NZ Natural History Artist #2: Piers Hayman

Natural-history-series-button

This months Natural History Artist is Piers Hayman. I first heard about him through New Zealand Bird Rescue, a charitable trust of which he was a founding member (then the NZ Wildlife Rehabilitation Trust). Originally from England, and trained as a graphic designer, he emigrated to New Zealand in the early 80’s.

discovering-the-birds-of-nz-takahe

He has done numerous beautiful illustrations of New Zealand Birds, and has written and illustrated numerous books on NZ wildlife- two of the most well-known books being ‘Discovering the Birds of New Zealand and ‘The Bird Next Door’. He was a regular contributor to the New Zealand Herald where he wrote and illustrated a weekly column about birds, a clipping from one of his columns from 1985 is below:

Continue reading “NZ Natural History Artist #2: Piers Hayman”

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sketches from russell

I recently came back from a 5 day trip to Russell (in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand) which was a lot of fun.

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the view from the main street in russell

 Here are some of the sketches I made on the trip! I was aiming to fill the whole sketchbook I made, but ended up with a sketch-a-day…

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sketches of abby, and the weka that live on the campground where we stayed

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the campground set in bush that is kiwi and weka habitat- the weka are very curious and like to investigate the tents and pinch food. They were also really fast and difficult to sketch!

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unfinished sketch- view of the campground from the nearby mangroves

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The sketchbook I used was a repurposed hard back book that had been withdrawn from the library I work at. I refilled it with my new favourite paper- Lana Dessin drawing paper (which is only $3 for a large sheet- enough to fill this book!). Its great because its 220gsm and you can also use watercolour on it easily.

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I brought a small watercolour travel set, my waterbrush and other drawing supplies (pencils+pens)- all kept in a click-clack container to stop them getting water damage etc.

Next time I’ll have many more pages left to fill!

till next time,

emma

merry christmas!

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pohutukawa- the new zealand christmas tree

 

wishing you (and your families) best wishes for the festive season! 

Its been a crazy few weeks in the lead up to christmas- as a result sadly no blog giveaway- as I alluded to in my last post– will be happening for christmas this year…

BUT, if you’re still in a gift-wrapping mood- here are my gift tags that you can download for free (here are the instructions from last year-including make your own stamped gift wrap!).

tagfront merryxmas

 

I have spotted a number of my favourite artist/illustrators offering free gift tag downloads, so check these out for some beautiful decorations for your gifts:

Oana Befort

Phoebe Wahl

Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn (beautiful small sheets of wrapping paper to print!)

and

Meg Hunt (one of the 18 designs found at this link)

I’ll be taking a break over the next couple of weeks from posting, but will have a 2014 round up post later in the week.

Best wishes + have a merry christmas!

emma

illustrations at ponsonby craft market (tomorrow)

Hi!

Just a quick note to say I’ll be at the Ponsonby Craft Market, at Studio One  (the old ArtStation), selling some cards and prints, as well as some hand bound mini sketchbooks tomorrow!

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I have designed two Christmas cards for this year and will be selling them tomorrow as well….

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the sketchbooks are a new design- with magpie moths printed onto the covers with pigment inks!

Making all the stock for the market has taken a lot of time over the last couple of weeks- hence the relative quiet here on the blog- should be back to regular scheduling next week!

Hope to see you tomorrow if you are in the Auckland area! please note- cash sales only on the day 🙂

If you can’t make it, I am planning on launching my Etsy shop before the end of this year.

Have a great weekend!

emma

Puriri Moth Project Pt.3 – the poster

or perhaps I should have called it ‘the mock-up poster’ because this was sort of a quickly put together version of my puriri moth lifecycle for a portfolio submission. I’d like to add to it by doing a fully painted background at some point and adding in text of course.

puririmoth-poster-mock-up

the tree+backgrounds to the various larval stages are watercolour+coloured pencil, the insects themselves are coloured pencil only.

Its Puriri Moth season again in NZ- I’ve only seen one this year though- much less than last year!

