June 30, 2011

day fifty-nine - caracal

as a non-lover of cats i do not care for such 'faux' wild cats as caracals and servals. to me, a caracal is merely a domestic cat with hairy ears, and a serval a tiny stretched leopard. actually, that sounds pretty good.


© jem barratt

they both have cute babies, and that's how they roped me in (the caracal that is, i still am on the fence with servals [not literally, that would be dangerous]), despite my depiction looking like a dweeb and its dad looking extremely depressed.

not to mention they PLUCK BIRDS FROM MID-AIR. they are so cool i can ignore their cattiness. plus, how can you not love an animal whose repetitive scientific name makes them sound uber mysterious.

you're the best caracal (caracal caracal).

June 29, 2011

day fifty-eight - tanager

naming it vague tonight because i foolishly mis-coloured this here GREEN-headed tanager. ahem...

© jem barratt

blue's a type of green. ask anyone (make sure they're colourblind, or just normal blind). but in your FACE fate, because tanager's are actually songbirds. how fortuitous my sketchbook is!

i never thought i'd say this but i need brighter poscas... because this is what tanagers actually look like. eye-raping. in a good way. much like that chalk/neon affect neil taught us about on art attack. mark my words i will chalk a tanager one day.

and to think this time last year i didn't even know such amazing birds existed!

June 28, 2011

day fifty-seven - galah

this morning as i walked to work i noticed one tree shedding much more tree debris (tree-bris?) than any other despite a noticeable lack of wind. i looked up to discover the cause and my eyes were met with seven galahs gleefully going to town on the tree's seed pods. what a great start to the morning!

© jem barratt

lately i've noticed the great power birds have to cheer me up. i am generally in a bad mood, but watching birds always makes me smile. yay!

like most australian birds, galahs are super cool. and naturally we have a big version. but galah chicks? they are something else. something younger. plus they live in holes. and they are so 80s.

this is the second galah i've ever made, and it won't be the last. although i had help from mr mantis for the first one...

so if you're feeling down, go scour the trees for a galah or a rosella and you'll be fine in no time! if all else fails, come here instead. i promise to draw you happy things.

June 27, 2011

day fifty-six - binturong

the letter b, brought to you by my streaky as (bleep) scanner...

© jem barratt

this doesn't completely look like a binturong (for how can i convey his chocolatey eyes in green paint-pen?) but i still like it. it makes me want to write some kind of old children's novel about animals, in which the animal in question is holding the text. yes.

i love the adelaide zoo binturong. he manages to be charming while crunching up chicken bones. all i know about these guys (apart from their delicious-looking eyes and their penchant for bones) is that they are also known as bearcats. but NOW i also know that they are sometimes kept as pets and smell like pop corn.

what a tasty best friend they could make! tasty-smelling and tasty-looking that is. don't eat your pets you nutjob.

June 26, 2011

day fifty-five - mhorr gazelle

prepare to have your eyes bleed...

© jem barratt

thus is the effect of bright posca on an equally bright folder divider. lucky for you this is only half-strength.

the animal in question is a mhorr gazelle and all i know pre-research is how gangly they are. so, so gangly. i guess i like gangly things (nictitate).

that's right, i played trivial pursuit and learnt a new word. gangly. so useful.

not as useful as captive breeding though. this guy is extinct in the wild thanks to excessive hunting (amongst other things), so zoo pops are good news.

June 25, 2011

day fifty-four - spotted sweetlips

rest assured i spent much more time on my drawing than yesterday...

© jem barratt

i certainly didn't sketch the stamp fish on an envelope. nope.

whatevs, with a name like spotted sweetlips it doesn't need to be drawn any better. got it sweet cheeks?

June 24, 2011

day fifty-three - harlequin toad

woah cutting it fine!

© jem barratt

i seriously had a good 5 hours to draw and i left it until 11? i'm smart.

i like him though, so who cares? (unlike my yellow posca, which i hate for being empty)

ANYWAY this peruvian fellow made the red list this year. what is it you ask? a secret club? a vip society?

no unfortunately it is the international union for conservation of nature's red list of threatened species. see others species to lament over here. and then stop lamenting and do something! like draw one on a folder divider from work and post it on your blog...


June 23, 2011

day fifty-two - sketchez

no excuses, but this is all you get:

© jem barratt

AND this.

oh! and also this:

you're welcome.

June 22, 2011

day fifty-one - peregrine falcon

i drew this guy this afternoon but got distracted by menial tasks and melting moments until now. and i need new poscas - jeez stressful life.

but not as stressful as being the fastest animal on the world.

© jem barratt

actually would that be stressful? you probably wouldn't have a care in the world if you were a peregrine falcon. they even outraced endangerment. and doesn't my picture just scream speedy?


