Little mermaid

So in between I am working on some other illustrations than just scientific ones. In september I already posted the black and white sketch for a portrait of a mermaid.

When I was a kid I used to watch many fairytale films made in eastern countries e.g. Poland, Rumania, USSR, Czechoslovakia and later Czech Republic. Many of them inspired me when I was younger and still do.
I always have the picture of a mermaid from "Malá mořská víla" (The little mermaid - 1976) in my head. Not the Disney version of the little mermaid.

This year I wanted to make my own version of the little mermaid:

Black and white sketch

Black and white sketch but with digital values...

...and the same sketch with some colours...

...and the first layers in my real drawing!! :)

Since the drawing is pagefilling and not - as many of my scientific illustrations - with a lot of white space this will be one of my biggest colour pencil drawings I ever created.
It is 51x45cm - which is 20.1x17.7in!

PS: You can also follow me for this illustration (or others) on Instagram!


Polly wants a cookie!

I think parrots are very inspirational birds. Obviously because of their intense colours but also because of the pure variaty of them. Plus the go through big changes in their looks from hatching to being an adult parrot.
That's why I am at the moment busy with an illustration of a green-winged macaw (Ara chloropterus), also known as the red-and-green macaw.

Black and white sketch.

First colour pencil layers to give it some generall shape.

Details in the head are nearly finished!!

PS: You can also follow me for this illustration (or others) on Instagram: http://instagram.com/ankatsart_insta


Final year II

And...now you get the second part of the promised post!! :D

After I visited a parrot breeder, different bird parks and bird of prey centers, the collection of the biodiversity center Naturalis and of course the Clinic for Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish in Giessen. And making the first sketches to portray the birds I also had to study the important parts: The urogenital-systems of the blue-fronted amazon and the saker falcon.

Not only I had to see these parts to illustrate them in the correct way, but I even had to see them in their different states. First you have the juvenile urogenital-systems: That's when the birds never had been sexually active before. Then you have the active and the inactive urogenital-systems: That's when the birds are sexually active at the time of breeding season or not active because it is not their breeding season. Their sexual organs do change, active = bigger and inactive = smaller.
These anatomical illustrations have never been produced before so I had nearly no books I could rely on. That meant that I had to do many dissections to prepare the sketches for my illustrations.

For the representative of the Psittaciformes shown I chose the blue-fronted amazon because it is a common pet parrot in Germany. That gave me easier access to specimens of this kind. To illustrate a falcon and not another parrot species was important, because there is a big difference in the anatomy of the females of falcons, hawks and kiwis and females of other bird species. Due to evolutionary reasons most female birds just have only one functional ovary (the left one), connected to an oviduct. Kiwis, hawks and falcons have two. So that was an important aspect to illustrate.

Two anatomical sketches made during dissection.