Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Cocktail

Oops, it's been a while since I've posted. There are 2 French hens in the 12 Days of Christmas and no rooster, but here he is anyway. This is a present for my great-aunt who collects rooster-related things. I used a weird piece of paper that's really rough, so I couldn't blend colors on it very well. It sucked all the water out of my brush and made for very dry strokes. It looks likes a slightly different style because of that.

I used a book of fancy poultry breeds for reference; there sure are some cute ones. Though this is no particular variety.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Macaque Attack

Just a bit of fooling around on the computer, using some weird coloring style where I made big blurry blobs of color then scribbly lines over them. And once again, I got tired of using the tablet after about 5 minutes and didn't do any detailing. Snow monkeys can get cold too!

Inspired by a National Geographic wallpaper I downloaded.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


No other presentable art at the moment, other than this scratchy doodle of a chunky palomino unicorn. I love horses with fluffy feet!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Living Desert

I visited the Living Desert last weekend. There were many cool animals that were mostly out and about. Sadly, my camera ran out of battery charge right at the beginning. I was able to do a few quick sketches; here are two.

First some black-crowned night herons. There was an unusual walk-in aviary that had vultures, herons, a roadrunner, grackles and a raven. The herons stayed on the ground and didn't move too much. These guys have cool red eyes.

I also drew an addax. They're a highly endangered antelope. And they have cute spiral horns and an x-shaped brown patch on their faces. I was dumb and started painting it close to the edge of the paper so I couldn't give it hindquarters.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Undead Ungulate

A doodle with a Halloweeny touch; the musk deer vampire. They do have teeth like this, I promise. Don't even think about making perfume from his gland!

This took about 5 minutes so please excuse the lazy cape and weird expression.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lean Winter = Plump Tail

Ah, autumn. The leaves are changing, the pumpkins are growing, the falanoucs' tails are storing fat...

A weird sketch of a falanouc - a relative of the fossa from Madagascar. It doesn't look too much like one, but I was intrigued by the super-big tail on an illustration and wanted to draw it too. This is done on a 3.5 x 5 inch piece of a new kind of paper I was testing out (Rising Stonehenge Vellum finish 120 lb; nice and smooth but with a slight bit of buckling).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Two Canines with No Skin

I decided to draw skulls in my new brown sketchbook. I thought it would be fun to do white highlights and darker shadows and keep it mostly the browny paper color. These are the skulls of a coyote and a red fox. I used my trusty purple pencil and a few colors of watercolor pencil. The paper got a little wrinkly from the washes but I do like the results overall.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Prickly Peccaries

I got some blue lead for my mechanical pencil. It's a change from my usual purple pencil, but it's fun -- a bit harder than I usually work with. This is a sketch of an idea that I've had doodled in my sketchbook for a year or so. Seeing some peccaries at the San Diego Zoo reminded me of it, so I tightened it up. They like eating prickly pear cacti.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Stupid bug, you go squish now!

Here's a painting of the elusive Jurassic griffin, trying to catch one of those giant dragonflies that were everywhere in dino-times. The front is an archaeopteryx, the back is a sabertoothed cat. Archaeopteryxes had little claws on their wings, so it looks a bit strange with 2 sets of "hands". The coloring is based on the hoatzin, which also has some tiny fingers, as a chick at least.

I forgot to give it kitty ears though.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Yikes stripes!

Here's an easy way to tell the three species of zebras apart: Plains zebras are green, Mountain zebras are purple, and Grevy's zebras are blue.

Stylized gouache zebras influenced by the art of Mary Blair. I've been playing in my black sketchbook again. I painted this laying on my bed, trying not to let my cat spill the water.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Slow birding day

I haven't painted a bilby in a while. This is a gouache sketch of a bilby looking for some Australian birds. Things to notice:

* The tiny tiny bird on the cover of the book is an accurate representation of a species of Australian bird, who can ID it?
* Binoculars are very hard to draw.
* The bird is a Southern emu-wren. It really does have only 6 tail feathers.

There are lots of cute Australian birdies that I want to paint! P.S. My scanner decided to die after many years of service, so this is a picture taken with my camera. I had trouble trying to get it clear but color-accurate.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I have a file of ideas for paintings (actually, I make thumbnails or just write a phrase in one of many sketchbooks). Sometimes I start collecting references, but I have a huge backlog of these. I lost quite a few working sketches and reference photos that I had on the computer a while back when it went kaboom.

