Animal Painting from Life -- 7 Tips

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:31 pm
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Posted by James Gurney


I make a lot of super-short videos that are only 15-60 seconds long. I think that's too short to put on YouTube individually, so I packaged some of them up a group of them and tied them together with a theme.



So here are seven of my top tips for drawing and painting live animals.


1. TAXIDERMY (ALASKAN WOLF)
2. SLEEPING (BASSET, HUSKY)
3. HOLD THEM (LENNY / TURK / PATCHES)
4. PROFILE (PALOMINO)
5. TREAT (JEZEBEL)
6. MULTIPLES (CHICKENS, RABBITS)
7. AMUSE THEM (SMOOTH AT WINDOW)
(Link to YouTube).


Note the new title sequence, shot recently in a grassy field near here. I like the way the grass stems disguise the wires.
-----
Previously:
Answers to your questions about sketching animals from life

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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On June 25, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre admitted a tiny male Sea Otter pup as a patient. The fuzzy-faced otter pup, now estimated to be about two months old, was found swimming alone in open water off northern Vancouver Island and brought to the Rescue Centre by a concerned citizen.

You first met the pup on ZooBorns when he was just a few weeks old. Since his arrival at the Rescue Centre, the tiny otter has received 24-hour care from staff and volunteers who feed, bathe and groom him, just as his mother would in the wild. Baby Sea Otters cannot survive on their own, and depend on their mothers for the first six months of life.

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20140134_10154575725655800_4031873439886710919_nPhoto Credits: Vancouver Aquarium (1,3,4,5); Meighan Makarchuk (2)

Care and rehabilitation of rescued marine mammals is very labor-intensive, and it takes a whole team of dedicated staff and volunteers to care for this tiny pup.




The little Otter continues to gain weight steadily and has been growing stronger and more active. He now weighs nearly nine pounds and is growing quickly. He is still nursing from the bottle, and drinks 25 percent of his body weight per day in a special Otter pup formula made by the animal care team.  This week, the baby Otter was offered his first solid food – five grams of clams, which he gobbled up enthusiastically.  He eats every three hours, 24 hours a day.

The care team says the pup is curious and enjoys exploring. He pup is now grooming himself a little bit, but still needs help from the care team to remain clean and fluffy.  They also report that the pup is learning to dive and can dive to the bottom of his swim tub to retrieve toys.

Sea Otters are and Endangered species. They were hunted for their fur until the early 20th century, when their population fell to just a few thousand individuals in a tiny portion of their former range. Bans on hunting and other conservation measures have helped, but Sea Otters are still threatened by fishing net entanglement and oil spills.

 

Extant Gowns I adore

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:56 pm
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[personal profile] glittersweet

 


Mantua, V&A Museum, London



  • Place of origin:  Spitalfields (textile, weaving) England (mantua, sewing)

  • Date: ca. 1720 (weaving)  1720-1730 (sewing)

  • Artist/Maker: Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques: Silk, silk thread, silver-gilt thread; hand-woven brocading, hand-sewn.

  • Museum number: T.88 to C-1978

  • Gallery location: In Storage

  • Interactive full views


I am not sure if the petticoat and front are original, if they are it’s a lovely example of a non matching set.  There are a handful of these early mantua that are extant. The very delicate colour choices of pale blue and silver would have made this stand out in candlelight.

Smokey

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:22 pm
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Posted by Tom "The Kittenmaster" Cooper

Please put your paws in the air and welcome our Caturday Star Kit, Smokey. She is 7 years old from Preston, Lancashire, UK.

Smokey

Smokey was adopted when she was 6 years old. She was abandoned by her owner and then spent 10 months in the shelter without a single expression of interest. I saw her on a featured cat advert and fell in love. Happy 1 year anniversary!

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

As part of my continuing effort to justify the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription I have, I’ve been playing with my Audition audio software and learning how to use it. Today I learned how to make a multitrack file! Go me. I also played with the various filters in the software to distort and shape sounds.

All of which is to say I recorded a song today and it is very very noisy indeed. It’s “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which is my favorite song from the Eurythmics. Here it is (and no, it’s not actually nine minutes long, I don’t know why the media player says that. It’s, like, five):

Yes, that’s me singing. No, Annie Lennox doesn’t have a thing to worry about.