You can see part one and part two of this project by following the links 🙂

emma

baby crocodiles in watercolour

I hope your weekend has got off to a great start!

Today I’m posting a painting I finished last week of baby saltwater crocodiles hatching from their nest. It was inspired by a story on the saltwater crocodiles life cycle that I read- and I left the upper corner empty to suggest a space for text in a book spread.

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Mediums used: W&N cotman watercolours and Pebeo Gouache (covering white) for highlights.

I tried out splattering the background with watercolour to get a dirt-like effect and after I was done realised that I’d splattered tiny paint drops all over my walls…oops. Lucky it was an easy clean up!

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Don’t forget- you have until Monday 5pm (NZ time- Midnight Sunday EST) to enter the skillshare giveaway for 1 months premium membership! There are only 2 entries so far so you’re chances of winning are high if you enter 🙂 The classes are really awesome- lots of new ones have recently been added including Vintage Hand lettering by Mary Kate McDevitt and Drawing Daily Monsters by Stefan G. Bucher- which I am really keen to do. Get your entries in!!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

emma

 

OCTOBER illustrated book of the month: Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes

This month I wanted to highlight a beautifully illustrated identification guide to primates. Primates of the World: an illustrated guide by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes was published on 2010 in French, but has just been translated and published by Princeton University Press last year.

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The primate illustrations in this guide, by french wildlife artist Francois Desbordes, are absolutely phenomenal- and I recommend checking out this book for them alone. There are 72 realistically rendered watercolour plates, as well as a number of looser watercolour sketches in the introductory section entitles ‘Fascinating Primates’- including a very colourful evolutionary tree diagram.

Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg59
RING-TAILED and BROWN LEMURS from Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg59
Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg11
Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg11

I have read other reviews that say some of the scientific information is slightly out of date now (that’s how fast species phenology can change) but it is a comprehensive guide of the major primate species of the world, sorted by continent.

Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg105
TARSIERS from Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg105

What I really liked about Mr Desbordes illustrations is that they not only show the animals morphology but also give some clue to the postures and behaviour of the different species. I couldn’t find much information about the illustrator however it appears he has illustrated a number of books about wildlife in French.

Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg177
GORILLAS from Primates of the World by Jean-Jacques Petter and Francois Desbordes, pg177

I highly recommend taking a look at this book- its a masterpiece.

emma

 

blog update: you may have noticed a new link in the right-side bar- best of drawing escape. I’ve  made a collection of the most popular posts from the drawing escape archives- you can check them out here!

magpie moths project- finished!

Hi everyone,

Today I thought I’d post the final illustrations for the New Zealand magpie moth project I had been working on for the masters thesis of Cassandra Marks (University of Auckland).

The project involved illustrating diagrams of the male and female moths, showing the sexual dimorphism (especially obvious in the antennae) as well as dorsal and lateral illustrations of the caterpillar. These illustrations were fun to do because they were the first entomological illustrations I have done in watercolour- and it was fun to add some colour to these pretty little moths!

Here are the final illustrations:

MagpieMoth_Female_600dpi-edited

 

female moth

(smaller hairs on the antenna)

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male moth

(much longer hairs on the antenna)

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magpie moth caterpillar

(dorsal view)

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magpie moth caterpillar

(lateral view)

Another thing I really enjoyed in this project was reconstructing life-like positioning of the caterpillar (especially in the lateral view). The specimens I had to draw from were dead and so didn’t really look so much like a living caterpillar would anymore- so that was a fun challenge to try and depict what a living caterpillar might look like.

here is also the palette of colours I used. I used Winsor and Newton cotman watercolours and the most used colours were Ultramarine Blue and Burnt sienna to mix up varying shades of brown-black and blue-black. They were the perfect colours for this species!!

