Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cute Little Songbirds

These four fine fellows all call New Zealand home - but none of them came here on their own. They were introducted by the early European Settlers. Other birds - like the Robin Red Breast, did not establish but these, the dunnock, the skylark, thrush, blackbird, starling and numerous others all rather liked their new home and flourished in the newly cleared farmland - land where no native bird would flit.

These species are: Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Yellowhammer and Redpoll.

And finally, there's this cheeky chappy:

I think there's very few people anywhere in the world that would fail to recognise the House Sparrow. But did you know, the size of his black bib displays how dominant he is in Sparrow Society?

Tomorrow I shall be working on: "Evil but Cute!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If your Totem is the Dragonfly...

You balance between two worlds - the emotional and passionate through your younger days (the influence of water) and then with maturity rises a greater clarity and control (the influence of air). You must see through the illustions and change the habits that need changing, awakening to your true vision.

Cultural Brides

It's been a while and I'm sorry. You see, I have discovered Postcrossing and it is highly addictive. I have already signed up and sent postcards to Germany, Russia, Finland and the United Kingdom and now I have one left to send to Malayasia. Possibly tomorrow. And I've found someone to post to in Hungary (she gets a handmade one as I haven't conquered Hungary yet).

Anyhow, I joined the "bride" swap - for ATCs, not brides, alas. Or perhaps that's a good thing! I don't usually darw people, least of all brides, but the deadline was a week before my wedding so I thought it would make a nifty wedding surprise.

Then I got to thinking... What to draw?

Obviously ordinary women in wedding dresses was not quite quirky and offbeat enough for me. But I didn't really feel like drawing animals in gowns. That seemed a bit too... expected of me.

So instead, I typed "asian brides" into google.

You can guess what mean of the results were. But I also found some pictures, of actual traditional bridal outfits (although it heklped when I added "Traditional" to the keywords).

And here's what came out of my pencils:

Sri Lanka, Indian
China, Korea

The Chinese bride has since has a nose job so now she looks a bit better.

Oh and I also drew a geisha to go to Malta:

I'm still not great at drawing people, but they do make a nifty challenge and a bit of a different addition to my artistic galleries.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chimeras for Armageddon

Every year I attend the Armageddon convention for my mundane job. And every year I gaze longingly at the DeviantArt table. For they have a selection of artists, doodling away and increasing both their awareness and their fanbase - if not their wallets.

Well, this year will be different. I'll still probably be sitting at the table for my mundane job, selling consumer products at very reasonable prices, but at the Deviantart table, some of my work will be up for sale.

I'll be selling original Chimera Art Cards at $10 apiece. Here's the first three that will be up for sale - all suggested and doodled as part of my "chimerathon""

Giraffe + Peacock

Turkey + Pig + Cranberries

Sunflower + Bulldog + Rockhopper Penguin

And should you be interested in these, what does not sell (Which will be all of them, for sure) will be available for trade in late April/Early May (after my Honeymoon).

And I shall end this note with a moment of silence for lovely Fiona Casey, who passed away on thursday night, aged only 32. You will be greatly missed, my dear, for your strength, your enthusiasm and your love of life. May you rest in peace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The big and the small

This proud and handsome fellow is making his way to the US now, to join a herd of 17 other Elephant ATCs. Eventually, its numbers will swell to over 40. If you wish to help Donna complete her collection, let her know! She's does fun, colourful art.

I am particularly proud of this chap because he looks almost like he is painted, when he is in fact coloured using prisma pencils, with a brush over from a light beige tombow marker. Elephant trunks are very nifty and versatile indeed.

And this rather smaller, colourful fellow is an Egg-Laying Skink of New Zealand. A foolish name, you might say - and you would be right - for it is true that many skinks lay eggs. Not in NZ though. Here our skinks retain their eggs inside themselves until they hatch. Except for this species. Which is also semi-aquatic and likes to swim in tidal pools.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art for Ylangylang

Tonight I chose to get another one of my ATC trades done. The trader in this case was YlangYlang, aka Cananga Oderata of Deviantart. As you can see she is a very talented artist indeed.

This is her "Cacao Frog" character. First I drew the one on the right, but wasn't too happy with it, so the one on the left was rustled up n the back - making my first properly double-sided ATC in years.