In case you’re curious, every noise on that track either comes out of me, or out of an acoustic tenor guitar. Audio filters are fun! Let’s just say I let my Thurston out to play, and if you get that reference, congratulations, you’re old too.

No, I’m not giving up my day job. Relax. But I do enjoy playing with sounds. This is fun for me.

In any event: Enjoy the noise.


Four Weeks of Travel…

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] schlockmercenary_feed

Posted by Howard Tayler

On Wednesday, July 26th, I fly out of Salt Lake City for a series of events. On Monday, August 21st, I fly back into Salt Lake City and then hook a ride back to my house.

My house, my bed, my 4-monitor PC, my lit-from-four-sides drawing table, my kitchen, my food, okay yeah my kids, my couch, my TV…

Four weeks.

FOUR WEEKS.

I’m not looking forward to this. Sure, I’m totally looking forward to the events themselves, but concatenating them in this way is throttling the joyful anticipation a bit.

The events in question? WXR 2017 on a cruise ship near something called “Europe,” WorldCon 75 in Helsinki, and GenCon Indy in Indianapolis. I get a few days of rest between each event, and that rest is theoretically enhanced by me being not on airplanes to and from my house. Also, it’s more cost-effective.

During this time it is possible that I’ll drop of the internet and forget to do things like review movies (which I won’t be seeing anyway, I guess) and participate in social media stuff.

Fortunately, the thing most people expect from me—a steady, daily supply of Schlock Mercenary—will continue for the duration of my trip. As of this writing I’m 42 days ahead, and the server’s queue of comics has been populated to the point that it can (and will!) automatically deliver comics each day without any help from me.

If you’re coming to WXR 2017, WorldCon 75, or GenCon Indy, and you happen to meet me, you now know why I look like a piece of lost meat-luggage that is three weeks past its sell-by date.

Aposematism

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:53 am
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Posted by James Gurney

Aposematism is a special coloration designed to scare off potential predators. It also includes other kinds of warning signals such as foul odors or attention-getting sounds.

Lowland streaked tenrec
It's effectively the opposite of camouflage. Instead of blending into the background, the aposematic color scheme reminds predators to stay away to avoid getting stung or poisoned, thus saving both animals from potential harm.

Poison dart frog
Young predators sometimes make the mistake of attacking one of these conspicuous species. If the attacker survives the experience, it learns to avoid them in the future. The system of defense therefore works best against predators who are able to learn.


The coral snake (above) is poisonous, but the harmless milk snake (below) mimics its coloration and derives a benefit.


Aposematic colors in insects are often red, yellow, orange, and black, colors that are can be seen by birds, lizards, and primates, their chief predators. The skunk uses black and white, because that pattern is most noticeable to mammalian predators.
-----
Aposematism on Wikipedia

Blacklight Sunset

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:44 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Because sometimes it’s fun to play with Photoshop’s sliders and see what you come up with. This is what happens (in part) when you push the “dehaze” slider all the way to the right. The real sunset didn’t look like this (it looked like this), but I think it might be cool to live on a planet where the sunset did look like that, every once in a while.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.


[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

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A record 51 Tasmanian Devil joeys were born this season at Devil Ark, a free-range breeding facility aimed at saving this iconic Australian marsupial from extinction.

This brings the total number of joeys born at Devil Ark to more than 250 since it was founded in 2010 to establish an insurance population for the now-endangered Tasmanian Devil.

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19424508_1720756647953859_9021157066506608210_nPhoto Credit: Devil Ark



More than 90% of the wild Tasmanian Devil population has disappeared in the past 20 years due to an aggressive, transmissible cancer called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD).  The Australian island state of Tasmania is the only wild home of these unique creatures.

Tasmanian Devils are marsupials, so like all marsupials, the jellybean-sized babies are born in a very underdeveloped state.  About 30-50 are born, and they must crawl from the birth canal into their mother’s pouch immediately - a distance of about three inches. But female Devils have only four teats, so only the first four to attach to a teat will survive. The babies remain attached to a teat constantly for about three months. When they emerge from the pouch, they will ride on mom’s back.  

The Devils at Devil Ark are one of dozens insurance populations in Australia and at zoos around the world. DFTD is a fatal condition and has spread rapidly across Tasmania, driving the need for disease-free, genetically diverse populations as possibly the only way to save Devils from extinction.

