Sunday, September 26, 2010

"I remember" done

The restricted earths palette is great, I'm already in love with it. It makes saturation and temperature so much easier to experiment with! I added only some cadmium yellow here.

I selected the extinct animals from the list on a precious but utterly depressing site:

Here is a detail of the figurines: 
Starting from upper left they are:
- Baiji (aka Yangtze River Dolphin)
- Aldabra Warbler
- Po'o-uli
- Nukupu'u
- Christmas Island Pipistrelle
- Conondale Gastric-brooding Frog
- Partula snails in general (more than 50 species wiped out at once, one of the saddest episodes in the history of biology)
- Aldabra Banded Snail
- Alaotra Grebe

I tried to make them as recognizable as possible but I guess they show better in the sketches (the ones circled in red are the ones I used, except the frog which I improvised while coloring):

The one at the top (the Warbler) is actually represented belly-up, because for many of the animals listed on the site all the references I could find were photos of specimens preserved in some museum. Better than nothing though...

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I remember" WIP

On the way back from holidays I thought of a vulture girl wearing several necklaces made with the skulls of extinct species (not dinosaurs but animals which got extinct in historical times). The idea was that vultures have tasted the meat of many extinct animals and so they remember even obscure ones. Didn't make much sense, but apart from that it would be impossible to find enough references of skulls of extinct animals as most of them are obscure species which hadn't been studied much. The only preserved specimen are probably lost in the archives of museums across the world. Also the choice would have been limited to vertebrates and to animals of similar size, which are silly limitations given that most endangered animals are not vertebrates and they are often small.

Take two after some research: the necklaces are not made with bones but with sculpted figurines of the animals, each one with an attached strip of cloth with the specie's name. The girl is a Griffon vulture, a species which can live more than 50 years in captivity, and all the figurines will be of species which have gone extinct in the last 50 years (a minuscule subset of them).

On to the color test, with the same limited earths palette of the unicorness:
The things in the background are construction cranes. Seems appropriate since so many recent and ongoing extinctions are due to wild urbanization. Graphically their straight lines should contrast with the curvy vulture and form a nice framing along with the staff (modeled after a Pyrenean Ibex head).

Cinder maiden

No odd symbolism here, just a cinder/blackboard colored unicorness. :-)

Since I keep losing control of color saturation I'll be working for a while with a restricted palette based on earths: titanium white, ivory black, natural sienna, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and ultramarine. This painting is done using with this palette. It's a very simple palette which forces to pull the most out of each color and to think of color temperatures rather than hues, which is the key to controlling saturation.