Sketchs

Koala portrait

koala web

Can I take a little nap after lunch?

Koalas are creatures somewhat like me in this days, or vice versa… well disposed to nap anytime, with picky taste for food and suffering the heat of the summer.
I found a Koala photo on the image bank of my old computer and can´t stand the chance to try to add a new specie to my drawing list, so here we go! Hope you like it

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Born to be a Killer

Killer whales are spectacular creatures, they are the largest among his kin: the dolphins. They are smart, with a fancy look, sometimes friendly and capable to eat viciously a great deal of meat! What else you need to fall in love with them?

I’m drawing for some prints on T-shirts based on Patagonian fauna, and on the way I left some unfinished sketches and drawings… this time the post is about an Orcinus orca skull I composed from various sources.

orca craneo boceto web

Orca Skull + hyoides

orca craneo B web

An almost finished skull drawing… I still have to make some changes to get more accurate anatomical details

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The Titan inside all of us..

Atlas is the name of the first cervical vertebrae, because it supports the “globe ” of the head like the primordial titan of the greek mythology.

I’ve been wandering at the hills days ago, with the senses sticked to the ground hoping to find new treasures, and In the middle of this noble quest  (like a lesser Humboldt or D’Orbigny ) I stumble with a solitary vertebrae..

vistas foto web

Indeterminate mammal atlas in anterior, dorsal, posterior and lateral views (scale = 1cm)

… and a solitary vertebrae entails many questions for the curious!

Knowing that I could take good photos of it at home, I grab the fieldbook and my pencil ready to spend a good time sketching the details while cleaning a little the dirt.

atlas 4 web

Anterior view (detail)

atlas 2 web

Posterior view (detail)

atlas 1 limpio web

A: original sketch depicting half sides at the same time (to save time and avoid parallax errors), B: Anterior view mirrored by computer, C: Posterior view also mirrored by computer.

atlas 3 web

Speaking of parallax.. A: Dorsal view sketch as it was done, B: Same sketch rotated 90º to note the false alignment, C: Dorsal view (left side mirrored), D: Dorsal view (right side mirrored), note the vast differences between both sides.

Beyond the fine concave-convex surfaces, there are many things to consider: such as the broken transverse processes  (perhaps by a predator?), or the different colors of the bone (how much time was semi buried?),  which animal belonged? and where are the remainder bones? (essential question if it were a paleontological find!)

Questions like these took away my sleep as a kid, and fill my dreams as an adult. Whether as a naturalist or an artist, looking at the ground and sky with the intensity of a child is the key to life itself!
So, let the kids play in the mud!

atlas 5 web

The inspiring side of the atlas?

  

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Shorebirds everywhere!

I have been struggling with two big commissioned works, one pile of maps, and some nice sketches for brainstorm with a client. And in between that, I have the news of one wonderful activity coming soon: The World Shorebirds’ day.
What better thing than leave a weekend to draw birds in the field just to take a break?
To not reach with cold hands at the date, I’m sketching during breaks from work … I leave here some, scanned and cleaned:

Chorlito de collar web

Collared plover (Charadrius collaris)

 

Tero real 2 web

South american stilt (Himantopus melanurus)

 

 

 

Becasina común web

South American snipe (Gallinago paraguaiae)

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Taking up the line

I’ve had to make a break over a few days in my Huemul project.
Sometimes, freelance work has its ups and downs, and one must be able to deal with multiple jobs at the same time or none at all!
The good new is that I’m climbing quite up in my list of commissioned drawings, and for the next weeks I will be very busy! So, to start the final drawing of my Huemul family I must warm up my hands and brain on the subject.
Here it goes another round of sketches ( please note the quality improvement! 😀 )

huemul monocromo web

I like more and more the way my brush is acquiring fluidity at the sketches, and this time I don’t even use the pencil to set the first lines!

The baby, black Faber Castel Polycromos on plain paper

huemul bebe web

Mommy, Lyra Rembrandt burnt ochre also on plain paper
(I did this earlier than the above)

huemul rembrandt web

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Huemul 101

Few days ago I started a new commissioned work, about extinct and extant fauna from patagonia.
I’m very happy because I’ll have to portrait a wide range of topics and many animals that I always wanted to paint.

Among them is the almost extinct Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus)
The south Andean deer struggles to survive the poachers, car accidents and failed attempts to enforce the laws made to protect them. Though the present of this natural monument is complicated, now the populations are slowly growing again to overcome the darker recent past…

Craneo web  Huemul 1 web

 

I’ve started doodling some silhouettes and bones without references while I was at the field last week, then when I came at home I had to restart from zero to do the correct anatomy.