DFTD is one of only four known naturally occurring transmissible cancers. It is transmitted like a contagious disease through biting and close contact, which occurs when wild Tasmanian Devils feed in groups, battling for access to a carcass. Devils develop large facial tumors which make eating difficult. Affected animals die from starvation.

Tasmania Devils play a vital role in Tasmania’s ecosystems by scavenging on dead animals. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Researchers are working to better understand DFTD, which was only identified in 1996.    

Artist of the Month: Frederic Church

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:00 am
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Posted by William O'Connor

-By William O’Connor



Almost ten years ago I moved with my family to live on the Hudson River about 20 miles north of Manhattan. As an artist I was immediately struck by the beauty of the river and came to realize the extensive artistic heritage of the Hudson. This week I was finally able to realize an item on my art wish list and took a trip up the river to visit the historic Olana Estate, the home of 19th century American Master of the Hudson River School Frederic Church (1826-1900).

Many times in the past in this series I have talked about the tumultuous events of the 19th century, Romanticism, The Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. The social, political and subsequently artistic changes were radical. Most of the posts I have written however have looked at this change from the European perspective. By looking at Church we can see the same changes reflected by the American artist. Church’s career encapsulates the most revolutionary generation in American history, stretching from a pre-Civil War agrarian society, to a trans continental superpower in less than 40 years.

Church was born into a traditional monied family in rural Connecticut before steam locomotives began to transform New England. As a young man Church became the pupil of Thomas Cole, a British landscape painter who founded the Hudson River School. Cole’s Romantic style (like Friedrich, Martin  or Turner -click on link to see those Artist of the Month’s) exalted and celebrated in the power of nature over man. The landscape painting became the source by which an artist could pay homage to the beauty of God’s creation. Under Cole’s tutelage Church adopted this Romantic style.

In 1861 America underwent a violent transformation. The industrial revolution pushed the traditionally agrarian nation to a breaking point as to what kind of country it would be in the future. An expanding, modern world power, or a traditional farming society. The American Civil War separates America’s 19th century experience from that of its European counterparts by catapulting the nation into industrial superpower status practically overnight. Less than four years after the end of the war the transcontinental railroad is completed; before the end of the century the United States will double in population (30 million to 60 million) and would add a dozen new stars to its flag. Expansion and growth socially, technologically, societally and of course artistically were transforming the nation at an unimaginable speed.

Church was as transformed by the war as the country. Before the war he had traveled extensively to Europe and South America to study the majestic landscapes, most famously for his painting “The Heart of the Andes” 1859. At ten feet wide it was a work so meticulously detailed that it served as a botanical guide, and so luminous it was presented to the public like a modern day blockbuster film, with audiences queuing to get a look at the famous painting with opera glasses at a railing, as if gazing out a picture window.  The sale of paintings like Heart of the Andes and others made Church famous and rich.

Only a few years after the war Church began the Olana estate on the Hudson in the very region where he had studied with Thomas Cole. Church, the Hudson River School and the American Frontier had become a powerful brand. The American vista had become something to claim as America's Manifest Destiny. Whereas in Europe artists were depicting their imperial legacy with Victorian paintings of  Roman bath houses and picturesque landscapes of ruins and cathedrals, in America the landscape was its legacy, its panoramic natural splendor was its cathedral bequeathed to a fledgling empire by God. American Nationalism was tied to its landscape with Church and other contemporary artists like Albert Beirstadt painting a bright future written across the sky (literally and figuratively). In his later years Church's artistic output diminished and the Hudson Valley School went out of style sending Church into semi retirement. After his death large landscape paintings fell out of fashion for most of the twentieth century. Today a renaissance of academic 19th century art has renewed interest in The Hudson River School and Frederick Church leaving an artistic legacy uniquely American.

For those artists, and art aficionados, living or visiting the American East Coast and New York City, I highly recommend the artist’s trail along the Hudson River, from the Brooklyn Museum, to the Hudson River Museum  in Yonkers, up to Storm King Art Center  in New Windsor, NY, The Dia Museum  in Beacon and up to Olana Mansion in Hudson NY.

Get out there and explore!

