This illustration was part-two of the Washington Trails Magazine summer nature series. The wolverine is one of my absolute favorite subjects to draw, but definitely challenging to find references...it's not like I can just go out and photograph them:) But it was fun to piece together a bunch of fur/pose/and lighting ideas. Also it's super exciting that they're making a comeback in Washington! Such amazing creatures!!! As always, thanks to my editor, Eli Boschetto!
1. First I had to solve the dimensions problem. It needed to be tall and narrow to fit with the other illustrations in the series, so we decided to include mountains in the background, adding some height.
2. This pose was based on a far-away photo from one of the authors. The lighting, legs, and face were completely obscured in the photo so I did a lot of research to fill in the gaps. There are definitely some proportion issues with this initial draft:)
3. I'm happy with how the final wolverine illustration turned out. The mountains were a separate layer that I painted and added digitally to fade them way back.
This summer I had the privilege of illustrating an infographic for The Scientist. It is part of a fascinating article, "Beyond the Blueprint," about indirect genetic effects (IGE) and how the genomes of community members can influence their neighbors even across species. You can check out the full infographic and article in the magazine or on their website!
I had a blast learning about this cutting-edge area of genetic modeling and creating all the insets for the piece! A huge thanks to my AD, Lisa Modica!
A larger view of one of the cutaways including anadromous alewives:
When I was seven years old I went through a geologist phase. I obsessed over rocks, collected pebbles, and begged my parents for a rock-tumbler...remember those? A quick google-search just informed me that you can still buy one for about the same price as 20 years ago.
I recently had the opportunity to revisit my geology craze with an illustration assignment for Washington Trails Magazine. The assignment was to create two double-page spreads of prominent geology features found in Washington state. The first illustration needed 12 glacial features including moraines, a tarn, cirque, and arete. The second required 12 volcanic features including caldera, cinder cones, lava tube...
Sometimes my illustration process flows as smooth as a glacier...or in this case the glacier illustration. After reading a description of the illustration need I created a couple drafts (1), the editor responded with some edits (2), I made the changes (3), the draft was approved, and I moved on to rendering the final piece (4).
But occasionally in science and nature illustration the subject requires a bit more interaction between me and the expert as was the case with this volcanic features illustration. My wonderfully patient editor, Eli, and I went back and forth many times to get the layout, accuracy, colors, etc... just right.
Look for these illustrations and the accompanying article in the newest July/August issue of Washington Trails Magazine!
'Go Birding' is the first of a three-part nature series that I'm illustrating for Washington Trails Magazine this summer.
The first assignment was a Lewis's Woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis, a beautiful, iridescent bird. After referencing many different images, I drew the bird over a dozen times to work out an attractive but accurate tail, foot, and wing pose as well as an interesting perch. Eventually I came up with two draft concepts and the one without the gruesome insect was chosen:) I used one of my favorites, color pencil, for the final woodpecker rendering, and I created a separate watercolor wash for the background. The two were digitally combined to give the editor ultimate control over the background opacity.
Check out the entire, inspiring article written by Sarah Swanson and Max Smith by picking up a copy of the May/June Washington Trails at your local REI!
A huge thanks to the ever-obliging naturespicsonline.net for generously providing me with high quality reference photos and of course a big thanks to my editor, Eli Boschetto!
Web & Moss Studio
The science illustration studio of Lindsay Holladay