12 July 2017

"Silly Sheep"

That's what I googled, looking for an image to use as a reference. I don't think this guy looks so silly, though—a little more on the side of wistful, perhaps?

When I am stumped for something to draw and paint, I often turn to whatever I'm reading for inspiration, for a couple of reasons: First, I often dislike the book cover of whatever it is, and occasionally have the impulse to try to do better; second, if it's a book I'm enjoying, then chances are I'm going to review it for the library blog, which means that I can either put up the book cover with the post, or I can put up something more interesting (i.e., custom created art by me!).

I've been on a science fiction reading jag for the past few days, specifically perusing some of the stand-alone books of John Scalzi. I really got a kick out of Redshirts—it was a satire that was a combo of Star Trek, Galaxy Quest, and The Truman Show, if you can imagine. So after that, I decided to move on to another, and chose The Android's Dream.

The title is, of course, an homage to the famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by the inimitable Philip K. Dick, that was the basis for the movie Blade Runner. This book is not really like that one, being partially about literal sheep (or their DNA), but it's smart, funny, and entertaining, nonetheless. I'm not finished with it yet, so I won't give a final verdict until I am, but I felt confident enough, halfway through the book, to make an illustration to go with my book review.

The Android's Dream
Uniball pen, watercolor

11 July 2017

Catbird Caboose

My Facebook friend Kim, who is a birder, says her favorite is the catbird. When I called up a few pictures from the internet, I wasn't really sure why—it's kind of a drab-looking little bird, mostly shades of gray and dull gray-brown.

Maybe it's the catbird's call? It certainly is varied, cheerful, and entertaining. If you want to listen to it, here's a link to Cornell Ornithology Lab, where they have some recordings. The "song" didn't sound cat-like, but if you click on the "mew call," you'll get the idea for where it got its name.

But then she posted a rare photo of the catbird showing off his "caboose," and a whole new facet of the catbird's personality became apparent! It was like Mammy in Gone With the Wind, pulling up the hem of her faded old housedress to show off the scarlet satin petticoat, a gift from "Mr. Rhett," hiding underneath.

I didn't really do justice to this guy—he needs to be painted "for real," a little more painstakingly on watercolor paper without black lines (and not as a direct copy of the photo)—but it will do for a fast impression. Maybe I'll attempt him again when I have more time, but here's my quick sketch for today—"Catbird Caboose," in honor of Kim Denise!

Uniball pen, watercolor