Saturday 9 February 2013

Another grouillard: Eructator admonitionis

After an involuntary six month hiatus I have finally been able to pick up painting again, and have since finished one small painting, one big one, have started a new large one, and have generally been working toward producing a pdf file that I can send to publishers as a sample of the book that should persuade them to publish it. I need to do just one additional illustration for the marblebill page, one that will probably show a dawn scene with screeching marblebills outlined against the sky.

I decided to show you one such additional illustration, showing a species of grouillard related to the one on the Furaha site.

Click to enlarge; copyright Gert van Dijk
 And here it is. As you can see, it has a banded colour pattern that just screams 'Here I am!' to any animal with a decent vision. Remember that the grouillard you are familiar with (Oructator olidus) was black and brightly red, so it wasn't exactly given to camouflage either. These warning colours, because that is what they are, tell other animals not to fool around with a grouillard: except for its extremely nauseating and somewhat toxic spit, the animals taste extraordinarily awful. Young predators may bite into a grouillard once, and that grouillard will not live to tell about the experience. But the predator will, and will not bother another grouillard for a long time, if ever.

So there you are. It was fun painting the mossy fungoid thingy on the branch. I still have no good notion of what all the various brushes in Corel Painter 12 can do, my favourite painting software. When I find a better fungoid-producing bbrush, I may erase this one and do it again. So far I set out to copy my usual method of working in oils as closely as possible. That seems to work nicely, so it is time to see what else I can do with this box of tricks.


j. w. bjerk said...

I like this grouillard better. I do think that the creature and picture would pop a lot more if you made the background in the general area where the head extends past the log brighter than the rest of the out-of-focus background. That would give the piece more contrast and a stronger focal point.

Christopher Phoenix said...

Nice painting- I like the colors!! A grouillard? It sounds vaguely like something to eat- but from the description, I guess it is most emphatically not something good to eat. What is the purpose of the two eye-stalk like structures located a little way behind the little guy's head? Are they sensory organs, or do they serve some other purpose?

Did you start with a sketch of the grouillard? Some artists start painting directly, while others start with a sketch or maybe some linework. Oh, and do you have an account on DeviantArt? I would love to add you to my watch list so I could see whatever new paintings you have done when you upload them...

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

j.w.: Thank you. I may yet change the lighting or the contrast of the grouillard (it looks better in the painting program than on the blog). The nice thing about digital painting is that it is so easy to change things, but the downside of that is that there is no need to ever consider a painting as finished!

Christopher: I chose the word 'grouillard' for the word associations, keeping in mind that the colonists of Furaha use various languages (mostly but not exclusively European). You will find the etymology of the verb grouiller here:
I always start by sketches, and tend to work them out carefully before I begin to paint. Only with digital painting have I started working directly in colour.
I do have a DeviantArt account, but have not posted anything there and d not plan to at present. I will keep my posts to the main Furaha site and the blog.

Petr said...

So here goes my second attempt to add a comment! :D

I love the color scheme of the grouillard here!

Also, I would like to wish you best of luck with the publishers. =)

I think I kinda understand why you want to keep the content here, but maybe you could upload at least one "poster" kind of thing to your deviantart gallery, you could atract some new audience there, I've met people who love Furaha and wouldn't know about it if I haven't sent them the link.

You could also use the journal to announce new blogs ;)