Transportation WIP

  • Hello everyone!

    I thought I would change my WIP for this months competition as you guys always have great suggestions 🙂

    The idea is that bugs are taking advantage of the migration of ducks to travel south for the winter. The background would show either fall colors or a bit of snow, I am not sure yet. Any comments on how I can make it better ?! This is still very rough, so don't hesitate to critique!

    0_1505528314971_Untitled_Artwork-1 - copie.jpg

  • This is awesome so far! I wish I had an idea, but I like everything you've got here. Really like the perspective. Can't wait to see you move forward with it

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    This ref image might help with the look of the wings... If you need it. I like your illustration idea its going to be great I'm sure.

  • Cool idea. Would like to share some biological information. Hope it helps you develop this idea.

    Some insects and arachnids do an action called phoresys. Basically they just grab on the legs, skin or hair of another big animal and are transported around by it. Very commom to see small ines grabbing the legs of big beetles. You can read a bit more here

    Just thought you may want it to have a more natural feel and you can make a selection of insects being carried away by the bird based on this.

  • Here is a little update on this image!

    @Diego_BioSteam That's really cool! I didn't know that. I read the link you sent, however I couldn't find a list of insect that does that. So I stayed with my original insects choices... But it's still very interesting 🙂

    @Jason-Bowen Thanks! It really helped 🙂

    @jasonandroosmith Thanks!!!


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    @nowayme Its looking great. I really need to get mine going for this competition. 🙂

  • @NoWayMe good that you liked the idea! Your new version looks nice!
    Sorry for the website does not really have a list of species that do Phoresy (I usually just gather information from different sources). The activity is usually known to be performed by the following arthropods:

    1 - Arachnids: pseudoscorpions and mites. Pseudoscorpions is a very cute group of arachnids, they look like mini-scorpions without the "tail" and the poison - hence the name "fake scorpions".
    2 - Insects: some small beetles

    Also, if you think about it, some other bloodsucking insects may be carried away by their flying hosts. This is common among flies that suck the blood of bata (or that at least leave on the fur of bats and feed on their guano), they are usually know as "bat flies" although there are quite a few species under this category.

  • @diego_biosteam Thanks! This is very interesting. I love learning things like that. I might actually change my bugs to have all beetles. I was already thinking about it because I think it would make the illustration more cohesive and make for a better composition - and now I know it would also make it more biologically plausible! Do you have a background in biology ?

  • It's looking good. I like the mix of insects as it has a James and the Giant Peach feel with all those characters, but either way it's cool.

  • I like how you break the frame. A family of beetles (mom, dad, kids) might would work well.

  • @nowayme It's nice to know it was helpful. Yup, I have a background in biology (BSc, MSc and PhD 😜) and focused on the study of spiders (arachnology) and insects (entomology). Now I work as a scientific illustrator. And I really like to use my background as information to develop characters, environments and stories. And also to share the knowledge with other fellow artists.

  • This is looking great. One thing you might want to watch out for is tangents where the wings break the plane of the background especially where the edge of the wings come close the the corners of the image. Also maybe the duck's head could be turned so it looks like he is checking on the passengers (?)...might help bring your eye back into the piece.

  • @diego_biosteam Wow! I like to see that other artists have science background (and that I am not the only one crazy enough to pursue 2 completely opposite paths) @smceccarelli also has a PhD in basic science (organic chemistry if I remember correctly) and I have a MD (I work as a rheumatologist during the day).

    @j-sienkowski I thought about having him looking back... I just don't know what "relationship" I want the bird and bugs to have. At first I wanted them to be clandestine passengers, but maybe it would be better if the duck interacted with the bugs on his back ? And thanks for pointing out the tangent!! 🙂

  • @nowayme I saw your profile yesterday! Cool! Many people nowadays are diversifying their career paths, which is good! As I always discuss with my artist friends, you are a better artist if you actually went through some other academic formation. You just have more knowledge and experiences to tell through your art. Of course, you also need to study and dedicate to art. But if you are just focusing on art, you only know the techniques and processes, but you may not have much to say (Noah Bradley, concept artist for "Magic The Gathering" also said that in this interview

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    @nowayme Yes - I have just read an article talking about the "slash-generation". Apparently it is becoming increasingly common to have dual careers, either at the same time or one after another. So are born the "journalist/ex-lawyer" and the "coach/financial advisor" and all other "slash" combinations. I would be an "author/illustrator/art director/ex-scientist" 😉

  • @smceccarelli and @NoWayMe if you search for some great personalities of the past as well as current ones, most of them had more than one job or at least area of knowledge. Leonardo da Vinci was an artist (both in painting/illustration and sculpting), architect, engineer, botanist, anatomist, cartographer and more. Kenji Miyazawa was a chemist, astronomer, poet, children book author and teacher. Antoine de Saint-Exupery was an aviator, poet, journalist and illustrated his own children book (The Little Prince). Hayao Miyazaki is an animator, director, screenwriter, author. The emperor Akihito from Japan is also a fish taxonomist. Somewhere along the way it seems that Industrial Revolution allowed this idea of specializing in only one kind of job to spread and several companies (i.e. schools/universities) took advantage of it and fortified the idea. And now that everyone is highly specialized, it is becoming a differential when you are a master of more than one skill (when actually it was always like that). Always reminds me of the phrase said by the villain boy in "The Incredibles": "Once everyone is super, no one will be super".

  • Here is the final sketch!
    Any comment before I start colors ?!
    Thanks 🙂

    0_1506128830023_Transportation_3 - copie.jpg

  • I like it, but the original body and head looks better (your second, right facing, sketch). Looks like you might be trying to make a swooping movement, but it seems out of place when compared to the other birds in the picture. And I would lower the left wing, and maybe pull it to the right, so it is more in line with the other wing and looks attached at the proper place. And I like the thicker string holding the basket on in the original.

  • Thanks @tombarrettillo!

    I was aiming for a swooping movement.. I felt like my first version was too stiff. Maybe I ll try to change the other bird to have them fit and keep the new version since I like the feel of it more... Good call for the wing - I'll change that!

    Any thoughts on the color scheme I chose ?


  • I like the color scheme so far... nothing specific to add yet. : )

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