Enjoy

WOC

Below is a selection of Church paintings as well as a link to the photos of my trip to Olana State Historic Mansion

"The Heart of the Andes" 1859

"Aurora Borealis" 1865




"Niagra Falls, from the American Side" 1867

"Olana" 1870


Cleves updates

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:32 am
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[personal profile] glittersweet

Firstly some headgear progress 🙂 Becase my pearlwork is so dimensional I need a flat brocade front, and then am able to have a flat but slightly more texture brocade for the haub.



Then we have the brocade for the collar and neckline. Yep, pressed the brocade into a curve! Ditto for the piece above actually 🙂



I’m super happy about the collar 🙂 I keep readjusing the neckline though.


 


I have tried it all on and I think I’ll just do some judicious padding of my inner layers as I am rather not as wide across my chest.


The skirt has a flatlining, and I kind of wish I hadn’t but it would require some serious careful unpicking because I used a triple stitch. This makes the diagonal seams as strong as if I had used a backstitch- I’ve had side seams pop a few times and the weight of this hem would definitely do that!



And yes, I have been working on her distinctive partlet 🙂 Pearling is not going to be fun but what the hey?



 

ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
I have book hangover, so bad. I finished the not-a-book (my fourth!) late Wednesday night, not dragging into bed until about midnight.

Yesterday, I was too busy to really process it, and too tired. Guppy got me up at 3 in the morning, though she went right back to sleep. That, with the late night, meant I was pretty wiped. And then we put the roof on the woodshed! It is an actual woodshed, with a roof! After a day of blistering heat, it was obliging enough to rain last night, and we went out and stood in our perfectly dry (if wall-less, still) woodshed. Horrah!

Today, however, I wandered around staring at things a lot, feeling vaguely overwhelmed and more than a little lost. The book... is done? It's... done? Wait, what? Professional writers may laugh. There are a billion things to do, not the least of which is start the next book, but I'm mostly just finding myself wanting to lie down on the floor and watch dust settle, or binge-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or something.

And there's Sketch Fest today! https://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/sketchfest/

I haven't done anything for it yet, but I hope to tonight.

I'm a featured artist at a Tarot Expo tomorrow, which is fun! I am going to be bringing art supplies and offering $15 on-the-spot commissions for personal tarot ACEOs. Just rough sketches, color or pencil. We'll see how it goes. Locals, I'll be at the Coop Plaza, 12-4, at Woven Sylver. They are going to have tarot readers and demos and workshops from 10-5. (And probably cookies, but don't quote me.)

It's taken me HOURS to write this, so here's some more new art, and I'm going to go eat chocolate and pour a stiff drink. BOOK DONE. BRAIN GONE.


Another of the exclusive pieces for Color On! Magazine.
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

Memphis Zoo_Baby giraffe and mom

The Memphis Zoo happily announced the arrival of a male Reticulated Giraffe calf on July 12. Giraffe mom, Wendy, chose to remain outside on-exhibit during her labor. Her new calf, Wakati, was born in the open area of the Zoo’s giraffe lot.

Wakati arrived after 15 months of gestation and is Memphis Zoo’s second giraffe birth in three months. His parents are first-time mom, Wendy, and experienced father, Niklas (who is also dad to Bogey, born April 3 of this year). Wendy was also born at Memphis Zoo in 2010 to mother, Marilyn, who remains part of the Zoo herd. Eight-year-old Niklas arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2015 from the Naples Zoo in Florida.

“We are thrilled to welcome Wakati to our giraffe family, as we’ve been waiting a while for this new baby,” shared Courtney Janney, Area Curator. “Wakati means “time” in Swahili, and we felt it was a good fit for our new arrival. Wendy immediately began showing appropriate maternal instincts, and we anticipate her keeping a close eye on Wakati as he integrates into the herd and begins to show independence.”

Memphis Zoo_Baby Giraffe solo

Memphis Zoo_Baby GiraffePhoto Credits: Memphis Zoo

After 24 hours of acclimation and close monitoring, Wakati’s first medical check-up was performed. This first examination ensured that the new baby was healthy and nursing, while providing the baseline needed to assess future growth.

“Wakati’s neonatal exam went great! He looks strong and healthy,” reported Dr. Felicia Knightly, senior veterinarian at Memphis Zoo Animal Hospital. “Wakati is 5’10” in height and weighed in at 125 pounds. He’s nursing well and Wendy is already taking good care of him.”

