Art Monday: inspiration interruption

Inspiration can strike at unlikely times. Usually, once I feel bogged down and frustrated while waiting for the oil layers to become tacky and the details to swim up and wow my eye, I am struck by competing compositions that fight my attention.

This time I'm going with it. Yeah, sure I have a sketchbook-load of ideas waiting to jump out this year, but I need to explore this Darwin and South American mammal fossil thing for a bit. My wife was great, just said go for it. Sure I spent ten hours drawing, painting and liveblogging; but I'm going where the Muse leads me.

So here's is where I left Charles since Darwin Day, discovering our friend the glyptodon.

It's not complete, and I'm still working on it. Remind me to fix the wrist. And the sky remains a mystery for now.

But I'm not about to abandon two of the other ideas that have been rattling around in my brain, waiting for release through my micro-paintbrushes.

Here's the beginning of one. I was hoping to sketch megatherium, but it turns out the Royal Ontario Museum doesn't have one on display. So, after a hasty 20 minutes between work ending and the R.O.M. closing, I sketched the distinguished skull on the left, an eremotherium.

You may notice I was looking up at it. On the right is the glyptodon again, a new drawing.

There will be more to this image, including Charles. To picture him, think of this quote: "He should be quite well-protected. If he survived the freezing process, that is."

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Art Monday: young Charles v.1

Darwin Day is fast-approaching, and this year I'd like to focus on a portrait of the younger Charles Darwin. It's one of two ideas I have to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of The Origin of Species.

While waiting for a flight to North Carolina, I used George Raymond's famous watercolour of an early-thirties Charles as a reference. This portrait was done after Charles returned from his 5-year voyage on The Beagle, and is usually taken as being representative of how Charles would have appeared in his Beagle days.

I'd like to capture some of that spirit of robust energy in the younger man on the voyage. The type of man who could ride horses around South America, dig up megatherium fossils, brave the rocky Galapagos and hot sun, and see the world with fresh eyes.I began with this sketch while sitting in the airport.

Hmm. A little too jowly, or wide-faced? Muttonchops not muttony enough? I plan to do longer, wind-ruffled hair and a confident smile. I'd also like to give him a bit more hair than the Raymond piece. A lot can happen to a man in five years. My sketch seems to be a long way off of this fine portrait. What do you think on the right track

Karen James of The Beagle Project suggested I try to live-blog the painting on Darwin Day. I may attempt that. But the two competing ideas I have may end up being one piece and so I need to prep early. That means sketching and working up to a final drawing.

We'll see. And megatherium may make an appearance this year. *wink*

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow under Creative Commons Licence.

Flying Trilobite Gallery ### Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ### 2009 Calendar available for a limited time

Artwork Mondays: Sketchy Sketches

A couple of pages from my sketchbook for this Artwork Monday.

I'll leave my commentary to a minimum this week, but please go nuts critiquing the rough work if you want. Just no one tell Carl Buell about the megatherium skull below. I'm worried he'll point and chuckle in a manly way.
The megatherium is a cast that was included in the Darwin: The Evolution Revolution show at the Royal Ontario Museum, finishing up August 4th. The contours of this skull were pretty unusual. I think the sketch has a decent sense of 3-dimensionality, but the anatomy may be a little off. Also pictured are chimp and quetzalcoatlus skulls. The R.O.M. has mounted a quetzalcoatlus skeleton that is awesome and terrifying. Makes me want to curl up with The World Beneath by James Gurney.

This is a sketch for a painting I may begin soon. I've got some nifty water-soluble pencil crayons that might suit this piece.

This seems like the perfect idea to doodle with while I'm away at the cottage in August.

I should have some news the first week of August as well. I'm busting with it. I'll also begin posting a little more regularly again this week beyond the Artwork Mondays.
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All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.