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All images copyright E. Scheltema 2014. Please respect my client (these illustrations are part of their research) and do not copy or use any of these images without permission. If you are interested in commissioning work or collaborating on a project like this please contact me 

NZ Magpie Moth illustrations

Here is another scientific illustration project I am currently working on- illustrations of the NZ Magpie Moth for MSc student Cassandra Marks at the University of Auckland (also from the Holwell lab). I am doing a series of identification-style watercolour illustrations of the male and female moths as well as some views of the caterpillar. Here’s some pics of where I’m up to- also I made a gif of the watercolour process!

my desk at the moment
my desk at the moment

 

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And the final- this is the female Magpie Moth:

female_magpiemoth_webver
Copyright E.Scheltema 2014- please do not copy without permission

I used Winsor and Newton Cotman watercolour paints, mixing the black for the wings from Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, but found I had to pump up the darkness of it by using some pure black for the darkest areas.

Thanks to Cassie for letting me post these in the middle of the project!

emma

AUGUST illustrated book of the month: A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Hutts Ashton and Sylvia Long

This week I thought I would post a new blog post that I am hoping will become an ongoing monthly series, where I will post a review of an awesome illustrated book I have recently come across. As you may know, I work in a library whose collection is slightly tailored toward childrens’ picture books and non fiction, so there are a lot of beautifully illustrated books available for the picking! So, here is the first illustrated picture book of the month post- I hope you enjoy and are able to take a look at some of these books in person.

This month, I am came across the wonderful book A Butterfly is Patient, by Dianna Hutts Ashton, and illustrated by Sylvia Long (you can view inside the book by following this link to the publishers page).

A Butterfly Is Patient
Source: Chronicle Books

This book is a junior non-fiction title (aimed at 5-10 year olds) that serves as an introduction to butterflies; describing various facts about butterflies and their lives, under the over-arching theme of metamorphosis (relating back to “patient” in the title). Every spread displays a different facet of a butterflies life, and is started off with ‘A butterfly is …’. One of my favourites spreads is the one that accompanies “A butterfly is not a moth”; it has various butterflies in a daylight composition, along with a variety of wonderfully illustrated moths on the facing page in the night time. The spreads are beautifully illustrated and each turn of the page provides a surprise, as the illustrations and text are quite diverse and the colourful illustrations are lovely.

a-butterfly-is-creative
From A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Dianna Hutts Ashton, illustrated by Sylvia Long ©2011 Used with Permission from Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco. Visit http://www.ChronicleBooks.com

There are quite a lot of scientific concepts also introduced which I really liked. One of my favourite parts of the book are the endpapers- the front ones have lots of different species of caterpillars, the end ones lots of butterflies, supposedly having metamorphosed through the book’s story.

caterpillar-endpaper
From A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Dianna Hutts Ashton, illustrated by Sylvia Long ©2011 Used with Permission from Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco. Visit http://www.ChronicleBooks.com
butterfly-endpaper
From A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Dianna Hutts Ashton, illustrated by Sylvia Long ©2011 Used with Permission from Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco. Visit http://www.ChronicleBooks.com

The illustrations are what initially drew me to this book. According to Sylvia Longs’ website, she illustrates using pen and ink, overlaid with watercolour. Her illustrations in this book are amazing. They are clear, vibrant and sophisticated illustrations that are the perfect style for communicating natural history concepts to kids. I think they are the kind of illustrations that really  inspire wonder and interest in the natural world. I also loved the fact that the text is hand-lettered in a copperplate sort of style.

A-butterfly-is-poisonous
From A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Dianna Hutts Ashton, illustrated by Sylvia Long ©2011 Used with Permission from Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco. Visit http://www.ChronicleBooks.com

This author-illustrator team have also collaborated on a number of other junior non fiction books in the same vein- including An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy, and a brand new title- A Rock is Lively. I would highly highly recommend checking all of these books out- even (or especially) if you aren’t in the kids age group and are interested in natural history and illustration- they are beautifully written and illustrated and I’m hoping they create even more books to add to the series.

Let me know what you think of A Butterfly is Patient if you have read it, in the comments below.

Check out Dianna Hutts Ashtons’ website here

and Sylvia Long’s website here.

See you next time with a process post!

emma

All images taken from A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Dianna Hutts Ashton, illustrated by Sylvia Long ©2011

Used with Permission from Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco.

Visit www.ChronicleBooks.com