Wakati was welcomed into the herd by another female, Angela Kate, who was in the yard during Wakati’s first steps. Although Wendy started to bond with Wakati moments after the birth by licking him clean and encouraging first steps, Angela Kate remained close by to help.

The giraffe herd at Memphis Zoo has now climbed to a total of nine with the birth of Wakati. From 1996 to 2006, Memphis Zoo did not have a single giraffe birth. Since 2006, at least one new giraffe calf has been born every year. Memphis Zoo has kept Reticulated Giraffes in their facility since August 1957.

The Reticulated Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulate) is one of nine recognized subspecies of giraffe. Easily the tallest species on the planet, the giraffe can browse on leaves that Africa’s other grazing herbivores can’t reach.

Giraffes travel in loose, informal herds and can be found in eastern, central and southern Africa. They range across savannah, grasslands, and open woods in search of trees (especially their favorite, acacias) to feed upon.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:12 am
kittydesade: Insect wings that could be from fairies, too, with dew and the edges of pink-purple flower petals. (faery wings)
[personal profile] kittydesade
Well not only did I end up staying up a bit too late last night (for a night of capoeira class) I woke up at least twice in the middle of the night and didn't end up getting out of bed till 7.30. (For those keeping score at home I usually wake up around 6.30 and faff about on the phone doing language crap and silly games and get up at 7, shower and start the day). And then the boy somehow managed to lose Bat Cat TWICE, I got him back the first time and the boy lost him and got him back from the utility room in about five minutes the second time, and figured out that Bat Cat seems to think Scurry Out Of The House Proper Between The Human's Legs is a fun game. He won't actually go anywhere, he just likes to freak us out.

SIGH. Sigh everything, basically.

I got the tier levels for Patreon mostly sorted out, I got some bio stuff up there, I think the next step is to figure out the coding for the polls and Tuckerization and then

(then I forgot to finish and post this because of Chester Bennington's suicide throwing me entirely off my stride and sending me to the couch of despair and ennui for the rest of the night.)

But I did manage to wake up on time and get through the morning stuff, including doing a bunch of exercises which I haven't done in a couple of days. Though to be entirely fair Wednesday's lack of morning exercise is always because I go to capoeira class in the evening.

Having one of those days where apparently I can't say anything on Twitter without it turning into Discourse, usually involving some form of "you're wrong and this made me angry that you're wrong" so instead I ended up staying off Twitter and going through some old writing, and writing a bunch of summaries of my various worlds for Patreon. And then remembering that I'd written this thing and that thing and finding this other thing in my documents folder that I'd forgotten. And getting utterly distracted by everything.

(Note to self: this weekend you are rereading Pen Bryton and the Storms bits and the "what the shit is this?" thing to familiarize yourself, not to edit it and redo it for posting and publishing all at once.)

Blergh. I have a hair appointment, which because I'm a socially anxious idiot I forgot to say "no I can't do this at 10 I have a class" so instead of doing capoeira tomorrow I will be getting my hairs cut and then running several blocks to capoeira, so this is going to be interesting. I would skip but Deutschkind is going to be there and I haven't seen her in ages and if nothing else I can catch the last 30 or so and play games and sing songs and be ridiculous with my capoeira peeps. And then apparently there will be endless errands after.

I'm in a weird headplace such that I feel scattered because I did that stupid scheduling thing, but I have a plan to deal with it, other things are moving forward, and I'm keeping up with my writing and to some extent my languages so I don't feel entirely behind? Or out of control of things. But. I don't know, it's all very weird. I guess I'll take it though. It's not bad, just a bit left of center. Also my Patreon is almost ready and a lot less nerve-wracking to get through if it's going to be monthly, stupid Patreon and your weird inability to get a coherent explanation of how per-creation setup works. You couldn't just have it be like a Kickstarter and then when you've delivered all the tier rewards it wipes it all down and you can start another one? Ugh.

Paranatural - Chapter 5 Page 212

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:42 pm
[syndicated profile] paranatural_feed

New comic!

Today's News:

Sorry for the wait, page took longer than I expected to finish! Hope you're having a good Friday!

New Books and ARCs, 7/21/17

Jul. 21st, 2017 08:53 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

As we ease on into another summer weekend, here are the new books and ARCs that have come to the Scalzi Compound this week. What do you like here? Share your feelings in the comments!


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