Friday, November 7, 2014

San Francisco Zoo 11/06/2014

A rare opportunity to go to the San Francisco Zoo all by myself and draw whatever I like! Let's see if we can find some new corners to explore...

The 10:00 AM feeding seems to be your best chance to see the koalas awake. I came back a couple hours later, and found that Zakary had simply flopped forward and gone straight to sleep.

First time drawing the meerkats. They were keeping watch on me the whole time, so it was a mutual observation.

I learned that the Eurasian eagle owl, like the gorilla and the wolverine, has one of those Latin names that's the same word twice.

The obligatory 11:30 AM grizzly feeding frenzy. A huge crowd today, even though it was a non-free weekday.

My first pass at the agoutis, which are surely the most elegant rodents I've ever seen. I'll research them a little bit and refine the likeness next time.

It was pretty hot today, and a lot of the animals were just napping.

The regular flamingo chick check. They're getting bigger and darker, but not yet pink.

2:00 PM is time for the spectacular Animal Encounter in the children's zoo - a must-see for artists! This is the first time I've seen a bearded dragon up close.

There was also a common green iguana. I drew this one a few weeks back but never posted it on this blog, so let's have a sketchbook flashback!

They brought out tons of critters for the Animal Encounter today. I was so spoiled for choice I couldn't decide which to draw, so I just did them all.

The 3:00 PM Aye-Aye tour. It wasn't easy drawing in a room so dark you can't see the paper! As with the agoutis, I might do some research and then try this again.

It's often hard to see the emperor tamarins, but it turns out that the glare on the window goes away by 4:00 PM, so we could get a good look at each other. This little guy seemed quite fascinated by my colorful paint set.

Boo at the Zoo 10/25/2014

A few sketches from the annual Halloween festivities at the San Francisco Zoo. I was showing friends around, so the sketching is going to be a bit minimalist this time.

A lot of the animals received Halloween-themed enrichments. Here's Tenzing the red panda getting to grips with his pumpkin.

The Haunted Nature Trail was not to be missed, with costumed volunteers and spooky decorations aplenty! I also checked in on the status of the flamingo chicks.

The lemurs had an entire haunted house installation, with gravestones and bedsheet ghosts.

The langurs dig into their Halloween treat buckets.

Siamangs grooming each other as they laze in the sun.

A medley of two-toed sloth action from the adorable Moony and his toucan buddy.

A couple of lazy big cats - snow leopard and lions.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Academy of Sciences 10/17/2014

I took advantage of a neighborhood free day to finally check out the famous Skulls exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences. Honestly, this is all research for a comic project...

I showed up at the Academy of Sciences waaaay early, expecting a big line for the neighborhood free day, but the place was deserted. A crowd finally started forming just before the museum opened.

I'd forgotten that the first thing you see when you walk in is a big old tyrannosaur skeleton cast.

And now, the skulls! I only had time to draw a fraction of them, so I gravitated to the ones that seemed most bizarre.

Had to do the warthog. So crazy tusks!

I did a bit of drawing in the Africa Hall, but zoo sketching has spoiled me, and I find it pretty dull drawing stuffed animals. I prefer the lively exhibits like the penguin tank.


And finally, the famous white alligator and the subterranean aquarium.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

International Ghost Convention 10/11/2014

Drawings from the Fall 2014 costume carnival at the Academy of Art's Illustration department. This time, Sarafina the model coordinator came up with the theme of an International Ghost Convention, featuring spectral beings from all over the world.

Abby Muñoz as La Calavera Catrina, the "elegant skull" who symbolizes Mexico's Day of the Dead.

Jessica Chan as Japan's Kuchisake-onna ("slit-mouthed woman"), a modern urban legend presented here in retro kimono duds. The teeth were, as they say, added in post.

Katie Longua as Anne Boleyn, wife number two of England's King Henry VIII. The decapitated head was another artist's addition.

Frank Wollesen as Frederick Federici, Melbourne's benevolent opera ghost.

Simone Rene as La Lllorona, Mexico's child-snatching "weeping woman."

As always, there were elaborate mood-setting backdrops. Apparently Abby decorated this stage herself, so it's appropriate she's pictured here.

Speed round! As the event drew to a close, I tried to flesh out my ghost collection with some quick sketches. Here we have Nathan Shorts as Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron"; a banshee; and Marvin Ellman-Gardner as a djinn.

Last but not least, here's Michael Glenn as the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, who was erased from history by his successors and presumably has a few scores to settle.

Friday, October 10, 2014

San Francisco Zoo 10/09/2014

Completing the sketchbook catchup, here's another round of San Francisco Zoo drawings. Come for the Lego sculpture garden... stay for koalas and possums and cockroaches, plus a new flamingo chick!

Just to warm up, here's a panoramic view of the SF Zoo's scenic parking lot.

I was there bright and early for the media preview of the new Nature Connects exhibit, which combines Lego sculptures with plants from the zoo's horticultural department.

Speaking of horticulture, apparently several different kinds of eucalyptus are harvested from the San Francisco area to feed the koalas. Their 10:00 AM breakfast turns out to be a good time to see them awake and in action.

Meanwhile, the fifth flamingo chick just hatched! Here it is peeking out from under the parental wing.

Once I started sketching at the Insect Zoo, I got really into it. Please enjoy this medley of roaches and mystery husks.

Here's a grab bag of partial doodles and quick sketches, featuring langurs, patas monkeys, and Brian Wilson the hippo enjoying his regular hose spraying.

The fabulous Animal Encounter at the ARC is currently scheduled for 2:00 PM daily. Today's featured critters included Lulu the possum, Oboe the ferret, and Snaggletooth the spider tortoise.

And here's Jahari enjoying his afternoon meal. I used my artistic license to omit the bars; don't try feeding your lion like this at home!

March for Elephants and Rhinos 10/04/2014

Some sketches from the recent march and rally in San Francisco. Simultaneous marching and drawing was a definite challenge! For more info on the event, see:

Gathering the troops at St. Mary's Square. It was interesting to observe the mix of people - note the trio of teenage girls taking selfies!

The march wended its way up Grant Street, pausing in front of a shuttered ivory dealership in Chinatown.

Then through the Stockton Tunnel and down Mason Street. I recommend the tunnel for all your protest marches - it has great acoustics!

Some heroic marching efforts. The Ganesh costume not only looked very hot, but also had no peripheral vision.

The march ended with a rally in the UN Plaza. Here are some of the folks who braved the blistering heat to listen to the featured speakers.

San Francisco Zoo 10/01/2014

I'm a bit behind on posting sketchbook drawings. Let's catch up!

First, here are some from this month's free day at the San Francisco Zoo. Once again, I rounded up some fellow artists to join me; this time my posse included Monico Chavez, Frank Lin, and Jeffrey Comstock.

I got there a little early so I could do some location sketching outside.

 Checking in on the flamingo chicks. They're getting bigger, but still grey and fluffy.

Monico and Frank were eager to get to the rhinos, but we had to stop and admire the sleepy capybara.

More sleepy animal action! Here's an eastern black rhino (Boone, I assume).

Everyone was enchanted by the sloth and toucan roomies. I believe the sloth has now been named Moony.

While we waited for the white rhino to make an appearance, this magnificent peacock posed for us.

Aaaaand here's Gauhati! Feeding time was a perfect opportunity to draw him.

A montage of red ruffed lemurs from the Lemur Forest. After a full day of drawing, I think we were starting to tire out at this point...

Monico, Frank, and Jeffrey plonked down in front of the squirrel monkeys and just watched them for a while. Then it was time to wrap up with some giraffe admiration!