every one of them (an experience that will be somewhat expensive in the postage lines, but well worth it), I have designed a "thank you" atc to make prints of:

A RAK for someone I have never traded with nor, I believe, actually spoken to. So I imagine this would be something of a surprise! She collects dinner bells and needs a bit of cheering up.

And lastly, two for the Summer PAT:

A Muppet - my interpretation - of Rowlf. And my take on Icekat, a sexy anthro kitty.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What's your totem?

Designed for the totem/spirit animals ATC swap. I do not feel that these represent my personality. I selected these animals under the (somewhat correct) assumption that ravens, wolves and felines would be particularly popular and I'm never one to follow a crowd.

And I couldn't NOT do a lemur, really.

So, what do these totems represent? If your totem is the:

Naked Mole Rat-
You live your life in the dark, in subserviense to someone - be it parent, partner or boss. You are a survivor however, unable to feel much in the way of pain. You are also lacking entirely in individuality and independence, always feeling like you're waiting for a chance that may never come.

Bearded Dragon -
You are calm and relatively laid back, with a voracious appetite. Your favourite past time is basking in the sun but you also enjoy ascending to the heights. If danger threatens, you can look quite fierce - but you're just a big softie, really.

Ringtailed Lemur -
You may not be the brightest spark in the primate world, but you're always willing to stick your nose in where it may not be wanted. Curiosity is both your curse and your blessing. You are sociable, and others, particularly children, are drawn to you. Your worst fear is to be alone. Playful in nature, you don't take life particularly seriously.

Kea -
You are intelligent and curious. This trait is liable to get you into a fair amount of trouble as you are always trying to determine how things work or what happens when you do this? Sociable in nature, you are also quite playful and always willing to act the clown. Others may think you're a bit of a fool, but they're the ones being fooled, as you're secretly scheming mischief!

So which of these best represents me? I'll let you decide... But I think my DF is right... I am a bit of a lizard.