Inktober Day 29

Wow, almost at the end of October. We are now into Halloween weekend. Where does the time go?

Today’s prompt is “Uh-oh.” For some reason I went right to thinking about the wildlife in the neighborhood, probably because our friendly neighborhood Little Blue Heron, was stalking through everyone’s flower beds, looking for “yum yums” like lizards and frogs. The lizards all head for the hills when they see herons and egrets. It’s hilarious to see the tall gangly Great Egrets balancing on top of trees and hedges, looking to pluck a tasty lizard morsel from the vegetation. It was this image of the balancing bird on a hedge that inspired today’s sketch. I hid some frogs and lizards in the sketch as well.

The Little Blue Heron, whom I affectionately call “Sid” (from Ice Age), trots through our flower beds and lawns. Then he’ll slow to a gangly stroll which is quite comical. I say hello to him and he just strolls on by, checking a bush here, a flower pot there. I saw him this morning, head cocked looking upward into a bush, hunting something. He’s a dark greyish bird and he’s very pretty.

The lizards, on the other hand, are the stupidest creatures. They have this whole territorial thing going on where they claim physical territory, like a tree, bush or their own personal plant in a flower pot. The males argue and do pushups to intimidate each other over females and territory. It’s hilarious when they are trying to kick each other’s butts when they are on opposite sides of a screen. When they see a potential threat, they will run to their “home,” even if they have to run in front of a car, bike, human, dog, Mack truck to get to their home. I don’t know how many times they get run over. Even the Iguanas run in front of cars. John and I just scratch our heads and comment “no wonder Dinosaurs are extinct.”

Inktober Day 29
"uh-Oh"
Pen and ink drawing of a heron hunting in a bush for frogs and lizards and the prey doesn't look happy.

Inktober Day 9

Happy Sunday!

We are up to Day 9 of the Inktober Challenge and today’s prompt is Nest. I opted for the bird’s nest interpretation of the prompt. There are a lot of interesting bird nests out there, but some of the more quirkiest nests are from birds that aren’t real, but imagined. This is one of those imaginary birds that came about from my morning (daily) practice of turning blobs of smeared acrylic paint into imaginary creatures. This blob practice was a little trick I learned from Carla Sonheim. Carla has many little tips for pushing the imagination to produce some really awesome imaginary creatures that I would never had thought of on my own. I have been doing the daily blob exercise for several years now and it has helped me produce many odd creatures.

This funny bird has popped up once before, in one of my Valentine’s Day sketchbooks. I played with him, again, for today’s prompt. They don’t always come out the way I originally sketched them but that’s ok. They become several personalities each time I redraw them.

This fellow is a bit stuffy but he’s a good nest builder and sitter. The Mrs is off scarfing up some insects while the Mr is having a turn at sitting. The nest is a little wild and hairy, sort of like the bird. His expression looks like something may be occurring either on the nest or nearby.

On another note, the Phillies have made the wild card and they have beaten the cardinals to move on to the next round of play, which I believe they are playing Atlanta next. I find it hard to watch my hometown teams. It’s sort of like watching a horror movie peeking from behind my fingers. My daughter says that’s not being a fan. Yes it is, it’s called being a fan of a Philadelphia team. On the bright side, they aren’t the Jets.

Inktober Day 9
Nest
Pen and ink drawing of a quirky bird sitting on a nest.  His expression looks like something may be occurring either on the nest or nearby. He has a fluffy crest and his tail is alert, similar to a Carolina Wren
Inktober Day 9 – Nest

Inktober Day 7

Today’s Inktober prompt is “trip.” Now this is a word that could be interpreted in a few different ways. For instance, is someone taking a trip? Can you use luggage? An airplane? A train station? Platform 9 3/4? Animal House road trip? Business trip? The word “trip” then takes on a more vacation or travel sort of reference. If I go that route, how to illustrate that? Again, so many possibilities. Car? RV? Fly? Cruise?

Then, there is the another way “trip’ could be interpreted. A psychedelical ’60’s drug trip? Mmmm, no. That’s way out there. A trip as in FALL? That has some comical possibilities. A character falling flat on their face. Wil E Coyote getting handed another can of Whoop ass? Slipping on the proverbial banana peel? (Has anyone ever slipped on a banana peel? Where did that come from?) So many ways to interpret “trip” as in fall-flat-on-the-face, a mishap of some sort, accidental or premeditative (Picture a diabolical cat tripping their owner or family dog) and so on.

I can’t say I was stumped with this one as opposed to the many possibilities and opportunities for ideas being presented here. This could be a fun word.

I was sitting outside listening to the birds this morning while I did my morning drawing and writing routine. This time of year, the birds come back from their vacation up North. So many of the bird calls that were missing over the summer are being heard again. This led me to thinking about how a trip could be for a migration. Migration = bird = trip. So I got to thinking about birds packing for their migration and I thought of a little bird with an aviator’s hat and goggles, rucksack packed and ready to migrate! Voila! Today’s sketch!

Intober Day 7
Trip
Pen and Ink drawing of a little bird with an aviator hat and goggles with a backpack on his back and he's obviously ready to travel. Grey ink added for shading and interest. Also show with Uniball vision and Kuretake Cambrio pens
Inktober Day 7 “trip”

Live Critter Sunday

This Sunday I have another of our feathered friends. I was out for my morning walk and spotted this raptor. He/she was perched on a fence and let me get close enough for a photo. It hangs out in the area and we frequently see him/her hunting and often hear them calling to each other. There is plenty to eat here with lots of squirrels and bunnies. I think they eat the lizards, too. Many of our neighbors marvel about how close these birds are perching near humans. I sometimes wonder if we are the ones being studied.

As I am typing this, I can hear roosters already competing on who can crow the loudest and I have the door closed and AC on so it is surprising how loud they can be, plus they aren’t in my development but in the surrounding area. There is also a mockingbird making angry chatter about something which isn’t surprising. They seem to be annoyed about everything this time of year.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Red Bird

It’s Spring and Red loves to share the joy that he feels when the weather begins to warm up. Love is also in the air.

I am still working on my illustration course but I actually missed doing my characters so I am squeezing them in.