June 21, 2011

day fifty - sailfish


© jem barratt

need to try harder on the waves next time. i likes the fishy though. he's the fastest thing in all the waters. according to nat geo they can leap as fast as 110km per hour. !!!

i wouldn't bother fishing for them. they're fast, they're tough (meat-wise) and they can take hours to land. also they look cooler than you ever could.


June 20, 2011

day forty-nine - two-toed sloth

i actually think the three-toed sloth is cuter (don't tell this guy) but i'm considering depicting one of those via face paint.

© jem barratt

these two-toed guys are the ones you see in zoos, for the three-toed variety cannot survive in captivity due to their picky diet.

sloths are slow and seemingly useless but they are capable of living in your toilet. that fact combined with their moss-covered coats makes them seem pretty gross, but really you should admire them - they are ALWAYS smiling.

and now to quote from one of my favourite books about one of my favourite people (THE sir): "they blink at you with a distant but permanent smile, and an air of having just been woken up." and when he's not loving sloths so much: "when they do wake they lack charm, having wet snuffly noses and shaggy uniformly brown fur."

totes jeals that he got to see a newly born baby sloth and take it home to england. different times.

p.s. i can't wait until i draw the three-toed sloth so i can show you attenborough saying 'boo!' to sloth

June 19, 2011

day forty-eight - donkey

i'm not sure if you've noticed but most of my drawings are sidenotes to the videos and photos i want to show you. i have so many favourite animal videos that i end up using my drawing as a thinly veiled excuse to share them (actual sidenote: i keep saying unveal instead of unveil/reveal).

and thus, DONKEY:

© jem barratt

so now that business is out of the way, this is what i wanted to share:

June 17, 2011

day forty-six - bongo

it's funny how things work out. i spent most of the day planning to draw a sloth so i could have an excuse to post attenborough's description of them (postponed!); then i was going to draw this guy, because he's crazy cute; but this is what i ended up with:

© jem barratt

a bongo.

there was one at the adelaide zoo. not anymore, although i'm sure it's gone somewhere good because i don't think the zoo can just bin their animals. (it's in melbourne... damn you melbourne)

i likes to sketch with poscas. this style reminds me of the small drawings in novel series like redwall and narnia.


June 16, 2011

day forty-five - attenborough's long-beaked echidna

that's right. attenborough invented an animal.

© jem barratt

not really, but he sure got his name in one. (huh?)

there are so many interesting things to learn about this guy. go here to learn proper, but in the meantime here are some highlights: myrmecophagous, reddish-brown, terrestrial, montane.

but really. they are known from only one specimen and were thought to be extinct until signs of the echidna were found by EDGE (a conservation initiative aiming to get evolutionarily distinct threatened species on our maps so we can save them already). that's some AMAZING survival!

more quick facts:
- one of only five surviving monotreme species
- spiky tongues
- considered a delicacy
- sad-looking (in my picture at least)

their dire circumstance reminds me of adelaide's own pygmy blue tongue lizard, which were thought to be extinct for 40 years until one was discovered in the stomach of a dead snake. COMEBACK KID!

June 15, 2011

day forty-four - zoo medley

today i went to the (adelaide) zoo, and boy do they have a lot of parrots now! it's so good. not to mention all the 'zooborns' - mandrills, wallaby, tamarins, bilbies and (as yet unseen) ghost bat.

© jem barratt

i like the happy accident of the music staves showing through from the next page.

so here i drew a razor-billed curassow, a kookaburra, a yellow crowned amazon parrot, a hyacinth macaw, and an archer fish. it would probably be nicer if they were all birds, but i haven't drawn a fish yet and thought it was time.

i need to practise drawing from live animals instead of photos.

June 14, 2011

day forty-three - cow

in primary school, cows were my favourite animals - so much so that i did a project on them and presented it on a milk carton. super cool.

© jem barratt

no offence to cows, but WHAT was i thinking? obviously i was oblivious of sun bears and chameleons and finches and red pandas at that time.

cows are pretty cool (and nutjobbish), but how could they have ever beat out this as my fave?

June 13, 2011

day forty-two - fan-fingered gecko

way too many hyphens in that title.

but not as many as the amount of scales this guy has:

© jem barratt

that was fun to draw...


that is a fan-fingered gecko and a close-up of his fanned fingers. so strange. it could easily be mistaken for coral or a strange plant, but only if dismembered from the gecko (the head and body might give it away otherwise)


June 12, 2011

day forty-one - fennec fox


© jem barratt

that's what the adelaide zoo has to say about fennec foxes anyway. don't discriminate just because they look like cute little baby foxes. they'll bite ya.

(they probably won't). what they will do is fox it up in the desert, use their giant ears to cool down, and get harvested for fur. a mix of good and bad there.


