Finished!

posted in: Mammals, WIP | 0

It’s taken far longer than I ever intended, but my scratchboard portrait of Towan is finished.

Towan was one of Woodland Park Zoo’s beloved orangutans. He passed away this year and his keepers, fans and fellow orangutans are still feeling his loss. He was a wonderful ambassador for his people of the forest.

Orangutans are critically endangered, largely due to habitat loss. Palm oil plantations are a major threat, taking over land that used to be vibrant forest. I hope that this portrait of dear Towan will inspire people to learn about orangutans and take action to protect them. Here is a resource to start with: Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program.

While working on this piece I recorded a couple of short videos and shared them on YouTube. Here they are:

 

 

Towan: Work in Progress Video

posted in: Mammals, WIP | 0

In honor of International Orangutan Day, here is a short video of the Towan scratchboard in progress. I do most of my scratchboard work with an X-Acto 16 blade. I rotate the blade in my fingers and change the angle of the tip to create lines of varying widths.

You can read up on orangutans and the dangers they face at the Orangutan Conservancy website. These amazing animals are sadly endangered and need our protection.

A Great Blue Heron, the Moon and Towan

It’s been far too long since I posted anything here! It was a busy albatross cam season followed by recovery from albatross cam season. I’m starting to get my balance back.

Here are a few nifty non-albatross images from the last few months.

First I’d like to share the amazing great blue heron that posed for me at the park in May. I was just about to pack up and leave when this incredible bird showed up and spread his (her?) wings. What a thrill! He showed off a drop wing pose that I like to think of as “the satellite dish.”

GBH_pose-4_ersmith

 

On to a completely different subject: the moon. I recently amused myself by trying to take a series of photos of the moon. It offers different challenges than birds. I enjoyed the change of pace!

 

waning_2_ersmith

 

Last but certainly not least, I’m working on a scratchboard portrait of Towan, one of Woodland Park Zoo’s resident orangutans. He has wondrous eyes. This is a detail of the portrait in progress. The finished piece will be 8 x 10 inches and will show him looking out from under a burlap blanket.

Towan of Woodland Park Zoo
Towan of Woodland Park Zoo

I hope you enjoyed this little update. Thank you for taking a look!