Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blue Sea Slug Illustration

Several fans have requested this creature- the Glaucus Atlanticus, a nudibranch.  They feed on the portuguese man-o-war and in doing so borrow both their blue tint and toxicity.  They look like flowers, so I drew an arrangement of three.  The amount of blue varies by individual but it's always striking.  

This is a shallow water illustration, so I suggested sand with the tan.  A soft drop shadow also helps them to "float".

The last step is the color. I used the pen tool to draw vector shapes to constrain the blue layers.  Each has a dark blue, light blue and white layer.  The most challenging part was the white stroke in each petal.  I am still getting used to the pressure control my wacom tablet offers.  I am happy with the end result.  If I sketched all day I could not magine such an incredible creature.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Penguin Illustration

After scanning in the penguin drawing, I was able to paint in one sitting.  He took about 5 hours of photoshop time to illustrate.
My favorite part of the work was detailing the edges of the black and white bands.  The feathers that make up the edges have a very attractive texture.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Penguin Pencil Drawing

I don't want to ignore all the non-fish that also swim in the ocean.  So here is a penguin drawing from earlier today.  I love to visit penguins at the zoo, but am pretty sure I be uncomfortable swimming with them.  Maybe that discomfort is a built in protection honed by generations of ancestors who survived by avoiding wild animals?   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Balloon Fish Illustration -Finished!

All done!  A bit of shadow and sketchy seaweed anchors the bottom.  A lighter background layer brings the image into the shallows.   A smudgy speckle brush hints at this fish's mottled, random coloring.  I don't remember ever seeing such a happy fish.  The balloon fish is my new favorite.  

Balloon Fish Illustration In Progress

I've imported the sketch into photoshop, and started layering colors. I'd like to bring back the relaxed watercolor feel of the blue ring octopus illustration and use the same tones because both creatures are a creamy mottled white with patterning.  I love how bright the eyes appear so far.  Next I'll fine tune the shading and gradient layers and look at different ways to anchor the bottom of the illustration.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Balloon Fish Sketch

My glamorous cousin went scuba diving and was kind enough to send me some pictures of the balloon fish.  This friendly little fish puffs up when threatened into a little ball of spikes.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrxmYVY1yo8&feature=related .
 I wonder if the makers of Gremlins had a pictre of this fish on their inspiration board.  Gizmo could definitely be a cousin.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cuttlefish Baby Illustration Finished

While I'd love to stipple every delicate dot on this baby cuttlefish, I'm going to have to call this done.  I'm content with the hypnotic eye and delicate flounce.  Float off little fishling.