Category Archives: Unusual Animals

30 Days Challenge Day 2

Sherman Shoebill
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Day two of Thirty Paintings in 30 Days and I am still snowed in (Chicago area). I prefer not to complain because I get to stay home from work. But I am not looking forward to moving my car to the other side of the street this evening.

But the other thing about being snowed in – still no paints! I know that this challenge doesn’t require painting specifically, but it still has paint in the title and I intend to do it.

In the meantime, I did extra scans during the coloring process for this one and the dog below, both finished today. I use a lot of layers with the alcohol-based markers, and often it does give a nice painterly effect. I’m hoping this will give me a head start when I actually start painting.

Stewart Lodwick
2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Thanks so much to all the 30 Day Challenge visitors! It is always my intention to visit any commenters back, but some of you do not have a comment system I am able to use. Or no comment system at all!

And one more note! Subscribers, I will be doing a new post daily for the 30-Day challenge, but I will not be emailing every day. Probably every third day or so, so as not to inundate your inbox. Thank you!

(Final final note, these are both going in my shop.)

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Holy Cow with the Hats Already

Franny the Fairy Jester, and Leah at the Abbey
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Two new wild hats and more fancy clothes. I really tried with Franny to make a different kind of face for a change. Mission accomplished! These are maidens number 133 and 134 (which is totally crazy). Leah at the Abbey, and the two hatted fellows below, were made while out of town with a limited palette. (I did bring quite a lot of colors, but it’s never as many as you think.)

Yaro the Elder, and Streetwise the Pooka
Each 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

As I mentioned in the email (the new-post-announcement, if you are a subscriber), I have not figured out how best to relay new post information without spamming email subscribers who are also Facebook subscribers. If you are accomplished at navigating these waters, please share your wisdom! No progress pics for the last three drawings because I was without scanner, but a bunch for Franny. Thanks for stopping in!

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Chimeric Rabbit for Illustration Friday

Chimeric Rabbit
8″ x 7″ Copics, fine liners, white gel pen

Well, it started as a cat stretching for Illustration Friday‘s topic “Stretch”. Then she got a sort of foxy prehensile tale, rabbity ears and some lizard scales. It’s a rather half-hearted stretch (or her eyes would be closed or her neck would be stretched). She doesn’t get much in the way of stiff muscles, being magical and stuff.

I did a bit of messing around with the color sliders, and got this purple and olive version, which I prefer to the original:

Chimeric Rabbit, original Copic illustration with colors changed digitally

Thanks for visiting! Lots of progress pics below.

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Chameleon, Wombat, and Kettle in Copics

Strange Chameleon Two, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Edgar Wombat 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

 

 

Perhaps you are shocked to see more ATCs. For those of us joining for the first time, I started doing Artist Trading Cards about three weeks ago, and I’ve done about 20 now. Which is crazy. And I must mention illustratedatcs.com again because they are to blame. I mean, to thank. :) (They also have a bigger site, atcsforall.com.)

The thing about tiny cards is: instant gratification, nearly instant satisfaction and practically instant feedback. Ah, internet, you have reduced our attention spans to approximately 45 seconds. But I will try to work with you.

Edgar the wombat is a huge fan of the movie My Neighbor Totoro. Wombats rock.

Gnome Portal Kettle 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copics

Slideshows for all three! If anyone wants to see. Thank you so much for visiting. :)

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Chameleon photo reference, wombat photo reference.

Copic ATCs, Anteater Chameleon Stork Hornbill

Oops, forgot to change the order of creatures in the title. Too late now since the memos have been distributed!

Purple Rhinoceros Hornbill, 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

Blue Stork 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

 

More tiny Artist Trading Cards. I don’t know how long the enthusiasm will last but that’s ten in two weeks.  It is certainly much less daunting staring at a blank 2.5″ x 3.5″ than an 8″ x 10″.  For one thing, much easier to fill in a background, and I like to do backgrounds.

I have a lot fewer smudging problems since I’ve been using colors other than black for the initial ink. Copic has a fairly limited number of colored fine liners so I use Micron and Prismacolor fine liners, too.

 

Strange Chameleon 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

Blue Anteater 2.5″ x 3.5″ Copic markers and fine liners

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Thanks for visiting!


Anteater reference photo, Stork reference photo, Rhinoceros Hornbill reference photo

 

 

Kookaburra Holding Court, Copic Markers

Holy cow, 100 posts!

Kookaburra Holding Court, 8×10 Copic Markers with digital corrections & digital sky

The topic is “Suspend” at Illustration Friday, and Thadeus the Kingly Kingfisher is holding court in an abandoned tire swing. He looks a tad cramped in there, if you ask me. His attendant today is a juvenile Boobook Owl, a smallish species. The elder Boobooks find Thadeus rather tiresome, if you must know. But he can usually get one of the kids to stand in. This one is called Lorna. She is very impressed by Thadeus, particularly the jeweled necklace.

The Kookaburra is the largest species of Kingfisher. Thadeus is a Laughing Kookaburra, though he tries not to laugh. He thinks it unkingly. This is my second kingly kingfisher! The first one with his mouse deer steed can be found here.

