Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Touch of New Zealand

A selection of New Zealand Fauna is winging its way to the Czech Republic:

A short-tailed bat - one of only two native land mammals (the other being the equally imaginatively named "long-tailed bat".

The tuatara is a relic of the dinosaurs. This ancient reptile is known to share the burrows of burrowing petrels. Why they allow this, I'm not quite sure because the tuatara has been known to snack on their chicks.

The North Island Kokako or Blue Wattled Crow (the European immigrants were not very imaginative, it's not even closely related to the crow family). There are three wattle bird species in New Zealand - or rather WERE, the huia is now extinct, as is the South Island Kokako subspecies. Only the North Island and the Saddleback remain.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Random grab-bag

The Striped Mouse is the most common mammal (excluding humans, apparently) in South Africa. This wee guy is scurrying off to live with Peggy Scrougham.

Believe it or not, it took me three goes to draw a decent cupcake. I wanted something that was not plain but had a little quirk. What I got was a pretty floral scene masquerading as a scary clown. Or perhaps the inverse is true? I dare you to eat this cake! I hope Hayward CS doesn't!

And a crane. What can I say? I wanted to draw something different and as Brightspark collects cranes, I thought she might like to add one of mine to her collection. Pity I screwed up the sky a bit.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slim pickings

Still not especially motivated for art, but I've too much on my plate to let an evening arting slip away.

First offering tonight is the last card for Kre. It features a Puriri moth. This is the largest NZ moth and it is found only on the North Island. The eggs are laid on bracket fungus and the caterpillars hatch out and feed on the "wound tissue" of the tree. The bigger caterpillars gnaw out a refuge tunnel in which they eventually pupate. The adult emerges and lives only a few days, as they have no feeding appendage and thus cannot eat.

Offering part deux is a Burning Bunny. For a further explanation on this fiery creature, pay a visit to Kim Harrison. As I am quite addicted to her "Hollows" series, I decided to send her a Random Act of Fanart. And doodled up a Burning Bunny ATC. It will be sent along with a business card and a notecard of "thanks" for being such a quirky, fun and exciting author. I hope she likes it. Not that I expect I'll ever find out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I've been rather sluggish on the art of late. A lack of motivation and drive, perhaps. Luckily I do not have many commitments hanging over my head at present and can afford to take a little bit of an art break.

But here are the offerings of the last art working weekend:

Tudor Panda for Mithrill. This one took me several goes and I'm still not happy with it. Dress and posture was photoreferenced.

Native American. Initially for Kre but she wants a butterfly so I might draw her a puriri moth instead, which means this guy is up for trade. I guess my desire to draw hands has shown in the similar poses reflected in both pieces.

I attended a craft show on sunday and that was quite interesting, although I'm more arts than craft. I kinda suck at handcrafts. Anyhow, did give me some ideas for my wedding invites. So I should really get onto those.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Mixed "Bag" of Art

Baby Sloth taking a roll in the leaves (for Mithrril)

Little unicorn with rainbow, for Kre.

Great Grey Owl for Kre.

Red-haired Scotsman (inspired and vaguely supposed to be Jamie Fraser) for Mithrril.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our Feathered Friends

This is Fire - he is a conure belonging to Aberrant Spirit, aka Katie Blood. Isn't he ahandsome chap?

And this is a multi-function "Hello from NZ" card. The original has gone to Spain, but prints will be used on my DIY greeting cards for some of you whom I trade with.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fanciful Fruit

Yes, it's true, I have spent the last two days drawing reproductive organs in both full and cross section. Of course, these are the reproductive organs of plants, but that is beside the point. They were originally created for the "Whimsy Artists Unite!" swap on Illustrated ATCs, but then I re-read the rules and discovered that they wanted fantasy whimsical art - critters etc, and thus I now have a set of seven with no home to go to. No worries, I had way too much fun drawing these, which just goes to show that stepping out of your comfort zone can be enjoyable too.

I also rather enjoyed making a sort of sauce from the tamarillo and kiwifruit and serving it up with pumpkin waffles for dinner.

The feijoa, pineapple, chili and pumpkin were actually photo referenced from the Net, but the other three were drawn from the real thing. The aubergine will be made into a chicken delicious dish tomorrow (that's what it's called).

If there are any more fruit you'd like to see me interpret in my style, or if you'd like to trade for one of these, please let me know.

Interview me!

A lass on deviantart has offered to interview me for an upcoming webzine and I thought it would be nifty to - now that I have an official website, to put up a FAQ page. But the thing is - I need questions!

So, if you want to ask me anything about art, inspiration, technique, attitude or whatever, please do so here.

You can ask me questions about trading too - why do I do it? Why trade not sell? I can think of a number of questions but I'd like tos ee what you guys can come up with before I make up my own (not so) Frequently Asked Questions.

So, go for it - I promise to answer as honestly as possible.

The best questions (and answers) will be posted to my website -

You can ask me personal questions too, but I reserve the right not to answer them if they're too personal!

(From Els)
I have a question I have long wanted to hear you answer; Why do you refer to yourself as "an illustrator, not an artist?" How do you perceive the difference between the two as applied to yourself and your work? One of my absolute favourite artists was primarily an illustrator - N.C. Wyeth, and I've always found the delineation between the two as elusive as the difference between arts and crafts.

Well, there is not really a difference between an artist and an illustrator, technically speaking. However, whenever I hear the word "artist" I tend to think of fine/classical arts - like Picasso and Monet, Da Vinci, etc and I do not consider myself anywhere near that league! So to avoid people thinking I paint landscapes and still lifes, I label myself an "illustrator" because it has a lighter, more whimsical and free air to it. I draw more "Character" style art. Also, I'd love to illustrate children's books one day! So I guess it's part of the "if I say it enough it will become true".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For the Love of Creepy Crawlies

I love Creepy Crawlie Critters. All that skitters, crawls or flitters. They're fascinating. With their strange forms and often quite vivid colours, some of them look quite unreal. Here are a few I have recently created:

A pretty scorpion for a sweet wee lass in Hong Kong. Her father was actually a customer of mine, purchasing a copy of the "Insects" partworks ("contains real insects, incased in genuine plastic") for her. I believe it was in fact a scorpion, and I guess it left a lasting impression because that's what she named when asked her favourite animal. Her favourite colours are blue and green, so I've included both with the inclusion of this prickly pear cactus. A scorpion is not of course an insect, but related to the spider (count the legs!).

And now:

This chap is the Psychadelic Grasshopper, found in Madagascar. He looks almost sculptured. I cannot do him justice, but here is my vague attempt. When he takes off, it is with a vivid flash of red beneath his wings. He was photoreferenced from one of my own pictures.