Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Ocean Sunfish

An odd looking and fairly large animal, the ocean sunfish is the world's heaviest bony fish. They swim both upright as seen here however it also drifts on the ocean's surface soaking in the sun's ray, hence the name. They can grow up to 13ft in length and weigh as much as 5000 lbs.

I had to pleasure of seeing one of these at the Monterey Bay Aquarium about a year back. It left most people in awe and confusion wondering what it was. I loved it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Cheetah

I'm not going to talk much about cheetahs since I've already done much about them in earlier posts. One quick fact I will throw in is cheetahs are only member of the large cats that doesn't roar. When they fight they sort of sound like women yelling and screaming. It's actually kinda scary. They're built for running being the fastest land animal, however because of their slender frame, they're not good fighters. When they kill prey, they eat at lightening speed because if any predators come along to steal their meal, they will not fight.

Much of my animal art is heavily inspired by wildlife artist Kim Donaldson. Unfortunately he doesn't have a website, but here's a few samples. I have a book of his that's so beautiful called Africa: An Artist's Journal. I came across it amazingly in Borders' bargain section years back when I was in school for $5! I've since seen it on Amazon for $60! ZING! Anywho, amazing artist, born and raised in South Africa. He'll spend weeks at a time in the bush studying, sketching, and painting animals. I'm hoping to visit South Africa myself some day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Hound Dog

Welllllllll, I just watched Jailhouse Rock tonight. Laughed my ass off actually at things that weren't meant to be funny, but were. That least he didn't quit his day job.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Polar Bear

In conjunction with the new season of LOST premiering, I figured it be appropriate to have a polar bear for animal of the day (you have to see the show to get it). Now, as many folks know darker colors absorb in more sunlight and lighter colors reflect sunlight. It's why they say don't wear dark colors on a warm day because those clothes you wear combined with all that sunlight hitting them just act like a greenhouse heating your body. An interesting note about polar bears is obviously they live in some of the coldest areas on Earth, and though their fur is white, their skin is black, which absorbs more sunlight keeping them warmer.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Green Iguana

Another marker image for today. Green iguanas are huge. Few have been known to reach beyond 6 1/2 feet, but this is not common, as most grown to roughly 5 feet in length. They're found around Central and South America, but have also been introduced to Texas, Florida, Hawaii, and certain Caribbean islands. Hawks are known to be their nature enemy, and humans use this to their advantage to capture these lizards. Similar to a device that makes duck calls, one is used the imitates a hawk call. Hearing this the iguana freezes, and are thus easy to capture.

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) African Elephant

I got a marker set for Christmas that I thought I'd break in (thanks Jess). I rarely if ever do marker images, but they are a fun challenge because what you put down is stayin' there. I have my friend Mike D. and Doug Chiang to look up to for improvement in this area.

Elephants ears, like a cat's tail, communicate their mood. It can be a sign of aggression and warning to take a hike when they flap their ears forward like seen above. Often times when animals do things like this, it's a way to appear bigger in order to intimidate a potential enemy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Killer Whale

Eh, not sure if I'm happy how this turned out....anywaaaaaaaaay. I thought I'd do a play on the Indian art version of Killer Whale and the real ones. Killer Whales in fact are not whales at all but the largest members of the dolphin family. They've been known to attack and kill great white sharks, eating their fatty livers. MMmmmmmm, fatty liver.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Hmmmmm, I don't know the ending to this. Amazing chances are always given, but sometimes it's just nature's way for the inevitable to happen here. All I know is, I'm cheering for the underdog!

I may still work on this more...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Wild Cat...Tuna's Anger Level as of Late

Man Tuna's been a pain in the ass lately. Sometimes I think we actually adopted Stitch.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Marine Iguana

Here's a quick warm up painting I did today in about a half hour. I'm trying to speed up my work process and trying not to sacrifice quality at the same time....I think I need some more work on that.
So, this is a Marine Iguana native to the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin's favorite haunt. He described them as "hideous-looking" and "most disgusting, clumsy lizards." I'd disagree, it's called character ;) They're generally found on the water's edge where they hop into the ocean to feed on algae and seaweed. A distinctive white spot or "wig" is often formed on their head from sneezing out all the salt from the water. It lands on their heads and Voila!, iguana wig!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Giant Panda

No this is not a Kung Fu panda, he's lazier. Pandas were previously thought to be part of the raccoon family, but of course they belong to the bears. Also they're technically part of the carnivore group, but they actually just eat bamboo 99% of time. They've also been know to eat bananas....mmmmmm, bananas.....a bear after my own heart.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Tuna, the Wild Domestic House Cat

I think I have O.C.C.D. (Obsessive Compulsive Cat Disorder) She's my animal of the day and no stranger to my blog, my little cat Tuna. She's about 3 1/2 years old now, and can truly be a nightmare, but for the most has brought me more joy than any pet has.

I've really been trying to push my realism lately with my painting. Getting her to pose for this was a challenge, so a lot had to be based off memory and having quick bursts of speed painting when she actually would return to the position. Oh well, I pay her in treats, so she's happy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) The Harpy Eagle

Here's some quick studies I did of the Harpy Eagle. These birds are beautiful and HUGE. They're considered the largest predatory bird in the world, with a wing span up to 7 feet and talons equal to that of bear claws. Their range is from Southern Mexico to the rain forests of Argentina, AND they're the national bird of Panama. The name comes from Harpyja, the predatory half-woman, half-bird monster of Greek mythology. They expand out their facial and head feather to form a disc shape in order to focus in sounds waves to improve hearing, which is similar to what owls do. It's diet includes tree animals such as sloths, monkeys, and other birds.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Gorilla

With DNA 98-99%, gorillas are amongst the primates most closely related to us. Pretty impressive. I get a kick out of their name which is derived from the greek word Gorillai, which translates as a "tribe of hairy women". Good times!
I decided to just go with a sketch this time, since I liked the way it was going. I really tried to emphasize that upper arm mass they have.

Surprised, Shocked, And All The Rest

Yes we're surprised...,but at what? Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A.O.T.D. (Animal of the Day) Caterpillar

More specifically this is a black swallowtail caterpillar. I figured since it was the time of year when people are forming resolutions and looking to change into the beautful butterflies they see in their minds it be only appropriate to make this. What will you turn into? Happy New Year!