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