Slow and steady wins the race

Early this summer I was asked to paint a black-and-white illustration of an Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina). I was pretty excited about this assignment. I remember the box turtles from my childhood – they lived in the woods around my Connecticut home, and a few times I escorted one across the road, out of harm’s way. But it occurred to me I really didn’t know much about the species, so this project would be a valuable learning experience. … More Slow and steady wins the race

Light and dark

India ink is a very satisfying medium to work with. You paint it on like watercolor, and it flows and bleeds and blends in beautiful ways. But unlike watercolor, once it hits the paper, it’s there for good.  This illustration (11 x 8.5 inches) took me about 15 hours to paint, in order to build up … More Light and dark

Illustrating the importance and vulnerability of Eastern hemlock forests

This is an Eastern hemlock forest (Tsuga canadensis). The illustration on the left shows a healthy forest, a beautiful place to explore on a summer day, to sit quietly and listen to the vireos, and return to with your snowshoes in winter. On the right is what that forest could look like after an infestation of hemlock woolly adelgid* (Adelges … More Illustrating the importance and vulnerability of Eastern hemlock forests

RGB VEG

Four years ago I made a color wheel with the primary pigments I use most often (alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and lemon yellow) as a reference for some painting I was working on. It came in handy this weekend when I needed to create an illustration that celebrates seed catalogs and the beautiful variety of vegetables … More RGB VEG

Imagination Running

Fall is peak running season for me. I logged more than 30 miles in the past week, on pavement and concrete and the UAlbany track. Wednesday evening, near the end of a tough 7 mile work-out, I cruised past some maple trees with bright pink leaves and enjoyed a spectacular sunset. Inspired by that moment, I took advantage … More Imagination Running

Drawing a plant’s behavior

I just finished this preliminary drawing of Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), part of a series of illustrations about invasive species. While wandering through the forest at Huyck Preserve early this summer, I photographed this aggressive vine and made some rough sketches to try to capture its menacing behavior. It climbs quickly, taking over everything in its … More Drawing a plant’s behavior

New animals in my studio

Just got back from the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators 2014 conference in Boulder. Luckily there was enough extra space in my luggage for souvenirs, because I picked up two framed prints at the silent auction. Now they are hanging in my studio, among the many other pieces of inspiration I’ve collected. The turtle is the first reptile on … More New animals in my studio