Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A Fowl Family

A Hen and two chicks

Instincts are amazing. Bits of compiled code that run the little wet processor in a chicken's head. Chickens don't need anyone to teach them to take care of themselves.

I found this drawing in an old sketchbook. I liked the look of the hen, and the chicks. I especially liked the one on the right. At first I made the mama a white chicken, but as I added color and texture I liked the yellow-gold better. Digital art is easy to change, I can always do something different later.

Our grand boys have chickens, but they don't look like this. And the hens don't have any chicks, but they lay a lot of eggs. Which we help eat. So much for instincts.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

A Friendly Rodent

A squirrel under a tree
Squirrels are the most common furry quadrupeds we see in our neighborhood. (We also have snakes, but they have no legs or fur, and are disgusting.) Occasionally deer wander through the yard, eating our blueberries and corn. Sometimes we see chipmunks, running with their tails sticking up straight in the air, like the flags we had on our stingray bikes back in the 1970s. Rabbits show up now and then. They have nice ears, so that's fun, but they always seem nervous.

Squirrels always seem happy, sitting up, looking around alertly, or leaping from place to place as if there was nothing to fear. Unfortunately their care-free nature can reveal an underlying foolishness. On one occasion, I saw one happily leap into the street, into the path of an oncoming car (mine). A sad way to go for a happy guy.

The squirrels around here have a peculiar habit. When I am out for my morning walk/jog, I will see squirrels crouched in the road, sipping away at trickles of water emerging from cracks in the road. Why do they do that? Isn't there a better place to get a drink of water? Does it taste better coming from the road? Maybe they think it is from a mineral spring.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Hungry Fox

A fox looking longingly a grapes
There is an old story by the Brothers Grimm about a hungry fox. This story is where we get the idiom "sour grapes." You can read about it in this Wikipedia entry. You can read a version in Latin on this page, if you dare. To make easy on everyone, here is the version on Wikipedia:

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked "Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes."

People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.

I made this picture as a fun exercise, starting with another drawing in a sketchbook. I colored it using digital brush strokes in Affinity Designer. Fun and fast!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Early Bird!

A bird pulling up a worm
The early bird gets the worm! True enough, if you get up early, you can see birds getting worms! They can have them, thanks.

Here is a mystery that has puzzled me through the years. After a good rain, there are usually worms all over the roads and sidewalks. But I never see birds going after them. Are the worms too bloated with rain water to be tasty?

Maybe if I get up earlier on rainy days I will see birds feasting. Maybe I don't see them because they are already full of wormy goodness.

This drawing started as a Sharpy marker drawing on newsprint. I scanned it, traced it in Inkscape, and colored it with Affinity Designer.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Looking Closely at Small Things

A scientist looking closely at a speck of lint
The world is full of interesting things. Even uninteresting things become sources of wonder and mystery if you look closely enough.

But sometimes a speck of lint is just lint.

This one started as a chunky marker drawing, the marker was drying out. I scanned it and gave it a good coloring and texturing in Affinity Designer.