Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring, Springing

Portland trees are erupting with lovely blossoms all over town. I decided to challenge myself to an art experiment this weekend: capturing the beautiful pink cherry blossoms in the neighbor's yard using a unusual art tool...being the 16-month-old kiddo.

Step one: Admire the awesome flowers. (Wow, huh?)

Step two: Assemble non-toxic art supplies in the appropriate color scheme (in this case, a gray washable non-toxic marker, a custom mix of red and white tempera paint, a nice soft paintbrush, and a stack of cream-colored cards.)

Step three: Strategically hand art supplies to kiddo during a gap in the incessant going-down-the-slide practice and cross fingers...

Step four: Burst buttons with pride at how nicely that all turned out. Brag on internet, mail originals to grandparents.

Yeah, OK, it's not really that much different than the folks who dip grubs in paint and them them crawl all over the paper...But it's a fun exercise in selecting materials and introducing chaos! (Plus, it's so exciting to watch this grub learn how to re-load a brush with paint.)

Happy spring, y'all.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Modern Bobcat, Ancient Nimravid

Wrapped up an illustration project a little while ago that involved a femur of an extinct "false saber-tooth cat"--Nimravids were carnivores that co-evolved to have the big long fangs that one sees in a Smilodon, but that aren't quite related to modern kitties as we know them.

However, the niches are close enough that I was able to make use of a modern bobcat femur to inform my work...

I was adapting the line drawings that the scientist had made from the original fossil, and creating a shaded version that leaned on the bobcat bone for its structural integrity.

Tonight I'm going to see if I can whack out a stippled chalicothere molar. Ha! Stippling is a notoriously slow way of doing illustrations, since it literally goes One. Dot. At. A. Time. But the results can be nice when you put in the time, and it does have a "timeless" look that comes across nicely in publications. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Scarcely even a baby now

Looking through my sketchbook of late, I found myself thinking--"Oh man, there's almost nothing but sketches of the kiddo in here. I bet folks might get annoyed if I only ever post that stuff..."

And then I did a double-take and decided that I should be proudly embracing this life stage both in person and on the blog. So here you go, internet: some almost-recent doodles of this growing changing toddler. Enjoy!