'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

In the Beginning

....there was a sketch. And the sketch seemed to have potential.  And the artist smiled.

(I did this on my new iPad.  Using an app called 'Paper'. )

I have done something similar before, and it was quite successful:

Naturalist's Diary Page. (Godwit Series).
I like exploring the elements of the Godwit's surroundings up in Alaska, their lowland tundra nesting grounds.  For a start, in their breeding plumage they are so much more brightly coloured than their umbers and grays down here in New Zealand.
And when I add some of their significant food and predators, all burgeoning in the fast albeit short Alaskan summer, it's a recipe for a colourful and interesting piece of art.  The writing is the kinds of things I imagine, from my extensive readings, that an early naturalist might write...

Sunday, 9 March 2014

A Fun '3D' Drawing Activity

If you have a spare ten minutes and want to create something a bit different, try making this 3D drawing of a hand.  It's quite simple to do but looks rather effective.

You'll need:
A hand (yours will do at a pinch if you can't grab a kid's.)
A piece of paper
A pencil
Two or more colours of felt pens (I used highlighters) and a black.

How to do it:
1.  Place the hand on the paper, fingers spread out.
2.  With the pencil, draw lightly around and up the wrist a little.

3.  Starting at the wrist end of the paper, on the far left hand side corner, with one of the felt pens, draw a horizontal line up to the pencil contour, at which point you curve up until about the middle of the wrist, then curve down again (to about the same place where you would have been had you not curved at all) and continue the horizontal line. You don't have to worry about being a bit wobbly.

4.  Start just above this line, and with the other colours, do the same thing.

5.  Repeat until you have covered the whole paper.  If you come to a finger just curve 'over' it and 'down' the other side.  Draw horizontal lines where there is no finger.
6.  With the same colour pens, go over the lines again just around where they cross the pencil.  This will enhance the shadow effect.  If you experiment, you can do it better than me.  Pretend which side the 'light' is coming from and make other 'side' of the hand/finger darker (in shadow).

6.  Stand back and admire your work!  If you want to be fussy, you can rub out the pencil line.

It looks a bit like one of these, doesn't it?


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sunset - 8pm.

Here's the view from our front door a few minutes ago.  The clouds have respectfully parted to allow the crescent moon to have centre stage.

It looks especially nice in the lightbox (click image).