Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Here's Astrid

Astrid the Avahy has a very special talent - she can communicate with the birds. This ability had her initiated into the Sisters. The Sisters are a community of female lemurs that reside in the Stone Forest of the Tsingy. Much folklore surrounds them - they are considered a sacred order - almost religious. Alledgedly, no males are permitted within their realms. Each species of lemur is represented by one of the Sisters.

Brought amongst the Sisters at a young age, Astrid barely remembers her parents. She is sweet and rather naive, always wanting to think the best of others. She loves birds, and has made her home in a shallow cave high in the rocks, where her feathered friends come and go as they please.

She is a small sifaka, with brownish grey fur. Her belly, thighs and the insides of her arms are a pale creamy brown. Her muzzle is black, and she had dark rings around her eyes. Other than that, her face is white. She also has a white patch on her upper thighs.

Like all Avahi, she is most active at night. However, as her avian friends are diurnal, she spents a fair amount of the day lazing in the sun and sharing gossip with the birds.

She is pictured here with a Madagacar Fody and a Madagascar Lovebird.

Astrid has yet to appear in the story, but I expect her arrival will be imminent. She has been a character of mine for a very long time. In fact, here are some rather earlier renditions of her:

These two are from 2009 and drawn in my attempt at the style of some other artists (I forget which ones, sorry). I kinda like them, even though my anatomy leaves more than a little to be desired:

And here's one from the archives! Before I started seriously drawing, I was planning a novel called "Quest for Lemuria". In fact, I've written it about four times and am still not even slightly happy with it. Since then she has changed her name three times - initially it was Astarix, then Astaria, but now I have settled for the less pretentious Astrid. I think it suits her.

This image clearly shows the affects of 10 years of diligant practise and a moderate amount of study can lead one to achieve in terms of art. I'm sure I have somewhere a a slightly better rendition from about the same era, but am unable to locate it, so it has probably fallen victim to my original lack-of-a-computer. On the plus side, because I didn't trade art then, I probably still have the original around somewhere. In a box under the bed I imagine.

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