And this is Jeremy Anathol, a coloufrul and flamboyant parrot with a taste for shiny things. Because I made him red, and scanners don't work well with red (or mine never have), he looks a little garish, but I think I did a good job with the pose and the movement in this piece.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Owls of Whimsy

It was a bit of a spur-of-a-moment decision to join the "Whimsical Owls" swap on AFA. With the deadline being the 1st of March, I knew it was cutting it a bit fine, and that if I didn't get them done by the weekend they would never make it on time. But it was so tempting as there were so many nice owls turning up in the gallery. So I thought "what the heck, I can do this!" And thus begun.

Five and a half hours later, and my last owl is done. They're not really that whimsical (except perhaps that Elf Owl) - although I tried for exaggerated cuteness and colour - besides all my art looks kinda whimsical anyhow. And certainly the swirly tree branches help. Anyhow, I decided on four different species - Eagle, Barn, Whiskered Owlet and Elf. My favourites are the Eagle and the Elf. The other two aren't too bad, but the wee whiskered owlet is a bit on the small size.

Now to start on those overdue personalised swaps!

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Zealand Fauna

My top pick for today's art - this is a Powelliphanta snail. There are 21 different species of these slimy critters in New Zealand, and the biggest grows to 90 mm across. They are living fossils, being relatively unchanged in 200 million years - the oldest carnivorous land animal still found on earth. Like many NZ species, they are under threat.

This bright and colourful gem of the NZ forest is also a relic. Of all the multitude of Green Gecko species found in New Zealand, the Jewelled Gecko is thought to be the ancestor of them all. Once prolific, his kind also is under threat.

The New Zealand Falcon, or Karearea, was our only surviving diurnal bird of prey (after the extinction of the giant Haast's Eagle). That is until the Harrier Hawk moved in from Across the Ditch. The Karearea prefers the highlands and the native forest as her hunting ground however. She is rare also, but has recently been employed in Wineyards in the Marlborough region, to keep down the invader birds (that eat the grapes) and thus may make her come-back.

These three are destined for Denmark.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mr Marder spies you!

Because martens are adorable.

If your Totem is the Scarab...

You are strong and dedicated, with a direct purpose in life. You are also a symbol of resurection and regeneration, able to bounce back after negative events avail you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ain't Nature Beautiful?

This chap might look like a cuddly caterpillar, but he is actually a ferocious predator. During the days he lurks in rotting logs, venturing out on cool, damp nights to stalk doe delicious invertebrate prey. Using his antennae, he hunts by touch, and when a potential vistim is found, up he rears. Revealing fleshy lips that shoot out sticky streams of glue. These entangle and entrap his pret which he then slashes with his knife like jaws and injects with saliva, waiting for it to semi-digest before sucking it up (and the glue too).

Ick! You can guess I just learnt something. Ain't nature grand?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mutant Making Madness!

Here are a few coloured up from my Chimerathon for Papermoon's most excellent Chimera swap.

These were intially challenged upon me by various forum members, and then we voted on which three I should colour. I have now coloured the top #3 and then some!

* Asiatic Pandragoenix (Panda + Asiatic Dragon + Phoenix) Suggested by DonnaCR This one came 2nd in the poll

* Disapybaragon (Red Disa +Capybara + Seadragon) Suggested by Ibus
Third in the poll

* Albino Hippolotl (Hippoptamus + Axolotl) Suggested by Amii at work
This one came in around the middle.

* Sugaraptor (Sugarglider + Velociraptor) Suggested by Akkhima
One of only two pieces to receive aboslutely NO votes, and I can't understand why! Oddly enough, its companion at the bottom was also part dinosaur)

And now the two made specifically for Papermoon:

* Quetzalopus (Quetzal + Octopus) Suggested by JKlee and 4th in the Poll. This one was uploaded to AFA yesterday and has already become one of my most commented upon pieces.

* Deathshead Lemurcanth (Deathshead Moth + Mouse Lemur + Coelacanth) Suggested by Chazz J. This one also came low in the poll and is not one of my favourite pieces, but she chose it, so I coloured it, and I think he came out okay in the end!