Monday, May 28, 2012

Oh Yeah! Cartoons

Remember that show?  Only a couple clips stick out in my mind, like this one: Cat and Milkman (why on earth did they draw that cat's ears like that), but I do remember it was basically a show for all the cartoons that weren't good enough to have their own show.  And this is what I've been drawing lately - a lot of mediocre cartoons.  I am embarrassed to post these, but it's all I've got right now.

Octopus going to prom - pen
Giraffe Lady - pencil and color pencil
Mr. Tea - pencil and color pencil
Tattoo ideas for Melissa - pen and ink
Baby Black Swan - pen
Swan with huge feet - pen and color pencil

Anyway, today's scientific illustrator is Alice Tangerini.  She has been the first staff illustrator for botany at the Smithsonian since 1972 (and still is), and has drawn over 1500 species throughout her career.  In an NPR interview, she said her drawings are an "attempt to reach perfection," and even with pen and ink she manages to make you feel like you're looking at the real thing.  But aside from her amazing talent, there is one thing that sets her apart from other illustrators - she only uses one eye!  After injuring her right eye in 2005, she underwent surgery which left her with double vision in that eye, and her awesome solution was to wear a huge, pirate eye patch over it.  To accommodate her impaired vision, Tangerini is now integrating her work into digitally based media in order to reduce strain on her good eye, and she plans to continue drawing until that eye gives out.

Alice Tangerini with her pirate eye patch

Abutilon sachetianum - pen and ink

Aristeguietia glutinosa - brush and ink

Besleria arbusta - pen and ink

Achenes of various flowers - pencil

Cornus florida and Cornus kousa - watercolor

More of her work can be seen here at the Smithsonian website.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Look Around You

I thought this title was fitting because a) all my sketches this week were of things sitting around me, and b) Look Around You (click this link to watch some episodes on Youtube!) is a show that everyone, especially science enthusiasts, should watch at some point.  Anyway, I had a pretty giant creative block all week, so out of frustration I just drew the closest thing to me - a cup and a fork.

Cup and Fork - mechanical pencil and color pencil

During the same day, I drew a couple other sketches; two of my hand and one of Maddy, my pitbull pup.

Hands - 4B graphite pencil
Maddyyyyy - 4B graphite pencil

And today I started one more sketch, but haven't finished it yet.

Branch, Key and Charger - 4B graphite pencil

Besides my art, I think it'd be fitting to talk about famous scientific illustrators in this blog, and George Stubbs is my current inspiration.  Stubbs started out as a well-known equestrian painter from England during the 1700's.  From a young age, he had a passion for anatomy and nature, and since his father was a leather-dresser, his passion was focused onto horses.  This man's obsession with horses makes eleven-year-old girls look like they hate horses.  He studied and recorded the form, anatomical structure and movement of these animals throughout his artistic career with meticulous detail, creating both realistic and fantastical images.  In 1754, he moved out to a solitary farmhouse with his wife, where he started one of the most ambitious contributions to scientific illustration.  For twenty years, Stubbs dissected and drew horse cadavers, illustrating every layer of the horse's body.  In 1776, he finally published The Anatomy of the Horse, which contains thirty-six plates and highly detailed text of his research.  (I gotta have this book!)

John and Sophia Musters Out Riding at Colwick Hall - George Stubbs, 1777
Mares and Foals in a River Landscape - George Stubbs, 1763
Whistlejacket - George Stubbs, 1762
Horse Devoured by a Lion - George Stubbs, 1763
Anatomy of the Horse Illustration of the Skeleton - full length
Anatomy of the Horse Illustration of the Muscles - back side
Anatomy of the Horse Illustration of the Muscles and Skeleton - side view

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Doodling Revived

Being immobile for two and a half weeks made me realize two things:

          1. Snakes are evil.
          2. I really needed a break.

I strongly advise everyone to find a way to get an excused absence from all of your responsibilities for a couple weeks (although a snakebite should be your last resort).  During my hiatus, I started doodling again - something I hadn't done, without being assigned to do so, in a very long time.  But now that I can somewhat walk again and have the ability to return to the real world, I want to make an effort to keep up with my art.  That is why I have created this blog.  My goal is to post something new in here every week or two.  And if I don't I will be thoroughly disappointed with myself.

As of now, I only have a couple drawings in my sketchbook, and I'm thinking about branching off of some of these to make bigger pieces.  We will see...

snake tea party
wasp on a flower
Freyjaaaaa - drawn from life
It is very annoying to draw a dog that is moving.  Next time I'll wait til she falls asleep.