About 3 scans before the end I considered scrapping the whole thing! But I will be unable to do another this weekend, and I did spent quite a few hours on it. So here it is! I did some fixing up in paint.NET. The main issues were not enough refinement in the sketch and then trying to fix mistakes as I went. But each new drawing is a learning experience, whether it be post number 1 or 100.  Thanks for looking!

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Kookaburra reference photo from TrekNature, Boobook Owl reference photo on Flickr

Hornbill and Kingfisher, an Unlikely Pair

Yellow-Billed Hornbill and Stork-Billed Kingfisher, Copic Markers, digital sky

A somewhat smaller than expected Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill and his best friend, a somewhat larger than expected Stork-Billed Kingfisher. Ari the Hornbill was born in South Africa. Shey the Kingfisher is from Sri Lanka. That they met at all is unprecedented!

Ari was flying northeasterly over the Indian Ocean, and Shey was flying southwesterly over the Indian Ocean, and they both landed in the Seychelles the same week in 2009. Crazy, right? Both natural comedians, they became instant friends and for a short time they performed a Strange Bird comedy show that was a huge hit with the local Red-footed Boobies.

As you may know I have been exploring all manner of exotic creatures at this blog. Most recently it’s the birds in particular that have caught my fancy, and thus today’s drawing. Started with a lot of refinement in pencil then several scans showing the blue .05 multiliner. After that, Copics and .1 and .2 black multiliners. Finally I attempted some highlights with a white Prismacolor pencil, to mixed results. (Still trying to find a white gel pen that works. Not sure about attempting some white acrylic. Hmm!)

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No Masquepen or swirls this week. Crazy! Thank you for stopping by!


Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill photo reference; Stork-Billed Kingfisher reference.

No Room at the Couch Part II, Copic Markers

Cow, Donkey, Cat, Dog, Shrew with Couch in Copics 8 x 10

The topic is “Nursery Rhyme” for Monday Artday. Until I looked it up just now to link it, I was sure it was “Fairytale”, so that will explain what comes next. (There could very well be a nursery rhyme about this story and I hope Mike at Monday Artday will be ok with that.) :D

McCalls Books, The Enchanted Princess & The House in the Forest

I wanted to do another pile of animals and I remembered a story called “The House in the Forest“, which was part of McCall’s Storytime Treasury series. Do you remember those? (It goes back to the 70s! But maybe you got some hand-me downs. Ours went to a second cousin. I may have to reacquire some.)

In any case, though I could not find a summary of the story (and my memory is a bit hazy), it was about a girl who lived in a house in the forest with all her animals. One night a magical guest disguised as a beggar came to test her, to see if she would feed herself before she fed her animals. She had a cow, a dog, a cat, a donkey… I think! She almost certainly did not have an elephant shrew in the original (but clearly should have). I don’t know if she had such a fancy couch. Probably not. I’m not sure there was any delivery service for one thing, and she wouldn’t have been able to afford it if so.

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Thank you for visiting! This is my second consecutive couch full of creatures. I was actually going to do these all in blue but decided on browns and I think blue would have been better. I also considered some fancy detail on the couch but worried that would take the focus off the critters. More outlandish experiments coming soon.


Cow face reference photo, sleeping cat reference.

No Room at the Couch, for Illustration Friday

No Room at the Couch, 8×10 Pencil Sketch for Illustration Friday

Marcelo, a large hound with the patience of, well, an extremely well-behaved dog, could never get a spot to himself anymore. When the stray cat came and shortly after, the kingfisher, he begrudgingly helped them settle in. And then the meerkat showed up, and he likes to argue – particularly with the llama, who simply waltzed in one day and made himself at home. By the time the koala showed up, Marcelo was resigned to living in a zoo. The bunny is the most recent addition, found by the cat as he was limping around the garden with an infected ear.

If you ask Marcelo, he will tell you they are rude, unruly and troublesome. But they all love him and call him “Poppa”. And he’s just a big softy, after all.

Holy cow, no color! Actually, I am so pleased with this sketch that I am scared to ink it. I will probably do it soon, I just didn’t want to rush it.

The word is “Space” at Illustration Friday. (Apologies for the muddy scans below. I spent some time cleaning up the final but not the others.)

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Thanks for coming over! Have a great week!


Animal reference photos:

Koala, Great Dane Cleo, Russian Blue Amanda, Llama by Rusinka, Blue-banded Kingfisher.

Kingfisher and Mouse Deer, Copic Markers

Kingfisher and Mouse Deer, 8×10 with Copic Markers and Multiliners

This is a kingfisher named James who allowed the king thing to go to his head a bit. You may be asking yourself how he got a notoriously shy mouse deer to act as steed. Well, it’s actually a cardboard stand-up with metal supports for James’ weight.  He has another in the shape of a French bulldog. And the crown? Belonged to a doll named Emperor Imperious. Oops! I meant “action figure”. Don’t tell him I told you.

I originally started the mouse deer (not to be confused with a deer mouse!) a week or so ago. But her legs were too short and she was too close to the bottom of the illustration board I was using. Then a couple days ago I thought about what I might add and this kingfisher seemed like a fine candidate.

I think I like the sketch a bit better than the color version – probably because I didn’t plan the color very well. Ah well, back to the drawing board!

Kingfisher and Mouse Deer, Pencil

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Thanks for visiting!


Mouse deer reference. Kingfisher reference.