Yesterday, I decided to dip into the well and finish one picture. This concept has been floating around for 3 or 4 years now. I consider this more a sketch than a painting because I did it on cheap watercolor paper that can't take too much layering of color. But the basic idea is there. An aardvark gloats over the fact that he's the first animal in the alphabet book, and the zorilla is the last. Background looks yucky because I did it last and the paper kept sucking up the water, making the wash uneven. I do like the aardvark's feet.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Philander opposum!

Four-eyed opossums are cute. They have white eyebrows above their real eyes. Sometimes they wear ties and watches and work long days at the office.

Animals can't have glasses like people because their ears are too high, so they must all wear the little Uncle Scrooge-type nose pinchers.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Baby bushbaby with only slightly exaggerated head size.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cheetahs Never Prosper

Even though my art isn't usually very stylized, I like good stylization and playing around with how far you can go with something and have it still be recognizable. I first drew this cheetah realistically from some zoo pictures. Then I made it a little simpler but still semi-realistic.

After that, I squinted at it and looked for the overall shape, which was pretty much 2 triangles. In the third drawing I made the spots bigger but put fewer of them on there. Finally, I went a bit overboard and simplified it a lot. The main things I concluded you need to still read as "cheetah" are spots, the eye/muzzle markings, and long body. For the last one, I thought I needed to add the tail on to make it work, and color it yellow. Looks like I could make an alphabet out of these guys.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Dead pinnipeds tell no tales

The Caribbean Monk Seal was declared extinct last week, the only seal to disappear due to humans. The Hawaiian Monk Seal is feared to become extinct as well. This picture is ripped off from, I mean, an homage to Marc Davis' Pirates of the Caribbean painting and this species.

You also get a bonus Arabian Oryx. He has very short horns because I was too close to the top of the page.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Oh wow, it's been a long time! I just don't have much good art to show at all. Art slump, bah. I read in National Geographic that there's a restaurant in China where they have crocodiles (with taped jaws) roaming around that you can pick to eat, like lobsters. I tried to paint this scene, but it came out terribly. How I hate you, perspective! I do kind of like how the crocodile came out. His expression is saying, don't you dare choose me!

I'm trying to experiment with ink and brush more, I want to make nice sketchy but clear and interesting work like Russell Stutler.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Guinean Idol

I haven't really drawn anything of substance lately. Only doodles and such. I want to paint but don't know what to make. I've also been trying to do more computer art, but I get tired of it after a few minutes. This was supposed to be a more finished picture but I abandoned it. Extreme messiness has its qualities too I s'pose. I do like the line variation of the mike cord.

This is a peek into my creative process; everything I draw starts out as a rat's nest of lines that I refine later.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Badger, badger

Another gouache painting in the little black book. It started out as of a comparison of the American vs. Old World badger, but I drew them close together and it looked like they were holding hands. Some more mustelids (there was a picture of a badger on the same page as one of a wolverine that I used for reference for the last paintings). I found that a good way to paint gray things is to use some zinc white on black paper; I didn't mix any gray beforehand. After the white dried I put a bit of blue or brown over to give the fur a bit of depth.

There are some other cool kinds of badgers that I might draw later.

Friday, March 14, 2008

They kept trying to attack my cousins...

Here are some wolverines. They're neat, like little bears but they're weasels. Mean wolverine top, serene wolverine below.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Poofy hair and big belt buckles!

Most of my daily sketches are ugly these days. I need some more inspiration or something. This girl wants to beat you up. Or is concentrating on dancing. I liked her weird pose. Better art later, perhaps.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yet more griffins

And now it's time for more griffins. These are vulture/hyena mixes, which I'm sure has been done a million times before. The top one is a griffin vulture (wow, nature got the idea first!) with a spotted hyena. I don't think the furry ears go well on the bald vulture head. It's hard to fit the wings of these guys in without covering up the animal booties.

This one's a palm-nut vulture, with a brown hyena. But neither end looks like either of these animals. I do like the long hyena ears.

The last one is the best, I think. Bearded vultures are one of my favorite birds. I wonder where I can see some in person. This one has a striped hyena backside. I like the way the floofiness of the vulture mimics the fuzzy mane of the hyena. Bearded vultures are also called lammergeiers. It means lamb vulture, though they don't really eat lambs, they eat bones. Yay for bonecrushing bearded vultures!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Why did they name a deadly sin after them?

I couldn't get this one to post with the others last time. This is my favorite sketch on this page. Three-toed sloth on the left, two-toed sloth on the right. Sloths have such funny faces, and the 2 kinds look so different from each other.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mi-Teintes Thingies

I have a bunch of left-over Canson Mi-Teintes paper that I never use. This one's called buff, I think. I did a page of animal doodles, here are some of them.

On the left we have some colugo heads. These guys have a very unique look that I didn't really capture.

