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Jacana and Hippos at Chobe

I couldn't resist one more. (Tomorrow, hamsters. Really!)

I decided to try to do something similar to the other two woodblock-homages, this time with animals instead of a landscape (or maybe with hippos, the trick is that animals ARE the landscape.) This is an African Jacana, which I really did see standing on top of the hippos at Chobe. (Hippos don't care if things walk on them, apparently.)

So the trick to doing these is actually similar to the Art Deco travel posters I was doing earlier--instead of drawing the oulines, I block the whole shape out in flat colors, and use about ten thousand layers, putting thin black outlines around the big blocks of color and then drawing very thin weird lines on other multiply layers to shape the whole thing, and using gradients madly to make the flat colors work.

It is a seriously weirdass way to work. I am having to think much farther ahead than I usually do. Once everything is blocked out, fixing little dings requires sorting through dozens of layers to find out where something is.

But I really like how it all comes out. The thin lines are basically the same kind of black lines I draw on everything, only more useful.

Mad gratitude to Kevin--he took about a hundred photos of hippo piles which were invaluable for making it work. (Hippos have really messed up heads, incidentally. Their eye lumps do things no other mammal does.)

ETA: Prints available!

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Love this series of images!

Another lovely picture and the hippos do not look at all like the most dangerous large animals in Africa.

That is seriously awesome.

I realize you're *technically* procrastinating, but it's really awesome to see you drawing something that isn't little dragons* again, and hope that you're enjoying it as much as we are. Also these woodblock homages are seriously awesome.

*Not that I have anything against little dragons per se, mind. My weekends of single parenting over the last four years would have been a GREAT deal less fun without Danny.

I *LIKE* it! The hippos' hairy ears are strangely appealing.

*goes wow*

What's the term for "range" in art? Like, singers have range...

You gots it, whatever it is. Wow.

Heh. In another life I could have been an excellent forger!

Is that a request for someone to write a book about the adventures of T. Kingfisher master art forger? "When her art dealer turns up dead it is up to T. Kingfisher to find the real killer before the police start looking too closely at certain prints in the gallery."

Ha! "This is not the Rembrandt you're looking for..."

Is awesome!

...urge to lolcat: U R AWSUM.

I love the one in the forefront 'keeping an ear out' so to speak, and the misty quality makes me feel like I can *smell* the river!

Wowie zowie!

I love the way the hippos also look like river rocks. They "ARE the landscape", indeed!

*first glance*
Bird on rocks!

Wait a sec… dem rocks gots EYES!

Are you going to do a print of the Thamalkane Lodge one?

Probably! I have to run the print and make sure the lines are very clean.

I would LOVE this, without the bird :D I am waiting with baited breath for your Hippo phase (hopefully after the anxious chicken phase)

Aerial perspective is the best!

When I do this sort of thing I usually end up with a layer stack like this:

near hippo
near hippo 2
haze copy
mid hippo
haze copy 2
far hippo
haze copy 3
furthest hippo

...each 'haze' layer is filled with the exact same color, at like 10% or whatever. And then I draw all the hippos in the exact same colors; if I turned off the haze layers they'd blend together.

Naming the layers is VERY IMPORTANT in cases like this. And I still spend a decent amount of time flicking one layer after another off and back on to figure out which one I actually want to draw on.

Wow, that looks FANTASTIC.

I'm so tempted to try out that style myself. :)

Speaking of hamsters, which we were NOT, I was rereading _Bryony and Roses_ last night for the upteenth time. And, really, this is absolutely true -- I read the first sentence in Chapter Twenty-Five as "She dragged herself downstairs the next morning, feeling as if she's been beaten by hamSTers." I was surprised, to say the least.

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