Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Feast of Beasts

One more batch of beasts! First, some sketches from the lovely Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek, which I visited with my buddies from the SF Sketchers meetup group.

A couple of weeks later, we went on another sketching outing to San Francisco's world-famous Exploratorium to document an exhibition of Theo Jansen's curious wind-powered "Strandbeests".

Jansen's whimsical premise is that the Strandbeests are living creatures that evolve over the generations, so naturally I had to record the genealogy chart on the wall of the exhibit.

 There was also a demonstration of Scott Parenteau's human-operated Tinspider, complete with atmospheric artificial fog.

The evening culminated in the reanimation of a huge "extinct" Strandbeest. It honestly did feel a little bit occult!

And here's one last beast for the road, courtesy of the Academy of Sciences.

Oakland Zoo: Summer Solstice

After wrapping up my spring teaching duties and finishing up a huge pile of freelance work, I had a little room in my schedule to get over to the Oakland Zoo for the first time in about a year...

My photographer buddy Grace and I were especially keen to see the baby warthogs, and they were everything we could have hoped for!

The baboons were hanging back a ways, so these are really just loose impressions rather than detailed likenesses.

I keep meaning to draw the hyenas, so that's one thing off my bucket list! The camels continue to elude my pen, however.

And of course I had to visit my beloved sun bears.

I went back a couple of days later, and ended up drawing a lot of the same critters I drew last year. I'm so predictable.

 So sue me, I can't get enough of those giant tortoises.

The gibbons are always reliably entertaining. I love the way the male perches in the treetops and regally surveys his domain.

The ever-popular trio of lady elephants. It's fun trying to capture their very distinctive individual likenesses.

Loitering after closing time, I jotted down a very quick scribble of the charismatic male warthog.

SF Zoo: Winter Frolics

Stepping back in time to February, let's clear out a little backlog of San Francisco Zoo sketches from earlier in the year.

 Because nothing says "Be My Valentine" like a posse of peccaries.

 I finally persuaded a pelican to pose for me.

 And a quick impression of the wiggly, hyperactive little patas monkey.

A couple of weeks later came International Polar Bear Day, and Uulu's outdoor space was enriched with ten tons of artificial snow for the occasion.

 Awwww. What a sweetie!

From snow to sauna. It's always a bit of an endurance test sketching in the hot, humid tropical aviary.

Then I doubled back to the African exhibits near the entrance. Especially happy with that stork...

And finally, I caught the handsome hippo out and about while the staff were draining his pool. I guess he'll always be Brian to me.