Deep Ocean#2 The giant amphipod you see here is called CystisomaThey have been found at depths of 500m - 800m and can get to 12 cm long. The body is mostly transparent, to hide from predators. Transparency is one big advantage at a depth where there are no good hiding places. The big red oval thing is the stomach and the big layer of "meshed" red stuff in the forehead are the eyes. Well it's actually just one big eye which looks mostly straight upwards. It is so big so it can suck in as much of the little light as possible. 30052015-amphipod-basedon

Deep Ocean#1 I felt inspired watching BBC's Blue Planet and was particularly fond of episode 2 "The Deep". It is quite interesting to learn about the different camouflage tricks and how to unmask them in the dark. I enjoyed diving into places where animals produce their own glowing lights in almost transparent bodies and in general appear like coming from science fiction movies that have not yet been made. Here is a sea cucumber. I think this one is called Enypniastes. I used polychromos on black paper. I took screenshots from the documentary as a reference. 17052015-ocean-seacucumber-1

I haven't used charcoal in years. I was excited to try it again (until I tried it again). I still don't understand why it cost me such frustration. I expected no biggie. I even thought drawing with it would come naturally, that I got the charcoal spirit. However, instead I spent three evenings cursing. Nothing went how I pictured it. You probably know this feeling when you look at you work in progress and it becomes crystal clear it's all shit and can't be rescued? Exactly! I mean "hey", I did try again and once more and again but

I have been listening to a few Daniel Suarez audio books and thought of my unfinished surveillance sketch that had been lying around  for a few month. So I fetched it out of my drawer for some fine-tuning and here it is. Later tonight I'd like to start drawing some more fishes. Blubb.

I use Photoshop to adjust or modify paper-drawings. Sometimes I vectorize black & white scribbles in Illustrator. There is always a bit of digital process involved. But I have never really drawn anything from scratch in graphic programs. It feels saver, more natural and closer to my ideas using pen and paper. There a certain restrictions (or call them disadvantages) that I like, for example that the sheet has a fixed height and width which you can´t change and the fear to fuck it up without beeing able to click your way back (no clean version control). I also like the soft scratching sound when the pen rolls over the paper and to tear a failure into pieces. It´s hard to do that with a graphic tablet.

It almost took me longer to set this entry up than painting the bird. Some problems with inserting  images. Oh Wordpress, why art thou this weird sometimes? And whenever it seems that I have solved a problem successfully and have a "hurray" and "clapclap" moment, then, of course, something else doesn´t work. Without wp-support forums I would have probably jumped out of the window, long time ago. Anyway, here is the red bird I painted yesterday to relax while listening to audio tapes ("Die Drei Fragezeichen"). A mix of ink and acrylics on cardboard.

So I tried getting a little 3D effect and drew on different layers. I searched very long on the web for a fitting square frame in that size and the needed depth. Found it at IKEA in the end.