Dishonor on your cow!

Dishonor on your cow!

Okay, that title isn’t particularly relevant except for the fact that I realized my little sea-dragon here is doing “that tongue thing” … aaand, the title quote is where that train of thought finally stopped.

Anyhow, I pulled out my old pad of giant sketch paper that I haven’t really touched since last Christmas (when I made 60 or so tiny animal drawings like this to give out to my co-workers), then grabbed the nearest decently-sharp pencil (which, judging from the colors used, has been sitting around since the ’90s) and got to work.

Some time between the foreleg fins and the dorsal spines/fin I decided he might as well be a water dragon, though there’s not much else to support that — you can’t really see the webbing on the forefeet, and I’d already finished the head by the time I got there (yes, I went left-to-right despite being a leftie, and regretted it almost instantly when it came time to shade … I need to work on planning these things better).

So, here’s a little dragon buddy. He’s smiling, and he appears to have a beak like a turtle’s rather than proper fangs, so if you avoid sudden movements it might be safe to pet him. That, or he’s trying to lure you in like an alligator snapper. Your call!

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Llama, llama …

Llama, llama ...

Today there was a petting zoo on Main street (because this town is just that awesome), and it included a mama llama and her half-grown little one — I think “cria” only applies to the babies, but if it were a horse I’d call it a yearling — as well as some chicks, ducklings, rabbits, goats and a pony. After begging a pencil off the day’s Bookmobile staff (who were lucky enough to be able to see the llamas out their air-conditioned windows, though one of them did get mauled adorably by a day-old duckling), I was all set for a little sketch session.

The little llama is the one that takes up most of the page; Mama Llama’s lovely lower teeth make a ghostly appearance below, because I never did get the hang of how to sketch on a piece of paper without making it look like one piece of the sketch is emerging awkwardly from an unrelated one drawn earlier.

Odyssey of a Homer

 

Well, the past week has been an interesting one. As I mentioned on my other blog, Shetland & Pony, a homing pigeon decided to take up residence on the balcony several days ago. When it became apparent that the bird wasn’t going home any time soon, it was trapped in a box and its owners contacted. They said to “let it go in a field,” which sounded like a terrible idea for a bird that got hoplessly lost for eight days running, but they were uninterested in offers to have the bird shipped back home. Not worth it for a homer that gets lost, I suppose.

A compromise was finally made, and Pigeon was given a headstart by being driven into a rural area much closer to his hometown than he had managed to travel on his own. I still wish he hadn’t been let loose at all, as his prospects from here are not good, but what’s done is done. Here are some quick portraits of Pigeon (sketched in a moving vehicle, with the subject sitting behind cloth mesh in the backseat — thus the level of quality and also the strange speckles in the lower picture).

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Vampire Squirrel

I can’t think of a good way to introduce this blog with a post, so let’s jump right in.

One day I decided that a vampire flying squirrel would be pretty cool.

Not because of the general vampire craze, so much as my own personal weird obsession (which occasionally goes dormant and then flares up all over again at unpredictable times) with mimics — in this case, the idea of a real-life “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” an animal that looks like a harmless species but is very much the opposite. If milk snakes can look like coral snakes, why can’t vampire bats look like flying squirrels?

Without actually waiting for an answer to that (as that would have been sensible and taken all the fun out of it), I set to work sketching out the possibilities. The other, more-constant obsession — drawing up new animals out of spare parts — came into play, compelling me to try to figure out which elements would work for both model and mimic, which would need to be dropped for the sake of a predatory lifestyle, which things could be thrown in just for fun without looking too wildly implausible.

The first idea was more fantastical, with feathers in addition to mammalian characteristics. Not so great. Incorporating a batlike wing membrane gave me troubles, too (I’ll admit it, I’ve never been great with wings). Later incarnations more closely resembled the squirrel, with the claws and ears the main changes.

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That idea languished in the concept stage for a very long time, but just yesterday I decided to try a “complete” sketch based on the model I’d ended up with long ago:

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Perhaps more “weasel” or “cat” than “bat” about the paws and eyes, making it more of a Frankensquirrel’s Monster than a proper Vampire Squirrel, but all in all an improvement over scattered ink sketches. Maybe I’ll pick up the idea again later. In the meantime, I continue to scribble on math homework, work schedules, etc., so I’ll probably have a new monstrosity to present soon. If not, I have a griffin playing with a ball of yarn, and he wants a little time in the spotlight. Yay!