I like weird bat faces. There's so much variety in them, and lots of strange folds and flaps. This is banana bat, as you can see by the word balloon. I only had a picture of its head so the body is probably inaccurate.

This is a plains viscacha, a rodent kind of like a chinchilla.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I really enjoy painting griffins. I don't know why, probably because it's like painting a bird, but then it's all, whoa mammal time! I have lots of little doodles of crazy griffins. I like unconventional griffins, made of weird birds and not always cats. Such as this one, gouached in my little black book. Har har, ivory-billed woodpecker indeed!

I also really like drawing with non-photo blue Prismacolors on this black paper. I tried to leave a bit of the sketch showing but got rid of the rest of the background because the texture was a bit distracting (and it had some waviness due to me using too much water).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wombat Divine

I'll admit, I like looking through the picture books. I've seen some great illustrations, great stories, boring stories, and hideous illustrations. There are so many picture books out there; it must be a very competitive field.

I found this one called Wombat Divine by Mem Fox, illustrated by Kerry Argent. It's about a wombat who wants to be in a Christmas pageant. It has a bunch of different Australian animals, from kangaroos and emus to the more unusual numbat. And guess who else is in there. Yes, a bilby who gets to be the Christmas angel.

It's a rather strange book, and it makes me wonder who would read/buy it. Some people might be attracted to the religious aspect, but then possibly be offended (the wombat gets to be Jesus in the play). The pictures are taken with a camera, not scanned, so you can see my shadow on them.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More like bintu-right!

Finally got around to painting a binturong after it was suggested to me last month. This one is playing with a paddleball. I've discovered that dioxazine violet and indigo make good black. I went a bit crazy with the color mixing though. Still experimenting with stylization and different degrees of detail.

I thought I'd throw in this lesser gymnure. He's related to hedgehogs, and is going for the gold. The actual painting is about 1 inch high, so please excuse the horrid letting!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fabled art

This was meant to be a color study for a more realistic painting of the Aesop's fable about the fox and the crane, but I kind of like it this way. I wish I had made the crane more stylized too. The fox looks a bit like it's barfing in the second picture. The fable goes: the fox invited the crane over for dinner. It served some soup in a flat dish, and the crane couldn't eat any. The next day the crane invites the fox over, and serves soup in a long vase, so the fox can't get any. The lesson is, don't eat soup with anyone who has a different shaped mouth than you, I guess.

Here is a Japanese snow monkey with an offering of cookies, from a suggestion. I liked the little bear so I included it too.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Art Suggestion Box

I asked my friends for a few suggestions of new animals to draw. Here's a batch of them now. We have a blind mole, a genet, a fossa, and a paca. I've only ever drawn a fossa before; one was sleeping in a ball at the zoo, so I only got its nose anyway. This is the entire sketchbook page (those dots on the left is the perforation). I did my best trick of drawing one picture too close to another, so the genet's tail got in the way of the fossa's elbow.

Do you have an animal you'd like to see drawn? Leave a comment, and maybe your species will be here next time!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Boba Bilby

Someone help me, I need new animals to draw! A quick bilby, again. I like the big straws they give you to drink boba with. This is meant to show their weird toes (two claws on one toe, whaaa?!?)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I saw an appealing little picture that looked like it was done in gouache. I wanted to try out something similar, so I asked for some animals and used the first two suggestions. The first one, a mastodon, didn't come out too well. I wanted it to be stylized, with mostly thick brush-inked lines, and a circle of color around it. It came out too muddy and I think I went too thick on the inking. I kind of like the mastodon's stylization; it's a lot more angular than my stuff usually is. Painted with Havannah Lake (the supposed best gouache color ever).

The next animal was a tree kangaroo. I picked the Ursine Tree Kangaroo because I liked its floofy ears. I have no idea how I ended up with this picture though. I wanted it to be holding something and a spatula appeared, then the apron and egg wanted to get in to the picture. I like the border of this one better, with its fuzzy outline. I had also wanted to paint a furry animal without much furry texture to it. It kind of worked. It was an interesting experiment overall, don't know if I'll use this style again or not.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jellybean Joey

Baby bilbies, the horrifying truth! A quick digital doodle. It looks like a shiny balloon.

I've been drawing a plethora of bilbies lately.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Paint it black

Wow, it's weird to write "08"! The first paintings of the new year. I got a black sketchbook. Boy, I'm out of practice with gouache. Oh well, now I can make many a painting in this book. Here we have Kitsumi playing Guitar Hero, and the littlest fat dragon ever riding on a non-scientifically accurate flying gurnard. Didn't feel like trying to draw with white pencil or anything, so straight to paint it was!

Thanks for the presents!