Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Millipede Mania! ACEO Bug #18


A couple of nights ago, I started a post in the Etsy forums asking members what their favorite bugs are. I find it fun when I get suggestions from others as it lends me ideas that I may not come up with myself. However, one suggestion (from a user named HowlingCaterpillars, how could I not comply?) was a millipede. This was also a bug that had crossed my mind a few times. I took the suggestion as a push to get him done!

Drawing (literally, sort of) from the line variations in yesterday's Snail illustration, I decided to employ that technique again. I had fun with it yesterday and I really, really liked the way that it looked. I felt it made the composition so much more interesting and in that particular piece, brought more focus to the foreground (which is what I had intended. Yay! It worked!).

And today, I'm happy with it again!

Here he is, crawling on an old decroded log (as you usually find them) deep in the woods.
Anyone recognize the plants that surround him?
Who knows why on earth I decided I had to draw poison ivy. I guess because as bug you find crawling around on the ground or in very low places in the woods, low growing plants came to mind.

I'm finding this forced daily creativity to be quite an evolutionary process. The 30 Bugs series is almost a life all on its own. The first two filled the criteria of being bugs and being ACEOs, but didn't offer anything spectacular. I had to up the ante. In the 3rd one, the grasshopper, I grabbed a pen and didn't look back. I had a really good run with the next few. But then there were a couple seemed like good ideas at the time, but didn't quite measure up to my expectations. (We'll call those bugs the "awkward puberty" in the life of the series, hehe.) I had to up the ante again. I altered between deep, saturated colors, pressing hard on the pencils, and then some light fills letting some white show through. And the last two have taken on the variation in outlines and I will probably carry on with that trend for a while.

I wonder what the last ones in the series will show.

One thing I've had fun with is not keeping everything completely realistic. I've kept the bugs themselves pretty accurate as far as anatomy, and the flowers and backgrounds, too. But I'm not worrying quite so much about light, shading, etc. It makes me want to try some paintings in this same informal style- realistic illustrations, without sooooooooo much detail as I would usually paint. I might even carry some of these cards' compositions over into some small paintings... who knows?

Ahhh... so some of the cards in the life of the series will be reincarnated into paintings.
An afterlife!


Howling Caterpillars said...

She's awesome too!
I had one at work I called Millie...not too original...she felt like a fingernail...

Samantha G said...

A pet millipede? That sounds cool. At my old house we had at least 10 of them at a time, but they didn't have names. Not sure if they were pets, but they sure as hell weren't helping with paying the rent, so I guess that kinda makes them like pets.

Doris Sturm said...

What a cute little thing...very sweet!