I’ve been fascinated with barred owls since I was a kid. In fact the man who was most influential in me becoming a biologist, Mr. Bob Ross, twice taught me to call these birds in the Ozark Mountains (he was quite an amazing zoology teacher in Arkansas). Their call sounds something like “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?”
From the Blog
This piece took me months to complete, partially due to distraction and partially due to the difficulty in the water detail that just made it hard to pick back up.
Buy the original 8 x 10″ drawing at the Laughing Mantis Etsy store.
This gorilla drawing is based on a photograph taken by Rick Horton. I chose to draw it for the simple reason that I think the gorilla’s pose perfectly captures both the beauty and similarity to ourselves, as well as the sadness of the decline of our cousins, highlighted by his facial expression and presence in an obviously captive setting. All gorillas are either endangered or critically endangered (though I’m not sure the exact subspecies of this guy).
This drawing is based on a photograph of a family of hummingbirds my aunt captured in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.
This piece fits nicely is in an 8×10” frame. Note: all of my drawings on Etsy are the ORIGINAL drawings – not prints.
This is a drawing of an Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) of the “rufous morph” variety. The photo on which it is based was taken by a very nice man named Andy M¢ on Flickr who kindly gave me permission to use it in this artwork (here is the original photo).
Thanks to advice from the talented artist Glendon Mellow, I switched to using mechanical pencil for this drawing instead of traditional wood-encased lead pencils. The level of detail I can get is significantly better with the more-or-less constant diameter mechanical drafting pencil, and will be even greater once I buy a smaller diameter (I used 0.5mm for this one, but kept wishing I had a smaller one).
Side note: in high school, my zoology teacher Mr. Bob Ross once took our class out to the woods around Beaver Lake in Arkansas. There he taught us to actually call screech owls (as well as barred owls). I can’t call the screech owl very well any more, but I can still do a good barred owl. Mr. Ross was also one of my primary inspirations to eventually get my Ph.D. in biology.
Buy the original 8 x 10″ drawing at the Laughing Mantis Etsy store, or a print in the Redbubble or Zazzle stores.
Prints of this work are available in my Zazzle store.
If you’re so inclined, you can also buy this artwork printed on a tshirt, magnet, or iphone case.
I made this earlier this year but didn’t get around to posting it. This is the famous “Dippy” diplodocus sculpture that stands outside the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which is easily my favorite place to visit in Pittsburgh, PA. Some new friends just strolled in from Schenley Plaza.
I modeled the diplodocus dinosaurs in Blender, photographed the museum and sculpture with my iPhone, and did texturing and compositing in GIMP. This was an exercise in integrating a 3D computer model into a real world photo with at least somewhat realistic lighting and shadows.
My latest pencil drawing is of a “Bateleur,” an African eagle, that I saw at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. This drawing took me a lot longer than any of my previous recent drawings – I spent almost two weeks on it (2-3 hours a day here and there) just trying to get all the feather details as close to accurate as I could.
Original drawing SOLD.
Recently one of my digital artworks, “Ocean Invasion #12: We’ve Got Crabs!” was accepted into the juried exhibit “In the Belly of the Beast” at the Sweetwater Center for the Arts in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. This past weekend was the opening reception, which was quite an exciting event for me, especially being my first such experience. I had no idea what to expect. Hell, I didn’t even know if their were general rules for what to wear (luckily there were not).
NOTE: This exhibit will be hanging at Sweetwater Center for the Arts through July 28th, 2012. So go check it out if you get the chance.
“In the Belly of the Beast
Reception: Saturday, June 30, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
The raw force of nature unleashed. The soul of a beast exposed. The sheer power of entities not made by man that humble humanity into feeling small. This exhibit will reveal the essence of the organic: plants, animals, water, earth, sky, fire. Not in the safe, controllable way people see them, but instead showing the dynamic strength and ungovernable temperament that they truly possess. Selected art will focus on Mother Earth in an unaccustomed way. Work may also express the contradiction of what is man-made versus wild.
This exhibition is juried by Cynthia Shaffer, who built her art career in New York, Chicago and Phoenix before moving to Pittsburgh in 1990. She currently divides her time between henna tattooing, teaching art, taking photographs of animals at the Butler County Humane Society, volunteering at the ARL Wildlife Center, and working on her own art. Using bones, dead bugs, stones, feathers and other natural elements, Shaffer creates intricate patterns and mandala designs that juxtapose these components. Her objective is to show the beauty in things most people find repellent. “The color of a Japanese beetle is more exquisite than I can paint. The curve of a pelvic bone is more graceful than I can design. It fascinates me.”
The opening reception of In the Belly of the Beast will be attended by Pennsylvania creatures saved by the Animal Rescue League Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, with photographs and information about their organization.”
I was also incredibly lucky to have my wife and several friends there to show support (and observe the other art and eat the shrimp and meatballs and ogle the porcupine and turtle).
An interesting side note: the building featured in my artwork (with the crabs scurrying up it) is actually the apartment building in which several friends live.
Another cool aspect of the exhibit mentioned above was the fact that the Animal Rescue League was there, along with some of their rescues, including a porcupine and Eastern Box Turtles!
All in all it was a wonderful experience, and I hope to do it again soon.