Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Laphria flava

Laphria flava is a bee like Robber-fly, around 25mm body length. Now very rare in the UK only occuring in the Caledonian pine forest area in Scotland. Like the Hornet Robber-fly, Laphria is a predator of other insects, usually catching them in mid flight.

The females are more bulky with a tapering abdomen, they deposit eggs in old pine logs and stumps.
There are many more Laphria species around the world, a lot of which are bee or wasp mimics, which is ironic since some will catch bees and wasps as prey if given the chance. 

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Giant Horsefly

...Another insect, this time the huge Tabanus sudeticus, or Dark Giant Horsefly. The females can measure up to 30mm long, and are the heaviest flies in Europe. They use their piercing mouthparts to cut a wound in the flesh of cattle, horses or humans, and lap up the blood, which they need to produce viable eggs. The males are slightly smaller and only feed on nectar.
again, drawing done on A4 cartridge paper, in fine line pen, markers, and acrylic paint. I have decided to create a whole series of these insects, in the same scale and style to hopefully produce a mini guide to some UK species of insect. It will take a long time!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Hornet Robber-Fly

The Hornet Robber-Fly, Asilus crabroniformis is a large species of robber fly, and one of the largest flies found in the UK, at 24 - 35mm long. Like all other robber flies, they are predatory and grab other insects in mid air, piercing them and sucking out internal fluids. Because of their lifestyle they are clothed in bristles and spines, with a huge "beard" to protect the eyes from the struggling victims.

This drawing is much like the previous one, on A4 cartridge paper done with fine line pen, pro-markers, and acrylic paint.

incidentally, this is also my favourite of all the insects I have ever seen. Unfortunately it is now very rare and localised in the UK, only occurring in a few grazing fields, where the larvae develop in cattle, horse or rabbit dung.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Urocerus gigas

As you may have noticed I am obsessed with insects, so naturally I love to draw them, something I haven't been doing a lot lately to try and broaden my technique range, but today i decided to go back to a familiar subject.
This drawings is mainly permanent Pro-markers, fine line pen, and acrylic paint. On cartridge paper.

Urocerus gigas is a huge species of Sawfly, found here in the UK. the female has a large ovipositor which she uses to drill into sickly pine trunks or logs and deposit her eggs. The females are around 45mm long, and I have yet to see one!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Recent work...

I have recently completed these three small paintings, I never really use paint so was good for me to get some fairly quick work done in this medium. The images are not about anything in particular, in fact I made them up as I went along because they aren't fully resolved pieces, but I am pleased with how they turned out, especially with a finish of spray varnish to give that authentic religious Icon look...
All 3 are around A6 size, acrylic paint and pencil on cartridge paper.

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Recently i visited the Huntarian museum, part of the Royal college of Surgeons in London. The museum is small, but packed with all sorts of amazing medical specimens, from insects and chickens to human foetus's and deformed skeletons.

I have been fascinated with any natural history artefacts almost all my life, especially the strange and morbid sides of nature (probably why I love insects!).
The museum rekindled my desire to create my own specimens, so here are the family:

They are all modelled with Fimo, and coloured slightly with ink, before being baked to harden. Then sealed into their new homes. They are all quite small, the two in the smallest jars are around 25mm. i am hoping to make a larger specimen soon....

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

How Gargantua was Born in a Strange Manner

Today we finally performed our strange cabaret to the rest of the Illustration group, it seemed to go down well, and we managed to create an appropriate atmosphere with a red lamp and our choice of eerie music...

Here are some photos taken of us performing:

Monday, 25 October 2010

Gargantua, the baby...

Our short performance is almost ready, we are acting a small extract from The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel, a 16th Century tale. Our chapter is " How Gargantua was born in a strange manner" - so, of course we need a newborn Gargantua!
The head is paper mache (shaped over a balloon) finished with Acrylic, Varnish and some human hair!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Cabaret ...set Photos...

So, today we started filming for our Cabaret project, as part of the Illustration course at Camberwell.
Photos aren't amazing, but just to show the costumes and some of the fun we had!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Cabaret Nightmares

Some Photographs taken for an Illustration project I am currently working on....

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

10 Amazing Images...

I have selected the following 10 images to show some of my interests:

Laurie Knight takes some of the most amazing Macro photography of insects, this Greenbottle fly is amoungst my favourites because it just looks so alien up close! I ahve always found insects fascinating to look at, and on this scale i think it is clear why.

This image shows the Skeksis Puppets used in the film: The Dark Crystal (1982).
I remember seeing this film as a child, and since then I have loved it, not only for the creature designs but for the imaginative story, which seems so hard to find these days in any original films...
I still favour Animatronics and Puppets over CGI in films, I think they always appear more life-like and usually have a sense of horror and tangible emotions which most CGI caharacter's never have.

H.R.Giger - Metamorphosis.

Zdzislaw Beksinski

William Blake - Elohim creating Adam

Maurice Sendak - Where the Wild Things Are

Giant Asian Hornet Queen.
"Bees and the Giant Hornet Queen (BBC2). Photograph: Verity White/BBC
Buddha, Bees and the Giant Hornet Queen (Natural World, BBC2) had all the characteristics of your very least favourite nightmare. The giant hornet queen is two pointed, vicious inches long and contains enough venom to kill a man. She is a hornet with a single thought - to propagate the species. She builds a nest and pumps out multitudinous offspring: hundreds of writhing grubs in their cells, faceless, gently pulsing gobbets of shiny, pallid flesh. These develop into warrior-daughters, who slaughter a 30,000-strong honeybee colony on her behalf and bring her the corpses, enabling the next round of larval malevolence to pupate and the whole homicidal cycle to begin again. " - Lucy Mangan

Shaun Tan- two illustrations from "The Arrival"

The Natural History Museum - London
Not so much an amazing image, as an amazing building. There are stone creatures climbing and perching on every available surface of the museum, inside and out, even up to the tops of the towers. 

John Howe - Eowin and the Nazgul