Monday, January 9, 2017

Watercolor Rodents #5: Agouti


As I mentioned in a previous post, for a long time I thought I had once seen a capybara, but turns out it was actually an agouti. Agoutis are similar, but actually quite smaller than the largest rodents. Also, they tend to live in forested areas (where I saw the one I had mistaken for a capybara), while capybaras tend to be found in open areas near bodies of water.

One thing they have in common: they are both adorable!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Watercolor Rodents #4: Gundi

Gundis, according to Wikipedia, are small, stocky rodents that live in Africa. To me, they look like short-eared rabbits. Very unusual short ears. Cool fact: rabbits are no longer considered rodents, and actually are placed in a completely different order, Lagomorpha, which also includes pikas. What they all have in common, though, is that their incisor teeth grow continuously. But rodents only have enamel on the front of their incisors, while rabbits and their kin have enamel both on the front and back of theirs. Also, rabbits are strictly vegetarians, while many rodent species are not.
Gundis are vegetarian, and their incisors lack the enamel found in other rodents. For some reason, their hind feet have comb-like bristles, which is why they are also called comb rats.

I'm not sure why, when I scan these paintings I get these weird peach-colored streaks. You can see them in the chin area and between the hind leg and body. Perhaps the scanner doesn't process these type of colors the same way as it does bird colors, and I need to find a way to fix this.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Watercolor Rodents #3: Capybara


From my travel journal, chronicling my trip to La Tigra National Park in Honduras, December 10, 2005:
̏The park, supposedly a dry cloud forest, behaved like a rain forest and was very wet. In the second part, mostly, I felt how non waterproof my shoes were. I was soaked from the knees down. And it was dark and foggy at times. The birds, also, didn't like it, so I haven't seen many. Actually, I probably saw more birds outside the park. I saw woodpeckers, a blackbird the size of a jay, with bright blue wings, a black bird with yellow back, his wife, and black birds with shiny wings that seemed blue when they were flying. At first, I was dissapointed - I heard many sounds of wildlife, but saw nothing but some small gray songbirds and some pigeons (!!) 
"But then I saw this cute creature! I think it's called capibara [sic]. He was standing on the path for a while and then ran away. That was worth the whole 5-hour hike! It really made my day!"
Turns out I actually didn't see a capybara. Capybaras are only found naturally in South America, not Central America. What I saw was probably an agouti, which is a distant relative. Capybaras are the largest rodents and they are more closely related to guinea pigs than to agoutis. Live and learn!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Watercolor Rodents #2: Kangaroo Rat

Isn't this the most adorable thing?
Kangaroo rats are native to Western North America. There are similar rodents in Australia, but they are, unfortunately, deprived of having "kangaroo" in their name, and are simply called hopping mice.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Watercolor Rodents: North American Porcupine

Me: I think I'm going to watercolor rodents next.
Myself: Sounds like a good idea. I mean, you've experimented with drawing feathers, fur should be next.
Me: Right? [searching Wikipedia for "rodents"] Whoa! Porcupines are rodents! I should start with them.
Myself: Why not? It's not like they're the most difficult rodent to paint, with all the quills, or spines, or whatever... [sighs]


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Pinch Punch Post: Pygmy Hippo

There's a new (to me) Twitter challenge, which I actually started last month. It's only once a month, on the 1st, and the topic is an animal. So I can I resist, right?
This month the animal is Pygmy Hippopotamus!

In watercolors


Last month's was a fox:

In colored pencils


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Watercolor Birds: New Year Card-inal


This is the last Watercolor Bird for 2016. May 2017 be filled with birds and birdsong for you all!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Baggy Craft

So there were a few things I wanted to accomplish during this break. I did get to follow a very extensive Adobe Illustrator on-line course. It was so comprehensive, organized, and clear, it's amazing it's free. I was hoping to actually do my own original work in Ai as practice, but it's hard for me to get stuff like that done when my other half takes times off work and stays home. For the same reason, I also didn't get to do much of watercolor rodents. I know, excuses, excuses. But I can do things like this:


The bag on the right was given to me by my sister many years ago. I literally worn it completely out. The zipper in the back pocket broke, it has holes in it, and the strap is all frayed. So I made a new one, using materials left over from the Raju Hat I made in my first quarter. By the way, I actually designed the pattern on the fabric, through Spoonflower.com.
The bag is not as nice as the original, but I think it's fairly sturdy. We'll see if it'll last as long as the first one did. And of course, all the buttons are now proudly displayed on the new bag's flap.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Second Quarter Recap

The second quarter came and went. It really was fast! It wasn't quite as hectic as the first one. I had time to sleep and eat - even go to the gym - this time. And I even had time to work on most of the #3yroldscribbles! but it did get busy toward the end. That's when you realize all the things you need to complete (which you couldn't work on before even if you wanted to) and they have to be perfect.
So in addition to my Smartphonography class, which I mentioned in a previous post, I had four other classes. Oh, and by the way, I bound my Look Book using a Japanese 4-hole binding method. SeaLemon's tutorial was very helpful:



For Typography two, besides the cupcake poster, we also had to represent Jorge Luis Borges' story The Library of Babel in two ways: on-the-grid (in the form of a book) and off-the-grid (whichever way we wanted. So here is my book:


 I decided to make it an accordion book, because it is a story about the universe as an endless but finite library.

For the off-the-grid project, I made a hexagonal Jack-in-the-box (hexagons are a big thing in the story):

I made the closure out of Das around paper fasteners

The whole story is printed on the bellows. It's hard to see, but there are some highlights on the sides of the inside of the box
To make this box I used GryphonArt's wonderful tutorials.

Next is Design Thinking, the class where we were required to come up with a problem related to commuting and to find a solution for it. This video, made by one of my teammates, Nakita, will explain everything:



Here's a photo of our products:

Kyle, Peggy, and Chewey
For Motion Media, we delivered two videos. One is a logo animation:


The other one will have to wait, because I need to figure out copyrights-related issues regarding the music I used for it, as well as I would like to work a bit more on the transitions for it.

Finally, for Ideas First, I will only show you my favorite poster (we had to make a bunch of them!). This one was supposed to advertise an imaginary youth camp under Trump administration (think Hitler Youth):


Well, now I'm on a break, and these are my goals for the next couple of weeks:
  1. Upload my cousin's children's book onto Amazon
  2. Improve my Adobe Illustrator skills
  3. Learn some Adobe After Effects so I can make better animations
  4. Finish up the fireplace at school (more about that later)
  5. Watercolor rodents