Kahukura (red admiral) illustrations #tereo

Just quickly popping in to say hi and share these beautiful illustrations by Cliff Whiting from the maori childrens book Pūrerehua (Kahukura) by Hirini Melbourne, which is about the life cycle of the NZ Red Admiral. I thought it was quite fitting to share these today as we come to the end of Te wiki o te Reo Maori (Maori Language Week) here in NZ!! Kahukura-Hirini-Melbourne+Cliff-Whiting-05

Kahukura-Hirini-Melbourne+Cliff-Whiting-02
‘Lands, lands, on a stinging nettle’ | ‘It lays eggs; one, two, three, four’
Kahukura-Hirini-Melbourne+Cliff-Whiting-03
‘Wriggles and squirms and out pops four caterpillars’ | ‘Eat. eat, eat the leaves are gone, they are hanging dangling by one end’ 
Kahukura-Hirini-Melbourne+Cliff-Whiting-01
‘Butterfly flying on the wind. Fluttering wings, flying in the wind’ | ‘Go higher, reach the highest point, fluttering wings, flying on’ 

Images from: Melbourne, H., Whiting, Cliff, & New Zealand. School Publications Branch. (1979). Pūrerehua (Kahukura)(Purapura. Pīngao. A). Wellington, N.Z.]: Te Rōpu Whakamahipukapukakura.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

emma

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Seals of New Zealand- free colouring sheet

I posted earlier this week on instagram that I would be releasing this ‘Seals of New Zealand’ colouring-in sheet as a free download on the blog- and finally its ready!

Equipment used: inked with a Hunt dip pen and detailed with Rapidograph isograph pens + Pigma micron. 

I thought it might be quite a fun and useful educational resource , as I don’t think the species of seals we have in New Zealand is very well known to the majority of people (myself included before doing this little project). SEALSofNZ-COLSHEET-final

Continue reading “Seals of New Zealand- free colouring sheet”

digital cicada illustration

recently I have been practicing more and more on digital painting techniques, trying to see if I can emulate the look of traditional media in photoshop (which I am finding quite challenging!). I really don’t like the CG look, so its an interesting challenge, which I can tell is going to take a lot of practice to master.

Here is my first entomological digital “painting”, of a NZ chorus cicada (Amphisalta zealandica). As we move into the colder weather here in New Zealand, these guys have been disappearing.

cicada-digi-white-bg

This started off with sketches in real life, scanned in, then added digital paint over the top. The wings were also rendered with highlights, which you can only see on a darker background:

not quite sure what to do with the background yet...
not sure about this background, but you can see the highlights on the wings!

In other news, I was lucky enough to attend Chromaconnect (NZ’s only industry conference for creative fields like illustration, concept art, animation), last Friday. It was amazing, I took lots of notes and will be writing up a post with some stuff I picked up there to go up later this week for anyone who is interested!

Till then,

emma

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”

weka watercolour

here is a watercolour painting I just finished yesterday- it is of a North Island Weka (Gallirallus australis greyi), like the ones that I managed to sketch and photograph on a recent trip to Russell.

weka-final

and some progress pics from my instagram:

#progress #bird

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Slowly making progress #art #bird #illustration #scientific illustration #weka #vscocam

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I have heard that the North Island Weka is more endangered than the Kiwi- so a pretty special thing to see in real life!

I used a limited palette (the majority of the bird is just painted with ultramarine blue+ burnt sienna- my favourite combo!) and tried out some new-to-me watercolour paper- plain hotpress Fabriano paper (the paper itself didn’t have a name) which was pretty good but hard to remove mistakes without ruining the paper, which I guess is to be expected from a cheaper paper!

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I also just wanted to mention an interesting interview I listened to on the weekend by Nick Patton (from the Picturebooking podcast), who interviewed Katherine Roy– an illustrator of kids natural history picture books. Its a really interesting listen for anyone who is interested in the intersection of science, art and childrens books. Check it out here.

Till next time!

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.

bookjacket

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!