Sunday, January 22, 2012

Progress on the Naturalist's Journal project

Back in November, I wrote a short introduction to a new project - the Naturalist's Journal. I now have 5 completed watercolor paintings, and have started the sixth. But most exciting of all, my friend Jules Benbow has started working on the actual diary pages. These may eventually come together in a book. In the meantime, these are designed to be exhibited with the watercolor as the primary draw, and then excerpts from the naturalist's journal/diary, with little sketches added.

Jules developed a wonderful storyline, and even some characters who are on board the ship. Above is the painting of the hummingbird-elephant shrew. Jules has already come up with the taxonomical name for the creature. It eats flies attracted to the flower, and has sharp teeth. Like a shrew, it has a nasty temper.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Continued progress on the snake swarm

The snakes are coming along and are approximately 75% done. The guys in the back of the skull are complete, while those in the foreground need highlights. Once these are finished, the foreground plants will be highlighted more, and overhanging leaves over the snakes accentuated. The crow needs highlights and more details. Hopefully this will be done in a week to ten days.

It is such a tragedy that the snake that I used for the painting, the San Francisco garter snake, is highly endangered. Their pattern is perfect for this painting and the lines help to convey the writhing movement of the swarm.

When I was a kid growing up in Denver, we always used to see regular garden variety garter snakes, just an olive green and black variety. Cute, small, but not very colorful.