Huemul 2 web  Huemul 3 web

Huemul 4 web

Using lots of photos and some animal anatomy books I finally feel comfortable enough to unfold my “frozen” deers and happily let them hang around the sheet…

 

Huemul 5 web  Huemul 6 web

Huemul 7 web  Huemul 8 web

Huemul 9 web

 

Well this is just the beginning! I hope I could turn this series on a constant flow of posts…

Deers!
(Cheers!)

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Just to not disappear..

Despite my intentions to revisit the issue of the fossils in my drawings, I leave these sketches to keep the blog active!

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I’m programming give a very basic workshop on bird drawing in a couple of months.
So since that project arose, I’m drawing birds whenever I have a break from work.

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That does not mean fossils left my hand, I’m just drawing a lot of things at once (and when one is ambitious … things take extra work!)

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A live model

 

 

 

 

Few days ago I went to a “Drawing Jam”, to draw live models while some musicians play very nice music (sometimes bossa, jazz, blues..)

It was a fantastic moment albeit the poor light and my personal entanglement with the sheets of paper, the pencils and so on…

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Draw a live model is a challenge that I did not take quite some time,

and having to deal with a palpitating beauty of marble adds unexpected winks to the task.

 

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From the beginning I knew it would be impossible to convey what the senses perceived…

 

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…so I sailed away on the experimentation, like long ago I do not do.

 

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The drawing of a live model is an act of love, a sensual dialogue if you will.
Beyond the inherent beauty of this model, with all the people I had to draw, I felt this strange connection.

 

Imagen

 

Between stroke and stroke, are hidden a thousand glimpses,

and from the infinite dimensions that shaped that moment, only these two survive.

Rough as cave paintings, silent, intriguing…

 

Imagen

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Engraved by fire

Imagen

 

When I sat down to draw and paint this watercolor,

I did so thinking in a green forest and how the warm colored sheet will influence the outcome.

Then, when I left the pencil, all the green was gone in the presence of deep remembrances of the fire.

 

In September last year, the mountains near my city caught fire.

Not just one but dozens forest fire in almost all the territory of my state.

My parents and some of my friends live in a small village between the valleys and I was visiting them few days before the wildfires started.

It is very difficult for me to translate what those days meant to me and what I experienced (even I can hardly put into words in my mother tongue).

Good, bad, heroic and crazy things.
Dantesque landscapes, ordinary people taking mythical proportions.
Facing the power of fire, who like a ravenous dragon that crosses the hills, going down the valley, running through the grassland … claims everything.

 

Eight months have passed since then, and is growing again green over black.
But it seems that the baptism of fire in my eyes and my skin has left a live coal to my whole life.

A vision that changed unconsciously my innocent exercise, in testimony of what was.

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Homework (yes homework!)

Today I was amazed to find my blog, in a list among some colossal websites:

1) PBS Watch Video: Darwin Never Knew http://video.pbs.org/video/1372073556/

2) Natural History Museum http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/evolution/what-is-evolution/index.html

3) Understanding Evolution http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01

4) NeoK12 http://www.neok12.com/Human-Evolution.htm

5) PBS So Cal http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/evolution/#

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/

6) American Museum of Natural History http://www.amnh.org/explore/ology/paleontology

7) Smithsonian Museum http://www.si.edu/Imax/movie/130

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-evolution-timeline-interactive

8) Cleveland Museum of Natural History-Lucy and Human Evolution https://www.cmnh.org/announcements/new-human-origins-gallery

9) Drawing Fossils https://drawingfossils.wordpress.com/   (!)

10)  Famous Paleontologist http://www.mnh.si.edu/onehundredyears/profiles/Arthur_Cooper.html

11)  Charles Darwin http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/scientists/charlesdarwin.html

 

Yes! this is Mrs. Flores homework about: Evolution!

And it took me by surprise! But, if you ask me:

I’m a scientific illustrator, and for me evolution is the source of all life forms that amaze me daily, and through its understanding, I feel connected with all living beings.

As evolution is part of science, my job is to help scientists to understand it, and also to get this wonder to everyone.

Working with fossils, marine animals, plants, insects, mammals and many more, gave me the chance to discover the world with new eyes, curious eyes that see more than my hands can draw: the evolution in each bird and each beetle.

 

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Thank you very much for considering me Mrs. Flores!

I tried to send you an email but I could not reach you…

Best regards!

Manuel

 

 

 

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