June 11, 2011

day forty - lamb


© jem barratt

facts about lambs:
- lambs are born with three legs. the growth of a fourth leg signifies them reaching sheephood
- their fleece is white as snow
- contrary to popular belief lambs will NEVER follow a mary - marys are their natural predators

if you have any queries not covered in my comprehensive fact-o-file above, feel free to email me, for i am obviously a great lamb expert.


June 10, 2011

day thirty-nine - sparrow

today: a self portrait

© jem barratt

that's me alright. i love how many photos there are of sparrows clawing other birds, be it their face or their wings. feisty!


June 9, 2011

day thirty-eight - cheetah

who else is sad that the rift valley doco is over? me too. boo hoo etc. especially since the last episode had some pretty great cheetah action in it.

speaking of cheetah action...

© jem barratt

as much as i don't like photos of myself, i do like any excuse to paint myself as an animal. so they balance each other out. it's also arguable whether this is art but it DID involve paint, so...

so far i have been a raccoon, a panda, a tiger and now a cheetah. maybe i could paint myself as every mammal in the world? that would be cool. not as cool as cheetah cubs though. they are some kind of wonderful mix of badassery and super cuteness with an air of superiority.


June 8, 2011

day thirty-seven - another tree frog

amphibians are in trouble! seriously, i know everything is, but still... go here to help.

© jem barratt

how dare i be so demanding when i can't even tell you what type of tree frog this is. fair enough. but really all frogs need help so their name is kind of irrelevant anyway.

well THIS is not a fun post. sorry about that! nature's not always funny you know (only mostly).


June 7, 2011

day thirty-six - black bear

i love poscas! it's true. except when they spontaneously explode all over a perfectly finished painting.

more than that, i love the facial expressions of bears...

© jem barratt

i can never quite capture the 'off' look these animals have. here's the original. my goal art-wise, is not to improve my skill, but to be able to capture the stupid faces animals have. they really do (especially elephants).

sometimes it's cute. sometimes alarming. either way, 'tardish animal faces are one of the main reasons i love animals so much, and i need to spread the word.


June 6, 2011

day thirty-five - giraffe

giraffes have a fancy scientific name: giraffa camelopardalis. the second name alludes to their camel-like face and their leopard-like spots (the first name, of course, refers to their overall giraffey-ness)

© jem barratt

they are the tallest mammals, each giraffe has unique spots, and their tongues are crazy long. lions are their only predator, and seeing as lions sleep 20-odd hours a day, while giraffes have one of the smallest sleep requirements of any animal (two hours a day on average) who do you think has the advantage?

lions. obviously. they're LIONS.

BUT giraffes can bring down planes.

BUT BUT they have to fall a good 1.5m from mum to earth during birth.

BUT BUT BUT they look so funny when they're learning how to stand.
ah, their goodnocity beats their negatricities...

June 5, 2011

day thirty-four - sengi

or elephant shrew.

© jem barratt

you should look them up because they are very cute, and most have more trunk-ish noses than mine. more than anything though you should go buy 'life of mammals' and watch the insectivore ep, because sir attenborough messes with one.

in a scientific way.


June 4, 2011

day thirty-three - toucan

everyone thinks toucans are cool and exotic and poised...

© jem barratt

when really they're small, off-kilter birds with a psychotic gleam in their eye. i still love 'em though. and only some of them hop around you in a threatening manner (yes, they do actually hop... so bizarre).

this one is different:

June 3, 2011

day thirty-two - rabbit

i know we're meant to hate rabbits in australia, but they are still cute... so....

© jem barratt

nothing much more to add really. hopefully i can buy a new scanner tomorrow and draw way more with pencil.

rabbits ARE pests. they're just cute ones. so make sure you admire them as you wish myxomatosis upon their warrens.

June 2, 2011

day thirty-one - sun bear

sun bears are (actually) one of my favourite animals. so much so that one of my loveliest friends adopted one at the adelaide zoo as a present for me. unfortunately they're one of my least favourite animals to see at the zoo. so what a terrible present that was.

(not really, but the sun bears pace. a lot. and as their official [i have a certificate] mother that makes me uncomfortable)

© jem barratt

i just have so much to say about sun bears! they are the smallest bears in the world, they wiggle when they walk (well when they climb - check 'life of mammals' if you don't believe me), they actually eat honey, they have incredibly long tongues, and they're so so sleepy.

i love that their sunny patch can also be viewed as the mess left over from all that honey they eat. sticky, sleepy, super-cute sun bears.


June 1, 2011

day thirty - great white shark

mentioning exciting animals like sharks yesterday gave me an idea.

© jem barratt

don't you worry that's a dummy seal. but they're real blue scanner lines. lucky they somewhat blend in with blue paint.

strangely enough, i've never really been scared of sharks. that is, until i saw this (if you're scared of sharks when they're just in water, you probably shouldn't watch that). they're terrifying and i don't understand why they're not running the world.

if they learn how to fly or use weapons i'm bailing.