Illustration Friday: Pretend


A lyrebird for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, “Pretend”. There are two types of lyrebird: the Superb (which has the more lyre-like tail feathers) and the Albert’s, which lives in Queensland and is the one I have seen in the wild when walking at Mt Tamborine. This is an Albert’s lyrebird drawn with markers. I like the way that, enlarged, it looks a bit like a bird on salt-glaze pottery.

Pretend 2

They are astonishing imitators – really strikingly accurate (that’s an Albert’s above and a Superb below it). This is a link to David Attenborough’s by-now-pretty-famous footage of their imitations (on YouTube).

Pretend 3

The fun thing about drawing them is they have this natural balance going on – more like an ornament than a bird. The design work is already done.

Pretend 4

Just going for silhouettes and facial expressions here.

But it isn’t all lyrebirds! I usually go through a dozen or more designs in notebooks and on scrap paper, fall in love with some and discard most of my favourites because of time constraints and the need to sleep occasionally if I am going to finish NaNoWriMo (42,000/50,000 to date, so I probably don’t need to worry to much there yet). As a bonus – and because I know I’m not posting as often this month – here are two sketches that have been messed with in Photoshop.

Little Teapot

I’d like her dress, except for the whole obvious ironing aspect, but the teapot shadow is creeping me out a little.

Pretend 5

And doesn’t everyone sing into fans and pretend to be Judith Durham?

10 thoughts on “Illustration Friday: Pretend

  1. These are AMAZING!

    I particularly like the lyrebirds that are “talking”. It always amazes me when artists put pictures into talk-bubbles, and the effect this has on the person looking at the drawing (in this case me).

    I also love the teapot picture, although you’re right, something about the way the shadow is drawn is sort of menacing rather than nursery rhyme-ish.

  2. Thanks crisitunity and Joanie!

    Crisitunity – I really like that effect too. I’ve seen some really effective images done that way and I’m glad it had an effect :)

    If I look at the teapot one too long I’m going to start being careful about the shadows I might accidentally be casting!

  3. Lovely lovely birds…
    I once sat at the zoo and drew roosters over and over…

    Tanaudel… thanks so much always for your comments… they are truly appreciated.
    And good luck with your writing too… Certainly, an admirable endeavor!


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